Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night premiere of American Teen (in theaters July 25) as part of the third annual Sundance Institute at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). The Sundance fav launched an eleven-day festival of sorts, showcasing the best of the best from this year's Sundance Film Festival; 22 features and 36 shorts in total, plus filmmaker Q&As, parties, art installations and tons of Brooklyn hipster-watching.
The screening itself was completely sold out and held inside the gorgeous BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, where, conveniently, free popcorn and bottles of water were handed out at the door. And as my wife pointed out after we sat down: "They're smart -- free things always put a person in a good mood before a film." Indeed! Before the curtain rose on American Teen, a number of folks approached the mic for some words, while the crowd cheered every time 'Brooklyn' was used in a sentence. The speakers included BAM President Karen Hopkins, Sundance executive director Ken Brecher, Brooklyn Borough President (and an awesome guy) Marty Markowitz, Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, BAM Cinema Club Chairs Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, and, finally, American Teen director Nanette Burstein (sporting a very pregnant belly) and one of the film's teenage stars, Hannah Bailey (pictured above).
Check out a gallery from the premiere, the film and the prom-themed after party below -- then head after the jump for my thoughts on American Teen. (All pictures courtesy of the fine folks at the Sundance Institute and Paramount Vantage.)