NY Festival Next for Harbaugh’s Film

Russ Harbaugh ’06 is taking his master’s degree thesis project, Rolling on the Floor Laughing, from the Sundance Film Festival to the New Directors/New Films Festival in New York City.

The festival is a joint project between New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Lincoln Center. Harbaugh’s film will be shown Saturday, Mar. 31, at the Museum, and April 1 at the Lincoln Center.

This prestigious festival follows Harbaugh’s film showing as one of 32 American shorts at the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 19-29, in Park City, Utah.

Harbaugh was a Wabash English major and All-American quarterback at Wabash. He then earned his master’s at Columbia University.

The film was premiered on the Wabash College campus on April 23, 2011.

“We shot the film in Indiana, in the home where I grew up, from a script that began merely as a conversation between a loving mother (mine) and her curious, needling son (me),” Harbaugh said prior to the Wabash screening. “It’s a project inspired by films with modern, revisionist instincts toward autobiography — films like Maurice Pialat’s We Will Not Grow Old Together — films that wrestle with reality while abiding the structures of fiction.”

Harbaugh gave a brief description of his film: “Rolling on the Floor Laughing is the story of a love-triangle between a middle-aged widow, a new lover in from out of town, and the woman’s grown sons with whom she shares a candid, sometimes unsettling intimacy. The story takes place over the course of a birthday weekend, the night before and the day of a party.”

Several Wabash College alums and friends of the College helped fund Rolling on the Floor Laughing.

The New Directors/New Films Festival features 29 films and 12 short films from 28 countries. It’s the 41st year for the festival.