Synopsis: Once shy Kat is now popular and hooking up at parties, while misfit Janet is put on a strange medication for her “bad behavior.” Things get even odder when Janet meets a cute boy who might be a time traveler, and Kat’s panicked parents send her off to sex rehab. Can anything make life in the suburbs normal again?
Kimie Muroya (JANET)
Bubba Weiler (RIAN)
Steve Lipman (STEVIE D)
Madeline Kate Kann
ANTARCTICA (named such because the titular continent is a place where almost no life exists,) is a movie I’ve waited my whole career to make. ANTARCTICA is part of a sadly, still-rare film genre: a coming-of-age film about girls.
A lifetime of knowing smart, funny young women, and almost never seeing them on movie screens resulted in me creating this movie. ANTARCTICA is a tribute to female friendship, which seems to me to be intimate in a way that men’s are not, and an exploration of the teen years when a person is still at mercy of their family and social structures. If those structures are good, life if fine, but if they are lacking, as it is with Kat and Janet (and so many others like them), they are left to flounder or be outright abused. To my eyes, young women face so many pressures from society, family and their peer groups that it’s a challenge not to implode. It was important to me to show these young women as strong, and smart, and able to survive these troubles, hearts and minds still somehow intact. Kat and Janet’s humor (and this movie is a comedy, mostly) is part of that—a shield to deflect life’s slings and arrows.
The first journey this film took, as a script, was to get into the hands of young women all across America. All of them connected with it. One small town teen sent the script back with a single scrawled message. “This is my life.” That was the sign to me that I should move forward on the project. Since then many more women have responded to the project as an important film they want to see made, including the many women who would up being part of our creative team making it.
Also, very important for me, was to create a world that was resonant, but somehow timeless. Nothing gets older quicker than current events. I wanted the film to connect with American teenagers, but not ground it in something so specific that it feels too on the nose or like something that’s already been done. One of the best compliments I got during shooting was from our 1st AC Cheryn Park who told me, “This movie takes places on Earth 2.” I believe a little imagination goes a long way to separating yourself from the pack.
I wanted ANTARCTICA to be a movie for teens or anyone who remembers being one. From the reaction so far, I think I’ve succeeded.
Keith Bearden’s debut feature film Meet Monica Velour, starring Kim Cattrall, Brian Dennehy and Dustin Ingram, premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, and was called “wonderfully inventive, touching and very hilarious” by NBC New York, and “a sleeper hit with a heart of gold” by Hollywood.com. It was released theatrically in the USA and Canada by Anchor Bay Films in April 2011, and in Europe by Sony Pictures.
His short film The Raftman’s Razor premiered at Sundance and won Best Short at SxSW, Seattle, Nantucket, Chicago International, Montreal, Clermont-Ferrand and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. His 2nd short film, Train Town, won a Silver Medal at the Chicago International Film Festival and was picked up by Canal + for international TV. Filmmaker Magazine has named him one of the “New Faces of Independent Film” and he has been profiled in Time-Out NY, Liberation (France), Screen International, New York Daily News and on NPR’s “The Takeaway.”
His work as a commercial director for clients such as McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, Heineken and Frito-Lay has gained him numerous awards as well, including a Silver Medal at Cannes Lion for his Brandt “Apartment Sharing” spot.
He is the recipient of Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting, a NYFA Fellow in Screenwriting, a two-time winner of the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Filmmaking in 2008. He lives in New York City.