Fourteen-year-old Lila is experiencing an ennui-filled Brooklyn summer. She awkwardly wears a Kabuki-esque mask of sunscreen at the beach and plays third wheel to Chiara, her more experienced friend, and Chiara’s boyfriend, Patrick. Determined to have a love interest of her own, a bravado-filled Lila pursues Sammy, a tough but handsome older boy. Though Sammy doesn’t respond to her overtures, he doesn’t reject her either, and Lila—unable to resist spinning delusional fables of a relationship with him—manipulates herself deeper into his world. When her desperation and posturing carry her too far into unfamiliar territory, her inexperience is exposed, and she is forced to confront reality.
In this film shot from Lila’s point of view and constructed with precise—sometimes startling—imagery and intimate moments, first-time feature writer/director Eliza Hittman confidently constructs a viewing experience that is completely subjective. Bolstered by a perfectly modulated lead performance from Gina Piersanti, It Felt Like Love unflinchingly reveals some of the rawest moments of girlhood in an authentic story of burgeoning identity and sexual awakening. - K.Y.
About the Director
Award-winning filmmaker Eliza Hittman was born in New York City and is still based there. In 2010, she received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts’s School of Film/Video and has been a guest artist and lecturer at Columbia University. Her short film Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and was listed on Indiewire’s list of "The Best of the Best." It Felt Like Love is Hittman’s first feature film.
Cast and Credits
Director: Eliza Hittman
Screenwriter: Eliza Hittman
Executive Producers: Tyler Brodie, Hunter Gray, Gill Holland
Producers: Eliza Hittman, Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner
Cinematographer: Sean Porter
Editors: Carlos Marques-Marcet, Scott Cummings
Production Designer: James Boxer
Casting Director: Henry Russell Bergstein
Principal Cast: Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nick Rosen, Case Prime
THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IS ONE PROGRAM OF SUNDANCE INSTITUTE, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT
DISCOVERS AND SUPPORTS INDEPENDENT FILM AND THEATRE ARTISTS FROM THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORD
AND INTRODUCES AUDIENCES TO THEIR NEW WORK.