For Greensburg-raised Sujata Day, her latest film Definition, Please
was a passion project. She filmed it here in the Pittsburgh area and included an almost-exclusively Asian American cast to authentically showcase her upbringing. The film is about a Scripps Spelling Bee champion whose adult life didn’t pan out the way people might have expected, and how the lead character (played by Day) is navigating family struggles, career ambivalence, and her community while living in Southwestern Pennsylvania
Day, who is known for her role in HBO's Insecure
, spoke to Pittsburgh City Paper
about her film in September
, and she said she created the film to showcase a story Hollywood is hesitant to tell, one that is centered around her and other Asian-Americans’ experiences in places like Pittsburgh
And starting today, Pittsburghers can finally set their eyes on Definition, Please
as it is part of the Film Pittsburgh Fall Festival
. The digital film fest runs through Nov. 22 and includes 30 feature films and 137 shorts. Films can be viewed on-demand on the Film Pittsburgh website.
Day is ecstatic for Pittsburghers, her family, and her friends to be able to watch the film through a Pittsburgh film festival. Digital film festivals usually have restrictions that only allow people in respected areas to watch online. She says the making of Definition, Please
in her hometown of Greensburg was a “labor of love.”
“Every day, we felt incredible support from the Greensburg community and surrounding areas,” says Day. “I felt so much love for the town I grew up in, and I always have. Premiering Definition, Please
at Film Pittsburgh Fall Festival is special because it feels like coming home.”
Locals, especially those who live in Westmoreland County and eastern Allegheny County, should expect some of their favorite locales to make appearances in Definition, Please
. Day says they shot at Patel Brothers grocery store in Monroeville as well as Stage Right! performing arts school and the Palace Theatre in Greensburg. Day also used her childhood home as a main set. A lot of locals became extras in the film.
In addition to Definition, Please
, Pittsburgh film buffs can enjoy a slew of films and documentaries this month. Beethoven in Beijing
is a documentary about the resurgence of classical music in China and co-directed by former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
reporter Jennifer Lin. The Crossing
is a Norwegian scripted movie about children fleeing during the Holocaust.
More details on how to purchase tickets and a list of all the films and shorts playing at Film Pittsburgh Fall Festival can be found at filmpittsburgh.org