Pendance Film Festival 2022

Anchorage & Q&A with Scott Monahan and Dakota Loesch

Expired March 14, 2022 7:00 PM
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Two brothers attempt to drive a trunk full of opioids from Florida to Alaska to cash-in big in the Land of Gold. A split-second act of violence somewhere in the California desert derails their trip and sets them on a crash course with tragedy.

Director Biography - Scott Monahan

Scott Monahan is an international award-winning director and actor that started his career as a child actor in Tokyo. He studied theatre at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia, before relocating to Los Angeles in 2011. His first feature was the lead role in I Was A Teenage Wereskunk (Amazon Prime). Featured roles include Anger Management (FX), Bakers Dozen (Amazon Prime), Love Shot (Netflix, Gravitas Ventures), as well as a lead character on TURNT (Facebook Watch), Eating Cars (Post Production) and he stars as Jacob in Anchorage. He directed and starred in FILM:ONE, an award-nominated experimental short film. He was an Artistic Director of the international theatre company Play Collaborative Arts and is currently a company member with the immersive theatre company Ceaseless Fun. Anchorage is his feature film directorial debut.

Director Statement

I was born into a religious military family in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I spent time in Florida and Virginia before moving to Yokota Air Force base in Japan at the age of 10 and lived there until I was 18. Growing up in a foreign country within the gated compounds of a very structured and disciplined photocopy of America for so many years changed the way I saw the world, and how I would fit into it. When I returned to Virginia in 2006 for college I felt like a foreigner in my own country and after years of living under such strict rules and upbringing, my newfound freedom from that brought a harsh reality of the American criminal justice system and the opioid epidemic.

What started off as recreational experimentation led to finding hustles to make money in less than legal ways. I was in a tailspin but what pulled me out was redirecting all of my focus and energy into performance and the arts. I’m 32 now, and while that life is far behind me, I’m still grateful I was able to steer myself in the right direction. Here lies the current problem: pharmaceutical companies are destroying America by preying on Americans. Opioids are tearing apart families, killing people of all ages. Both my screenwriter Dakota Loesch and I have been personally affected by this opioid crisis. The same is true of so many of our family and friends, co-workers, and neighbors. This film is extremely personal to us because it’s a world that we both know all too well.

In 2010 alone, 85% of the nation's Oxycodone was prescribed in the state of Florida. This created a black market system that covered the entire nation. The legend went something like this: you could buy an oxycodone pill in Florida for $1 a pop at a pill mill and sell it in another state for $15, $20, or even $25. But If you could drive it all the way to Anchorage, Alaska? You could sell it for upwards of $250 per pill.

For my first feature film, I wanted to explore these issues within the country I love through the perspective of two characters trapped within its system. The intent was to show how this drug tears apart even the closest bonds of friendship and family, how this nation of hustle and money and capitalistic greed leaves destruction in its wake, and to explore toxic representations of masculinity between brothers and the violence within the world of men.

This film isn’t a glorification of drugs but it isn't a demonization of drug users either. What starts as a joy ride to the promised land turns into a journey to the heart of a family, the heart of addiction, and the true cost of the American Dream.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    81 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Scott Monahan
  • Screenwriter
    Dakota Loesch
  • Producer
    Dakota Loesch, Gia Rigoli, Ethan Seneker, Taylor Harrington
  • Executive Producer
    Scott Monahan, Chad Schultz
  • Cast
    Scott Monahan, Dakota Loesch, Christopher Corey Smith
  • Editor
    Spencer Showalter
  • Production Design
    Perry Powell
  • Sound Design
    Shaun Yee