November 30, 2012 | 4:00 PM
Roman Coppola and The Directors Bureau have assembled an incredibly talented group of filmmakers for the short film series, Four Stories. Intel and W Hotels are advancing a new generation of filmmakers in this exciting collaboration by giving young screenwriters a chance to make films with some of the most talented up-and-coming directors working today.
Amy Jacobowitz's winning screenplay was matched up with Lee Toland Krieger, a director who is becoming known as an indie auteur. Amy and Lee's film Modern/Love is a bittersweet love story about an Internet romance come to life. Two young people forge a bicoastal emotional connection on their Intel-inspired Ultrabooks™, but when they finally meet at the hip and exotic W Doha, will sparks fly?
It's a perfect story for Lee to take on. His 2011 feature, Celeste & Jesse Forever, made a huge impression when it was released earlier this year. The film's principle cast was a dream team of hip, likable actors. Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg star as a couple so perfectly matched that even the breakup of their marriage is a mutually supportive and uplifting experience. Over time, however, the ties that bind their separation fray, and the realness of love lost overcomes their bond.
The emotional honesty of the film captured the attention of audiences and critics alike. As Peter Travers from Rolling Stone wrote in his review, "The movie's willingness to replace clichés with painful truths" set it apart from the goopy sentimentality of most romantic comedies. "It's irresistible," Travers concludes.
Lee has been portraying honest emotional relationships since his feature debut back in 2006. December Ends tells a difficult story about loss and survival without over-sentimentalization. Lee's 2009 feature, The Vicious Kind, brought Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott into a Thanksgiving-themed family imbroglio. Critics mentioned how despite the heavily dramatic circumstances, Lee found "unique, surprising, and memorable" ways to tell a story in a genre that's heavily tread upon.
Modern/Love, on the other hand, is a story of the moment — a burgeoning genre of film about people who find connections even though they are far away from each other. In a sense, this short film shows how technology and film complement each other, not just in a technical sense, but thematically as well. As young people find themselves forging human connections through technology, filmmakers are finding new venues to tell human stories.
Check back for behind-the-scenes footage from Doha featuring interviews with both Lee Toland Krieger and contest winner Amy Jacobowitz.