Dern is set to receive an AFI Tribute on Nov. 11 at the AFI Festival. He received the lead actor award at Cannes for his role in “Nebraska.”
“I created Publicly Private because I missed movies about the people,” Dern said. “Publicly Private is a name that says what it means. We want to work with actors, writers and filmmakers who have the ability to start from their heart and therefore, publicly expose their hearts to audiences in all mediums. In other words, every project will involve essences of the human condition and why we make the choices we make, particularly in times of crisis.”
Publicly Private’s first production will be “Coast,” which is directed by AFI graduate Stephanie Martin and shot entirely on location in the coastal farming town of Santa Maria, Calif. The story follows a troubled 15-year-old girl who struggles with the breakdown of her family and dealing with small town life.
“Young women and ethnicity are not seen enough on the big screen,” Dern said. “There are stories out there that need to be told for a newer America.”
Martin has worked on “World War Z” and “Eat, Pray, Love.” Her short film “Wild Horses” won Best Short at The Palms Springs Film Festival.
Both “Nebraska” and “Wild Horses” are being screened during the AFI Fest.