One of the biggest word-of-mouth buzz hits of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Nanette Burstein's American Teen follows a handful of high school students in Indiana for 10 months; the resulting documentary somehow has the look and feel of a Hollywood-manufactured piece of teen fiction, with stylish and surreal animated sequences -- and still offers a touching, bold, you-are-there window into the state of adolescence in America. Paramount Vantage purchased the documentary's rights only a few days ago, but when the director met Cinematical, it looked as if her schedule hadn't gotten any less harried. Asked if she has a future project in mind, Burstein laughs ruefully: "The next thing I'd like to do is sleep for a really long time." Burstein spoke with Cinematical about how she came to be in Indiana, the media-savvy of today's kids, the sequences she had to lose from her original "8 hour cut," and much more.


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