Director: Jason Matzner
Screenwriters: Tom Willett

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Eighteen-year-old Audrey lives in Dreamland, a small cluster of mobile homes located somewhere in the middle of the vast, dusty desert of New Mexico. This tiny, sun-drenched oasis is also home to Audrey's best friend, Calista, who dreams of beauty pageants and love affairs while struggling with illness and fear of the future. Dependable, level-headed Audrey is equally uncertain about what the future holds. Surrounded by loved ones who need taking care of, including her devoted, agoraphobic father and the ethereal Calista, Audrey can't imagine a life away from the familiar open skies and languid pace of Dreamland. At the same time, her poetry reflects a deep longing for something more. The arrival of a teenage boy, spending a last summer with his family before college, awakens something in Audrey. Poised in the still, breathless moment between adolescence and adulthood, she must decide what sort of life she wants to lead.

Dreamland suggests that even in the wide-open spaces where the desert meets the sky, the human heart can feel constrained and confined. First-time feature filmmaker Jason Matzner has crafted a deeply felt drama that boasts strong performances all around, particularly from Agnes Bruckner; her portrayal of Audrey is one of the highlights of this visually stunning and emotionally charged film.

— Elizabeth Richardson

Screening Details

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