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Review: ‘I Am Not A Hipster’

Indie Hit Comes Home

Destin Cretton's

Credit: Destin Cretton

Above: Destin Cretton's "I Am Not A Hipster."

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "I Am Not A Hipster."


The independent film “I Am Not A Hipster” was shot in San Diego, traveled to Sundance, and now returns home for a week run at the new Digital Gym Cinema starting today.

“I Am Not A Hipster” is an independent film set against the San Diego indie music scene. It was made by SDSU graduates Destin Cretton and Ron Najor, and premiered last January at Sundance. It’s proof that with a little ingenuity, some online fundraising, and a passion to create, you can make and distribute a movie. The success of the film makes me happy because I showed films by both Najor and Cretton at my Film School Confidential Student Showcase years ago and I have been following their progress ever since. Both filmmakers displayed talent from early on so it's no surprise that their persistence and dedication have paid off.

Cretton says "I Am Not A Hipster" a film made by and for the arts community.

"The main character is a singer songwriter, he performs I think six live songs in the movie and so it’s a very music centric movie and we feature I think seven San Diego local bands in the movie as well."

The film’s exquisitely shot, fluidly cut, and acted with a low key naturalism. It follows the main character through a week of his life when his sisters come to visit to spread their mom's ashes.

"You are thrown into the middle of the indie art scene in San Diego and the movie sort of evolves to a family drama that’s dealing with very universal themes of family, love, and loss, and how to deal with the loss of a loved one."

“I Am Not A Hipster” unfolds with a relaxed sense of realism. It also shows that you can make a movie outside the studio system and succeed.

The filmmakers will be present for a Q&A after screenings tonight and tomorrow night at the Digital Gym Cinema at 29th and El Cajon Boulevard. Their latest film, "Short Term 12," based on the short that won an award at Sundance in 2009, just screened at SXSW.

Companion viewing: "Once," "The Commitments," "The Sweet Hereafter"

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