Freeland debuts latest film at Sundance
By Jason Morgan Edwards
Special to the Times
Award-winning Diné filmmaker, Sydney Freeland (Water Edge and Two Who Came Upon the Water Clans), is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival.
After a brilliant run by her first feature-length film, Drunktown’s Finest in 2014, she returns to debut her most recent work, Deidra & Laney Rob A Train.
She was awarded a United States Artists Ford Fellowship for Media Arts in 2014. And, this current offering is a product of that fellowship.
“This will be my sixth time going to the Festival. My second time with a film. The screenwriter’s name is Shelby Farrell. It’s a dark comedy,” said Freeland. “Kind of like a Raising Arizona or Juno.”
The storyline follows two teen-aged sisters as they take up robbing trains to bail their mom out of jail. The film features Ashleigh Murray as Deidra, and Rachel Crow as Laney. The Sundance Institute describes the film as a “zany lemons-to-lemonade romp through kids facing tough times. Fiercely spirited, buoyantly flips the script on a world that keeps kids living across the tracks down on their luck.”
Freeland credits her success at Sundance with Drunktown as a career booster. Her past success is how she got attached to her current film.
“One of the good things about showing at Sundance is it gives you an elevated platform. I was able to sign with a manager,” said Freeland, “He sent me a couple of scripts. One the scripts he sent me was Deidra & Laney Rob A Train. I instantly fell in love with it.”