My video interview with Alex Shaffer (“Win Win”) of “The Lifeguard” at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

The highly-anticipated World Premiere of The Lifeguard took place on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival. The sold-out screening was held at the intimate Library Centre Theatre in Park City, Utah. The film was a selection in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

Flashback to Sundance 2011...One of the decade's most celebrated independent films, Win Win premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and went on to play SXSW in March 2011. I attended that screening (see my photos of the Q&A) and interviewed star Alex Shaffer, who was 16 and the New Jersey state high school wrestling champion at the time the film was shot (hear the interview). I then selected Win Win as one of my SXSW Top 5 and it went on to make my Top 10 of 2011.

Following the SXSW premiere, Alex was selected as the #1 Rising Star of 2011 by Popcorn N Roses. The annual Rising Stars Awards are presented every Fourth of July, honoring the Top 10 male and female up-and-coming young performers of the year. Popcorn N Roses is the entertainment web group that includes my site IndieFilmSpotlight.

Alex was not able to receive his award in person at the time. So when his latest film, The Lifeguard, was set to premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival I made sure to set aside some time to sit down with Alex for an extended interview, during which I presented him with his certificate.

Here is the 14-minute video interview. Now 19, Alex was thrilled at the honor -- as you'll see. There are a few glitches in the first minute due to area alien activity but it clears up after that.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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  • Author: Larry Richman
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