Tribeca ’09: The Director and Star of Vegas


Beginning our series of interviews from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, sat down with director Amir Naderi and actress Nancy La Scala, director and star of one of the film’s generating a bit of buzz, Vegas: Based on a True Story.

Set in the desert area surrounding Las Vegas, it’s a drama about a family trying to hold things together financially despite the temptation of the nearby casinos. When they learn there might be a briefcase containing a million dollars buried on their property, it begins to tear the family apart as they start digging up their beautiful landscaped yard in search of it.

Naderi is an Iranian filmmaker who has been living and working in the United States for over 20 years, most notably with a trio of New York movies that includes Manhattan by Numbers. “Vegas” is a film done in a similar naturalistic style as other film festival favorites like Lance Hammer’s Ballast, Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy or the works of Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo), but it’s the quality of the acting and material which sets it apart. The movie stars Mark Greenfield as Eddie, the head of the household who has been struggling with his own gambling problem, his more practical wife Tracy (La Scala) and Zach Thomas as their son Eddie. The film is a breakthrough for all three actors in terms of showing off what they can do when faced with such strong dramatic material.

Vegas: Based on a True Story will play two more times in the festival, on Thursday April 30 and Friday May 1. Check the Official Guide for details. Thanks to the Direct TV Tribeca Press Center for allowing us to use their space for this interview.