Asheville: The Movie changes name, gets into Sundance

Three years in the making, Anywhere, U.S.A, formerly known as Asheville: The Movie, will premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

The creation of director Chusy Haney-Jardine and his wife Jennifer MacDonald, Anywhere, U.S.A. has been in the works for some time. An announcement on the film’s Web site reads: “We’re all chuffed up here in Asheville, North Carolina where the film was shot in its entirety. We wanted to thank all the wonderful people, artists, musicians and businesses from our beautiful home town that helped this little film transcend itself, including our spectacular cast, most of whom had never set foot before a camera. Thanks to all of you who said ‘yes.’ Perversely, thanks to all of you who said ‘no.’”

That statement (complete with musical lead-in), is currently the entirety of the site’s content. The official description of the movie, from Sundance, reads: “Told in three segments ranging from satirical to tragic, the film is a wildly original look at American manners, prejudices, and family dynamics.” The only cast member listed is Perla Haney-Jardine. Sundance takes place Jan. 17 to 28 in Park City, Utah.

— David Forbes, staff writer


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24 thoughts on “Asheville: The Movie changes name, gets into Sundance

  1. Nothing quite says “Asheville” like “Anywhere, USA.” I mean, when I think generic, anywhere towns, I definitely think of a tourism-driven arts community in the mountains. (Then again, I haven’t seen the film, and they may have downplayed all that stuff.)

    Anyone else puzzled by this name change?

  2. I’m puzzled about why people even care. I’m glad they changed the name. Asheville isn’t even a real town to most people anymore; it’s a brand name, and idea.

    Seriously, the entire venture was to sell t-shirts and to market an idea. Who cares? I’ve lived here thirty years and I don’t need a t-shirt or a movie to validate my living here.

  3. Another cast member would be, ummmmm, me.

    And I haven’t gotten the scoop on the name change yet, but I will.

  4. Kent Priestley

    Say what you will, but I’m holding out for “Oteen: The Movie.”

  5. Coming ths summer: “Oteen: The Movie,” a heartbreaking tale of one man’s journey down South Tunnel Road in search of the American Dream. Here’s a sample …

    Man: Have you seen the American Dream?

    Older Man: I think it’s past the library, but If you’ve get as far as the V.A., you’ve gone a little too far.

    Young Woman: Take me with you!

    Man: Can’t do it, babe. I have to follow this lonely road … alone.

  6. It’s too bad that those creepy old building are no longer across from the VA. They could have put to good use.


  7. Mica Mouse

    I had the pleaseure of briefly working with Chusy and Jennifer when they first began casting the film about 3 years ago and am thrilled for them. I am really looking forward to seeing their work. Curious about the name change though, and I would love to know more about the reasoning behind that…

  8. Asheville: The Marketing Tool

    People from Asheville made this movie possible with their cash, their homes, their services, their acting, their stuff. My theory is that the movie was named after Asheville to build community support and the name was changed to give it international appeal.

  9. Ken Hanke

    I don’t know why the title was changed, but I’ve heard the idea that calling it ASHEVILLE limited its appeal on a broader level. OK, but then how do you explain FARGO?

  10. adam strange

    i’m also a cast member……
    i hope i made it in the final cut…..

    I like the new name, Asheville isn’t the “Freak” capitol is was when this film was written.
    (the freaks can’t afford the rent)

  11. Shane-O

    Congratulations Jen and Chusy….and to all the folks who made this possible… think, a little movie about the microcosm of A’ville’s universal themes showing at the superbowl of film festivals…..SWEEET!

  12. “I like the new name, Asheville isn’t the “Freak” capitol is was when this film was written.
    (the freaks can’t afford the rent)”

    I’ve been here for awhile now, and I say tell you that I’ve met the freakiest people ever over the past year or two.

    Fans of SLACKER learned that it was filmed in Austin. If this movie is any kind of a hit they will figure out that it’s Asheville. That is, if the movie is any good!

    Congrats to all those involved. Local filmmakers are raising the bar this year.


  13. It’s an amazing film, marc. I’ve seen a good bit of the footage, but I’ve promised not to say a word about the film, other than it rocks, until it’s released.

  14. Marc: “Fans of SLACKER learned that it was filmed in Austin. If this movie is any kind of a hit they will figure out that it’s Asheville.”

