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HomeInterviewsSXSW Exclusive Video Interview: Director Luke Gilford on ‘National Anthem’

SXSW Exclusive Video Interview: Director Luke Gilford on ‘National Anthem’

Check out more of our video interviews on our YouTube channel.

Luke Gilford is not a classically trained filmmaker, but he has worked extensively as a photographer. His series National Anthem looks at the International Gay Rodeo Association, an organization that honors the classic tenets of American rodeo but celebrates rather than rejects diversity. Now, Gilford is making his feature directorial debut with a film version of National Anthem.

I had the chance to speak with Gilford about his own background and inspiration for the photography series and films, and his experience of getting to know America’s queer rodeo.

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He also discussed finding stars Charlie Plummer, Eve Lindley, and Mason Alexander Park.

You can watch the video above, and read below for an official summary and where to watch.

National Anthem
Charlie Plummer in National Anthem. Photo courtesy of SXSW

Film summary:

Dylan (Charlie Plummer) lives an isolated life of routine in rural New Mexico, working odd construction jobs to help support his little brother and alcoholic mother. When he accepts a gig working at the House of Splendor, a homestead built by a community of queer rodeo performers and ranchers, the indefinable magic of an untamed America unfolds before him. Finding space to explore and discover himself, he becomes entwined in the life of Sky (Eve Lindley), a talented barrel racer and free spirit.

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While working together in the breathtaking expanse of the Southwest, they contend with the undeniable forces of nature, family, and love.

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Check out more of Abe Friedtanzer’s articles.

National Anthem makes its world premiere in the Narrative Spotlight section at the SXSW Film Festival.

Abe Friedtanzer
Abe Friedtanzer
Abe Friedtanzer is a film and TV enthusiast who spent most of the past fifteen years in New York City. He has been the editor of and since 2007, and has been predicting the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards since he was allowed to stay up late enough to watch them. He has attended numerous film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW, and is a contributing writer for The Film Experience, Awards Radar, and AwardsWatch.


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