We are thrilled to be closing the 2018 festival with the triumphant latest feature from UNCSA alum Brett Haley. Brett has been a guest at RiverRun with both of his last two films, I’ll See you in My Dreams in 2015 and last year with The Hero. In Hearts Beat Loud Haley once again tackles a character who is having a difficult time adjusting to uncertainty and change. As single dad Frank (Nick Offerman) prepares to send his daughter Sam off to UCLA, he also reluctantly realizes he has to accept that his own recordstore business is failing. Hoping to stay connected with his daughter through their shared love of music, he urges her to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into an actual band. Channeling Sam’s resistance into a band name, they unexpectedly find We’re Not a Band’s first song turning into a minor hit, and they use their songwriting efforts to work through their feelings about the life changes each of them faces.

When Haley was at RiverRun last year, this film was still just an idea with only some of the cast attached and he was hoping to start shooting that summer. It is a pretty remarkable feat that in such a short period of time he shot, edited and premiered what ended up being an incredibly nuanced film featuring the star power of Nick Offerman, Toni Collette and even featuring small roles by the awesome Ted Danson and Blythe Danner. What makes this film even more remarkable is the perfectly cast newcomer Kiersey Clemmons, who grounds the film with her portrayal of Sam and draws the audience in with her incredible vocal work. We promise this heartwarming, lovely musical will have you singing and smiling for weeks after the Festival wraps!

Director Brett Haley to be in attendance for screening!

Film generously sponsored by: