Join us for a live post-film conversation with the co-director Michael Parks Randa, stars Shannon DeVido and Rickey Wilson, Jr. and producer Andrew Pilkington
Best Summer Ever
Film
Sundown Cinema Series

Best Summer Ever

co-presented by the Hop and Student Life
August 13

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

Song, dance and disability delight in this heart-warming new teen musical.

21/22 Hop Film

Best Summer Ever TRAILER | 2021


Tony and Sage (Rickey Wilson and Shannon DeVido, respectively) had the "best summer ever" after falling in love at dance camp. They part, unsure when they'll see each other again. A twist of fate relocates Sage to Tony's town, an unexpected reunion. Alas, the course of love doesn't run smooth, mostly because the school hopes Tony's football skills can break a 25-year curse and head cheerleader Beth (MuMu) wants the teen dream for herself. 
 
The story is familiar but what's novel is the cast, which is largely made up of actors with a range of physical and mental disabilities. These disabilities are never remarked upon, and disability doesn't figure into the plot. The effect of this inclusiveness is a feeling of warmth and camaraderie, aided by cameos from such A-list talent as Benjamin Bratt, Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal. With nods to Footloose and Grease, the original musical numbers contribute to the overall energy and enthusiasm. Representation matters, and in Best Summer Ever, it makes the movie come alive. D: Lauren Smitelli & Michael Parks Randa, US, 2020, 1h12m

This film will be presented with open captions.

After the movie, stick around for a live, post-film conversation with stars Shannon DeVido and Rickey Wilson, Jr., co-director Michael Parks Randa and producer Andrew Pilkington (ASL interpreters provided).

Produced by Vermont's Zeno Mountain Farm

"Absolutely joyful, a little subversive and wholly inclusive" 
—USA Today

 

Michael Parks Randa (Director, Executive Producer, Screenwriter, Editor) is a writer-director based in Los Angeles. Raised in Massachusetts where his parents founded a school for disabled individuals, Randa grew up with a unique perspective on the world around him. After a decade of directing music videos, Randa wrote and directed his feature debut in the form of an inclusive musical. https://www.parksranda.com

 

Shannon DeVido (Sage) is an accomplished actress, comedian and singer. She is best known for her roles on Hulu's Difficult People, Netflix's Insatiable, Comedy Central's Delco Proper, Law and Order: SVU, appearances on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and Sesame Street. She starred in the world premiere of Teenage Dick at the Public Theater, and Samuel D. Hunter's The Healing. She leads the cast of the film Best Summer Ever—the musical comedy is premiering at SXSW this year. http://www.shannondevido.com

 

Andrew Pilkington (Producer) is a producer/writer living in Manhattan. He has worked for award winning directors such as: Alex Gibney and Morgan Spurlock. He is a graduate of the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island where he won the Film Excellence Award in 2014. He produced and co-wrote the movie Best Summer Ever which is a feature musical starring actors with disabilities. It was selected into the SXSW Film Festival 2020 and awarded the Final Draft Screenwriter Award prize.

 

Rickey Wilson Jr was born in Fort Worth, TX. Growing up he played sports, and decided to divert his attention to acting his senior year of high school. He moved to NYC to study acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and now loves in Pasadena, CA. He has made co-star and guest appearances in "Modern Family," "This is Us," and Blumhouse's Hulu anthology series. Best Summer Ever has been nothing but a blessing in every way.

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