You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Antonio Campos

'Afterschool' finds teen wrestling with adolescence

Antonio Campos admits that anyone who watches “Afterschool,” which premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section last year, might assume that his intensely visual and disturbing film involving a 10th-grader armed with a video camera is autobiographical. “It is, in a way,” Campos says, “but I wasn’t in a video class nor did I ever discover two girls dead of drug overdoses like he does.”

 The film is the writer-director’s long-gestating response to the emotions and experiences he had in the aftermath of Sept. 11 during his senior year in high school, which began with the death of a friend’s father in one of the Twin Towers and ended with another friend dying in a freak accident in Amsterdam.

“It was weird struggling with ideas of mortality at that age, but while they felt close, at the same time I was disconnected. I think that I reinterpreted this in film terms by capturing emotions, but with a certain visual distance on events,” he says.

With a Brazilian-born journalist father who encouraged the family to watch foreign and indie films and an Italian-American mother whose taste tended toward classical Hollywood, Campos thinks he received “the perfect balance of tastes and influences.” At 13, he lied about his age and told everyone he was 16 in order to make the cutoff for the New York Film Academy’s teen program, where he wrote his first short film, “Puberty.”

The budding helmer’s string of 14 shorts was capped with his formally inventive “Buy It Now,” which premiered in CineVegas in 2005 and won best short in Cannes’ Cinefondation contest, earning Campos a coveted scholarship to the French festival’s annual artists’ residence program.

“Tony started making films when most of us were fooling around on our skateboards,” says producing partner and fellow director Sean Durkin, who (with Campos and producer Josh Mond), formed Borderline Films soon after the trio met at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. “I think that’s why he has such a strong artistic voice at an early age.”

Mond adds, “Tony has an honesty as a director and collaborator that most people can’t come close to, and he can express it.”

 After serving as producer on Durkin’s first feature, provisionally titled “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and now in pre-production, Campos plans to shoot his next film, “Momma,” about a boy and his mother, near the end of 2009.

Age: 25

Home base: New York

Inspired by: Stanley Kubrick. “For me, he reached a place in cinema that no other filmmaker has managed,” Campos says.

Rep: Agent: David Flynn and Rich Klubeck at UTA; manager: Melissa Breaux at Washington Square Arts

More Film

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content