On the surface, the story of First Love is a story of twins. More specifically, the tale of a famous actress and her twin brother, who tries to exploit his sister’s fame for his own fortune. As we dig deeper we come to learn the story of First Love is a story of connection, of two people who are lost. It so happens: being lost is what connects them. What makes them found, so to speak is that they have a twin; an equal. Therefore, they are never really lost. They are united through life whether they like it or not. Family is the ultimate human connection. A connection we can’t shake even if we try to.
I set out to make a movie about disparate people connecting. Of people seeking meaning and coming up short. I like to joke that instead of making a coming of age film or a finding yourself film. I made a not finding yourself movie. The not coming of age story.
Why this movie, why now? Because there is a dearth of them. In the age of super hero laden tent poles we so rarely get a chance to see people be human and go through it on the big screen, like we do in our own lives. What if we just can watch someone as they really are with no judgement. An honest portrayal of humans, so that every line of dialog, every moment feels truthful and fully realized. Annie Heise as Rebecca and Aaron Costa Ganis as Matthew were able to create two broken characters that are genuinely hurting.
In the making of this film, I cultivated my own voice and style. Intimate and thoughtful, mysterious and poetic. To continue the tradition of a long line of filmmakers who have come before me as keen observers of life: Antonioni, Akerman, Linklater, Reichardt, to name a few. That have set me on this great road of telling my story the way I want to tell it not how other’s expect it to be told. My mantra as a filmmaker can be best summed up by this Bob Dylan lyric: And I’ll tell it, and speak it, and think it, and breathe it. But I’ll know my song well before I start singing. I am being given the opportunity to show my film to millions of people, and I hope to reflect the private moments of their lives in the public space, so to give those who are lost a picture, to let them know they are not alone.