    True, but only because SLACKER went out of its way to showcase Austin’s landmarks and history. It’s a film about the city and the kind of people who lived there at the time. Not having seen ANYWHERE, U.S.A., I can’t say the same about it, but the title hints that it’s not about any specific place.

    But, since I’m largely ignorant of the film’s content, I could be completely wrong. Maybe it’s about the “microcosm” side of the city that Shane-O hints at.

    Does anyone know which local landmarks and trends, if any, appear in the final version of the film? I’d be curious to know exactly how grounded in local themes the film really is, particularly given its former title.

  15. Ken Hanke

    I haven’t seen the movie. I was actually in a scene that was shot early on, but which I’m sure didn’t make it into the movie as it stands. Even at that, I had only the sketchiest idea what the movie was actually about. That’s to say I knew my scene and nothing more. Near as I could tell I was a pretentious movie fan or critic (that was a stretch) being moved to tears by an hysterically bad faux French movie with dialogue about “haricots vert” and “lapin.”

    That said, I think a lot of the point in all this is being missed. The real point here is that this is — so far as I’m aware — the first completely homegrown film to make it into Sundance. However anyone feels about its literal connection to Asheville or lack thereof, that’s a pretty major accomplishment for local filmmaking.

  16. Steve,
    There are lots of local landmarks in the film–from mountain shots to scenes set in places most of us will recognize.

    My scene was shot inside Table restaurant.

  17. Rupert Pupkin

    Hey Marc (Orbit DVD)–
    I don’t know when you last came to Oteen, but those creepy old buildings across from the VA haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve lived here for several years now, and the most they’ve done in that time is throw up a chain link fence around them. To keep bums from huffing asbestos? Who knows?

    I expect the buildings will eventually be put to good use as the set of Saw 12. And about as many people will end up seeing that as “Anywhere the Movie” or whatever it’s called.

  18. “Hey Marc (Orbit DVD)–
    I don’t know when you last came to Oteen, but those creepy old buildings across from the VA haven’t gone anywhere.”

    Maybe we’re talking about different creepy buildings. I swear that a set of them were demolished for newer ones. I haven’t driven down that road in about 7 years, so I could be wrong.

    Unfortunately, SAW 12 is already in production to be shot back to back to back to back with SAWs 5 – 11.


  19. ARCuhTEK

    Hey this is great news. I knew the crew and some of the cast. I know Jennifer and Chusy, and one of the stories that did make the cut, is filmed at my home. Every single one of these people I met were amazingly nice, very polite and thoughtful. The experience could not have been better.

    Along the way, I learned that almost no one got paid to do this work, much of it was artistic vision, passion for the art, love of the game stuff. Sure someone stands to make some money in the long run, but that is still an unknown I am sure. Success is a wait and see game. They have definitely waited, not lets see?

    How many times have you dreamed of something, then REALLY followed it through for 3-4 years, never letting up, with no pay and then made the finish line.

    I hope that they get more than they deserve. They DESERVE it. I am native of Asheville, and I am proud of this effort, mainly because of basic human nature. Who cares about marketing, t-shirts….or WHY? Just be happy for someone for once in your life!

  20. “How many times have you dreamed of something, then REALLY followed it through for 3-4 years, never letting up, with no pay and then made the finish line.”

    Sounds like my life right now!


  21. As narrator in the film, Anywhere, USA, I am delighted to play a role in this Sundance 2008 selection.

    I actually began with the film over three years ago, before I hosted VIRATO LIVE! Saturdays, 10AM-1PM on 880 AM The Revolution.

    As for the name change, remember Thomas Wolf? Well, Anywhere, USA is likely to ruffle some featers. Maybe not as much as Cecil Boswell, but why take a chance. Chusy is a brillant man!


  22. Snarko the Clown

    Swami Viagra sez: “As for the name change, remember Thomas Wolf?”

    Yeah..he changed his name..he put an “e” on the end.

  23. steve B.

    hey marc (orbit)

    when i said asheville wasn’t the freak capitol it was a few years ago, i didn’t say we didn’t have any freaks.
    we got freaks, but not as many as we used to have. I will take you on a driving tour of freak houses that are now renovated and full of happy yuppie families.

    things have changed.
    (and shopping at greenlife don’t make a person a freak)

  24. jansross

    I know these people have spent many long days and nights working on this movie, and I feel it’s going to be a smashing hit!
    Good Work FREAKS !

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