Competition Narrative Feature
18 to Party
Directed by: Jeff Roda
USA, 2019, 80m
This film is also available online with a pass to our virtual festival! Click here to learn more about how you can stream 2020 Florida Film Festival movies at home.
It’s 1984. Outside a small-town nightclub, a group of 8th graders grapple with absentee parents, recent suicides, UFO sightings, and each other. Jeff Roda’s wonderful directorial debut spans a single evening in the lives of these detached Gen Xers who turn to each other, revealing that hope may arrive from the last place we expect. Tanner Flood (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) is terrific as anxious Shel, who looks younger than his classmates, especially his buddy Brad (Oliver Gifford in his feature film debut). They transport us to a time when waiting for something was as significant as the thing itself. With a killer ‘80s soundtrack including Big Audio Dynamite and The Alarm, 18 To Party is a spot-on love letter to Gen X, a time machine back to when social media was science fiction and friendships were flesh and bone instead of 2D digital snaps. Reflecting back on what defined who we’ve become, it perfectly captures all the drama of teen angst and the transcendent power of friendship.