South by Southwest, the huge film, interactive and music festival just wrapped up in Austin, Texas, having shone its spotlight on the film “Gimme the Loot,” which took home the grand prize for best narrative.
The film has created a lot of buzz in the likes of The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Variety, but it’s the Bowdoin Orient connection that makes it big news around campus. Orient co-editor-in-chief ZoÃ« Lescaze ’12 has a supporting role as Ginnie in this caper about teenage Bronx graffiti artists and what transpires over two hot summer days.
“I’m incredibly lucky, as I got involved with the project completely by chance,” says Lescaze. “One of the film’s producers had asked Adam (Leon, the film’s director) what he was envisioning for one of the characters, and for inspiration he went flipping through old magazines. He happened to land on the last page of a 2005 issue of Teen Vogue I was featured in and thought I looked right for the part. I had never acted before “Gimme the Loot,” and when Adam contacted me about auditioning, I kind of shot him down saying that I was flattered, but had absolutely no experience. Fortunately for me, he was persistent and I read lines for him over Skype (I was studying abroad in South Africa at the time). I got the part, and when I arrived back in the States in June we dove into auditions and started filming in August.”
Lescaze was in Austin for the festival, and says it was exciting to see people respond to the film. “It’s an incredibly fun story, and one of the only recent films I’ve seen that really captures New York in the summer. Winning the top prize at SXSW was such a wonderful surprise-just being in the festival was thrilling, I didn’t think it could get any better.”
“Gimme the Loot” recently secured a distribution deal with Sundance Selects/IFC Films. It premieres in New York Friday at New Directors/New Films, a co-presentation of the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.