In late 2018, filmmaker Sav Rodgers delivered a TED Talk on his relationship with Kevin Smith’s 1997 film, Chasing Amy. Rodgers relays how he first saw the film when he was 12. He states he was a Ben Affleck fan after watching him in Daredevil (2003) and watching Affleck’s character Holden and actress Joey Lauren Adams (Alyssa) in a life-changing story for him. After the TED Talk went online, it garnered the attention of several people, some of which are in the film industry, and the wheels were set in motion for Rodgers to begin work on the documentary he aspired to create.
Raised in Kansas and often seen in the film wearing a cap with Kansas-related logos, Rodgers connected with Smith’s film, not because of Affleck but because of the LGBTQ characters. He watched the movie repeatedly, and even more, as he dealt with the trauma of homophobic bullying early on in high school. Over a decade later, Rodgers directed a documentary about Smith’s film as an inspiration and included interviews with individuals from the LGBTQ+ community about the romance as depicted in the story. Although the filmmaker did not initially intend to have much of his life in this documentary, the critical changes are revealed through footage of his relationship with Riley that started at 17 years of age and flourished over the years. I found it to be honest and beautiful on screen. It is hard not to be moved by the film and see how art impacts our lives.
The film features interviews with Smith, Adams, Jason Lee (Chasing Amy), Princess Weekes, Scott Mosier, and Guinevere Turner. Smith is essential in helping to secure some of the interviews for the documentary. The Clerks and Mallrats filmmaker shares that he is happy that the film received some praise years later and the positive impact it has had on Rodgers.
Rodgers shows his gratitude for the love in his life (Riley and his mother) and to the collaborators who encouraged him as he worked on the film.
Directed by Sav Rodgers. Produced by Alex Schmider, Carrie Radigan, Lela Meadow-Conner, Matthew Mills, and Sav Rodgers. Runtime: 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Rodgers’ documentary, Chasing Chasing Amy, will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival (Viewpoints category) in New York City on June 8th.
Source: Tribeca Film Festival, Professional Amateur Productions