University of Texas Film Institute film to premiere at 2005 Toronto Film Festival

June 28, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas—“The Quiet,” the first film from The University of Texas Film Institute and its for-profit production company, Burnt Orange Productions, has been invited to screen at the 30th Toronto International Film Festival® Sept. 8-17.

“This is a significant milestone for ‘The Quiet’ and The University of Texas Film Institute,” said Thomas Schatz, Ph.D., executive director of The University of Texas Film Institute. “The Toronto International Film Festival is widely recognized as one of the most important international forums for buying and selling films.”

Camilla Belle and Elisha Cuthbert star in'The Quiet'

Camilla Belle and Elisha Cuthbert star in “The Quiet,” which will screen at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 8-17.

“The Quiet” will screen as part of the Visions Programme, which spotlights work that challenges our notion of mainstream cinema and explores new territory. Recent films include Lukas Moodysson’s controversial “A Hole in My Heart,” “City of God,” “The Tripletts of Bellville,” and Asia Argento’s “The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things.”

“We are honored to be a part of this prestigious festival,” said Carolyn Pfeiffer, president and CEO of Burnt Orange Productions. “The excitement and word of mouth that are generated at the Toronto Film Festival can help distribution prospects, boost a film’s box office and invigorate the creative team behind the making of the film. This is not only an achievement for Burnt Orange Productions and The University of Texas, but is a testament to the tremendous support the production received from the Austin community.”

Jamie Babbit, who also directed “But I’m a Cheerleader,” directed “The Quiet,” which was written by Micah Schraft and Abdi Nazemian. Holly Wiersma, Andrea Sperling and Joel Michaely produced the film, along with Pfeiffer and Schatz who produced for Burnt Orange Productions and The University of Texas Film Institute, respectively.

“The Quiet,” which was photographed on high definition (HD) digital video, was shot in various Austin locations in September and October 2004. It featured more than 20 University of Texas at Austin graduate and undergraduate students working on the film in all stages of production. Five graduate students, or apprentices, worked in roles ranging from camera assistant and assistant editor, to still photographer and DVD producer. The undergraduate students, or interns, worked in various capacities from accounting and office management, to set production, props and costumes, to casting and publicity.

The movie, which was among a handful of screenplays included in the 2003 Sundance Institute Filmmakers Lab, is an intense story about family secrets, friendship, trust and betrayal. 

In the film, popular cheerleader Nina Deer’s (Elisha Cuthbert) world is turned upside down when her parents adopt a recently orphaned deaf girl, Dot (Camilla Belle). But in this suburban home, things are not what they seem. Dot’s arrival puts a crack in Nina’s idyllic social life and the dark secrets her family harbors soon become exposed. Nina’s friends, including the handsome Connor (Shawn Ashmore), develop an odd fascination with the newcomer and confide to her their darkest secrets. Dot quietly shoulders the burdens of those around her while hiding her own secrets. The movie also features Edie Falco and Martin Donovan as Nina’s parents.

The Toronto International Film Festival® is ranked by Variety and film industry members as second only to Cannes. It is the discriminating and sophisticated Toronto filmgoers who make the Toronto International Film Festival a must-attend event for the public, industry and press alike. Over the last 30 years, the movie-going public has supported and shaped the festival into what it is today, one of the largest public film festivals in the world. Every September, the city opens its doors and experiences the best cinema in the world, and boasts approximately 250,000 admissions annually. All festival press releases can be found on the official Toronto International Film Festival Web site. For more information, please contact the press office at 416-934-3200.

Note to editors: Still shots from the film are available by calling Gregory Collins or Erin Geisler.

For more information contact: Erin Geisler, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-475-8071, or Gregory Collins, Burnt Orange Productions, 512-232-5944.