Human Interest

Film festival presents charming comedy 'mockumentary' feature in Tuesday series on Oct. 13

Winner of numerous Audipaper-heart-m153_rgbence Choice awards for Best Feature Film and a hit with critics around the world, “Paper Heart” makes its Sedona debut on Tuesday, Oct. 13. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. The film is being presented by the Sedona International Film Festival in this one-night-only special engagement as the October installment of its part of its popular Second Tuesday Cinema Series.

Half feature narrative comedy and half documentary, “Paper Heart” is a delightful and enjoyable journey into the concept of fairy-tale love. Does it really exist? Combining elements of documentary and traditional storytelling, reality and fantasy, the film brings a fresh perspective to the modern romance and redefines the classic love story.

Charlyne Yi does not believe in love.  Or so she says.  Well, at the very least, she doesn’t believe in fairy-tale love or the Hollywood mythology of love, and her own experiences have turned her into another modern-day skeptic.

“Paper Heart” follows Yi as she embarks on a quest across America to make a documentary about the one subject she doesn’t fully understand.  As she and her good friend (and director) Nick Jasenovec search for answers and advice about love, Yi talks with friends and strangers, scientists, bikers, romance novelists, and children.  They each offer diverse views on modern romance, as well as various answers to the age-old question: does true love really exist?

Then, shortly after filming begins, Yi meets a boy after her own heart: Michael Cera.  As their relationship develops on camera, her pursuit to discover the nature of love takes on a fresh new urgency.  She risks losing the person she finds closest to her heart.

Long fascinated by the intangible idea of love – and fundamentally not believing in “love at first sight” or any of that “Julia Roberts / English Patient / sobbing-in-the-rain stuff” – Yi had always dreamt of making a documentary about the subject.  She knew “true love” was something everybody was searching for, so it was great subject matter.  Plus, she found the people who actually believed in love endlessly fascinating – even though she herself thought it was all so much hot air.

Feeling passionate about it, she approached her good friend, director Nick Jasenovec, to aid her in bringing the idea to life, and the friends’ discussions became the seeds of what is now Paper Heart.  As their talks and ideas became plans and reality, their progress morphed Yi’s original documentary idea into something different, exciting and new.

In blending the narrative storyline, Yi and Jasenovec knew it would need an arc and structure, so they began writing a script that would support and complement the documentary sections.  In choosing the story, they felt it would be great to have Yi’s “character” meet a boy and possibly fall in love, so they began working on a relationship angle for the film.  They then compiled a list of the types of people they were interested in interviewing for the doc portion, hoping to find stories that would tie into or support the narrative.

Because they were blurring the lines, the filmmakers felt they also might be able to have fun with people’s expectations of what the movie actually was.

“We knew people might get muddled and think it was real,” says Yi.  “But there are credits.  There’s a ‘written by’ and ‘Nick is played by Jake.’”

“We found it exciting,” said Jasenovec.  “If you thought what you were watching was potentially real, you’d be more engaged in the story.  The actors are playing themselves, but it’s not them and it’s not the ‘real’ circumstances…although they’re similar circumstances.”

Overall, they were excited about presenting a love story an audience could believe in, and hopefully creating something even more effective than most traditional takes on the subject.

“I think one of the reasons the film comes across as realistic across the board, with lines blurred between documentary and narrative, is because Charlyne and Nick were not trying to fulfill any formula or manufacture a typically Hollywood film,” said producer Sandra Murillo. “This is definitely a film with an independent spirit and a unique perspective on love, and that’s the film’s charm.”

“Paper Heart” stars Michael Cera, who has become one of the most sought after actors in the business.  After garnering major critical acclaim for his portrayal of George-Michael Bluth in the Emmy Award-winning series Arrested Development, Michael quickly found himself amongst the young comedy elite when Judd Apatow cast him as the lead in the hit film Superbad.  The film nabbed the top box office gross and quickly became one of the most talked about films of 2007.  On the heels of Superbad, Cera co-starred in the Oscar®-nominated Juno opposite Ellen Page and former Arrested Development co-star Jason Bateman.  Most recently Cera starred in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

The title sponsor for the Sedona premiere is Art for Sedona’s Sake, presented by Thom Stanley. It is co-sponsored by Vora Financial and is also made possible by grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Sedona.

“Paper Heart” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $8 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177. For more information, visit:

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