Tag Archive for Sundance Film Festival

Garcia ’99 Talks About Her Film The Lifeguard, in Theaters Aug. 30

Liz. W Garcia '99 (Photo: Leslie Zak)

Liz Garcia ’99 at the Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by Leslie Zak)

Liz Garcia ’99 is the director, screenwriter, and co-producer of The Lifeguard (Focus World and Screen Media), in which a young woman (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars) nearing 30 quits her Associated Press reporting job in New York and returns to her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and has an affair with a troubled teenager (David Lambert), the son of a co-worker.

The film’s also stars Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Adam LeFevre and Joshua Harto, who also is a co-producer (and Garcia’s husband).

The Lifeguard premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last January and was released in late July for viewers to rent on iTunes and a number of cable video-on-demand systems. The movie has its big screen release on Aug. 30 in 15 cities.

In this Q&A, Associate Director of Publications David Low interviews the multi-talented Garcia, who also has worked as a writer, director, and producer on several television series, including Cold Case and Memphis Beat, which she created with Harto.

Q: What inspired the script of The Lifeguard?

A: I worked as a lifeguard at a pool when I was in high school and on break from Wesleyan, and it was a job and environment I always wanted to tell stories about. I just wasn’t sure exactly how. But I loved the feeling of the quiet pool, and what it was like to observe peoples’ lives, families, and couples, while sitting in that chair. I noodled over the idea of a lifeguard who was an overachiever and thought she knew how life was to be lived intersecting with some lost teenage boys at the pool, and I let that idea grow. Then it converged with the idea of facing adulthood, of turning 30, and when I knew that this would be about a young woman returning to the dream job of her youth, the story came together quickly.

Garcia ’99 Has Debut Feature Film, The Lifeguard, at Sundance

Filmmaker Liz W. Garcia ’99

This January, Liz Garcia ’99 brought her first feature film, The Lifeguard, to Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah to be shown in the U.S. Dramatic competition. She directed, wrote, and co-produced the movie; her husband, Joshua Harto, is a co-producer and an actor in the film.

The Lifeguard follows a young woman (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars) who leaves her job as an Associated Press reporter in New York City and returns to her hometown in suburban Connecticut where she last felt happiness. Complications arise as she rebels against adulthood by resuming her high school job as a pool lifeguard and hanging out with teenagers. In addition to Harto and Bell, the cast includes Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Amy Madigan, and David Lambert.

Garcia recently talked to Indie Wire about the film.

Garcia said: “The film is about what it is to become an adult. How frightening it is when you realize you have only this one life, that the limitless possibilities and the freedom of childhood are through. And particularly, how frightening it is as a woman to realize what being a wife and being a mother, and being a mature woman in the eyes of society will mean….”

“I was raised in suburban Connecticut and that’s the setting that inspires me the most. Something about the seasons, the light, the false sense of immortality that comes along with growing up in an unsophisticated environment where you can’t get real drugs —