Institute History


"Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. In between the lumber yards and the factories, the pow wows and the Bigfoot sightings, lies a clandestine wealth as enormous as Mount Baker which you see behind me now," declares Robin Leach, television host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, dressed in a top of the line ski suit. Fifteen-year-old Henrietta (Henri) sits in a dilapidated EZ-Boy chair and stares at the screen, fixated. She is daughter to Kate, single mother of two, who is struggling to make ends meet working in an Avon makeup factory. Kate's new job with Avon and her new love, a poker dealer at the Lummi Nation casino, have given her a second chance in life, and she wants more than anything to see her daughters happy, especially her eldest, Henri.

Henri, confusing success with self-worth, material possessions with happiness, tries to escape her family by passing as a rich girl and concocting a false identity in the exclusive neighborhood of Edgemoore. She befriends an affluent yet troubled Edgemoore family, the Turlys. Falling for Chat Turly, Henri refuses to see that money won't solve all problems. In the Turly home everything equates to a dollar value, even family members. "Every hair on your head, every drop of your piss is damn near worth one hundred of my dollars," explains Mr. Turly to his son after being "cheated by Indians" at the casino.

Kate and Henri's paths cross when Kate finds unprecedented success selling Avon products in Edgemoore. Mrs. Turly, an agoraphobic, latches on to Kate, making Kate her Avon representative and sole beauty consultant. In danger of being exposed, Henri's charade becomes more elaborate, involving other people in the town, until one night when Henri must decide whether to own up or put her family's well being at risk.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]