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Sundance Filmmaking Couple Talk Shop In Rye

RYE, N.Y. -- Amy Wendel and Dan Meisel moved to Rye from New York City in 2003 to start a family and had three children, but something else was born as well -- a feature film that went on to Sundance.

The couple, now living in California, returned to New York for the Nantucket Film Festival and stopped in Rye Tuesday to discuss their first feature film, "All She Can," at the Rye Free Reading Room.

"We wanted to provide a perspective you don't always hear about," said Wendel, who directed and co-wrote the film with her husband while they were still living in Rye.

Wendel graduated form New York University's film school in 2004 and before that taught middle school in California where she met Meisel who was practicing law. They now run their own production company out of Santa Barbara, Calif.

"All She Can" follows a young girl in a small impoverished town in South Texas who dreams of attending the University of Texas at Austin and hopes to get a scholarship through weightlifting.

It was one of 16 films to be selected out of 1100 for the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Wendel and Meisel showed clips and discussed the filmmaking process to an intimate audience of around 20 people, from writing the script to shooting the footage to editing in post-production.

"Seeing people who are actually making films and their process, it was really informative," said Rye High student Jacob Nurick, 16, who will be a junior next fall and has worked in video production for his school and the city and would like to make his own films someday.

Incoming Rye High freshman Anna Eva Kotyza, 14, also has a developing interest in filmmaking and hopes to save up for her own camera.

"Now I want to be a film director," she said after the discussion.

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