Destin Daniel Cretton's "I Am Not A Hipster" is a drama about a singer-songwriter uncomfortable with the trappings of success in the indie rock scene he presides over in San Diego. It's also a story about loss and coping with death. But most of all, it's about music.
"Hipster" features original music from musician Joel P. West and many of those songs are performed by star Dominic Bogart, who plays Brook, the troubled singer-songwriter. (West appears in the film briefly as part of Brook's backing band.)
The music in the film is evocative of such acts as Bright Eyes and the late Elliott Smith, and the film is reminiscent of the 2007 Sundance hit and best song Oscar winner "Once" in that it features original music from cast members. "Hipster" follows Brook as he is visited by his estranged father and three sisters to scatter the ashes of their late mother.
West said at a Q&A following the film's Friday premiere at Prospector Square Theatre that "all of the songs written for this project were written alongside the script." West said that he worked "back and forth" with Cretton on the music. "It was very volatile."
Bogart also said the songwriting process was collaborative. "The music trickles and sort of meshes itself between all of us here," he said. The film's soundtrack includes songs performed by Bogart, West and indie artists such as The Donkeys, John Meeks and The Tree Ring.
Cretton, whose short film "Short Term 12" won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009, wrote and directed "Hipster." He said it was shot over 20 days and cost less than $1 million to make.
The film, which is screening in Sundance's Next section, was produced by Cretton, Ron Najor and Trevor Fernando. "Hipster" also features Alvaro Orlando, Brad William Henke, Tammy Minoff, Kandis Erickson and Lauren Coleman.
A P&I screening for "Hipster" was held Friday night and a source said the film has attracted interest from several buyers.
Paradigm is handling sales for the film, which next screens at the Redstone Cinema 7 on Sunday night.