Shannon Harper

Welcome to Pine Hill, the first feature film from Keith Miller, has won the Grand Jury Sparky Award for Feature Narrative at Slamdance. The film focuses on former drug dealer Shannon (Shannon Harper) who now works as a bouncer when the sun goes down and a claims adjuster when the sun comes up. In this verite-style offering, Shannon receives a bit of life-changing news that sets him on a path to confront the past and contemplate his future. As you can see in the scene above, there’s something obviously compelling about the delivery and the style. It’s enough to make nerve endings tingle and the brain start thinking about fight or flight. Simple, yes, but effective. The story behind the film is also fascinating. Director Miller and star Harper met when Miller was walking his dog in New York and an angry Harper approached him claiming that it was his dog. After a huge shouting match, they realized that it was Harper’s dog – a puppy he had previously lost. The next day they met so that Miller could pay him for the animal and could toss out the idea that they make a film together. A short was born, and so was their working relationship. They accidentally shared a dog, and now they share a victory. Here are the rest of the winners from Slamdance this year – emerging artists truly worth keeping an eye on. The Slamdance pedigree alone ensures that there’s some truly interesting work going on […]

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For his narrative feature film, Welcome to Pine Hill, director Keith Miller went for a unique level of veracity, casting in his lead role the same man who actually inspired the film in the first place. The film will have its World Premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival later this month, and the film’s official Slamdance page only hints at how Pine Hill came to be, saying that the film “was born out of a chance encounter between filmmaker Keith Miller and star Shannon Harper, who found themselves arguing over a lost dog one night in Brooklyn.” But is the dog in the film? The film follows Harper playing, well, Shannon Harper, as he attempts to change his life and its circumstances for the better. A former drug dealer, Shannon has gone straight – working two jobs (as a claims adjuster during the day and a bouncer at night). But while Shannon has changed, it doesn’t seem like everything (or everyone) else in his life is interested in the same kind of transformation. You know how it is – just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in. After the break, check out a full look at the film’s first poster by Nathaniel Parker Raymond, along with the film’s trailer and screening information for extra spice.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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