On June 5th, 2018 it was announced that Disney would be adapting New York Times Best Selling Author Jerry Spinelli’s novel “Stargirl” for the launch of their late 2019 direct-to-consumer streaming service (Disney+) and further that singer/songwriter, and Columbia recording artist, Grace VanderWaal had been cast in the title role.

VanderVault: The Grace VanderWaal Digital Archive, a fan-operated group dedicated to the preservation of Grace VanderWaal media and the chronicling of her career, presents this special edition of “The VanderVault Times” that focuses on the Stargirl film and the novel upon which it is based.

We hope you enjoy this “living” series of VanderVault orginal articles, interviews and profiles of the cast & crew involved in the production of “Stargirl”. Please bookmark and visit this page often as the number of articles throughout the year will continue to grow as more information regarding this film is released.

TRAILER

INTERVIEWS

PROFILES

CAST

CREW

CAST

CREW

NEWS ARTICLES

Disney+ Releases First "Stargirl" Trailer Starring Grace VanderWaal
Teen Vogue
By Allie Gemmill | Jan 16, 2020

This week, Disney+ unveiled the first trailer for Stargirl starring Grace VanderWaal. The winner of the 11th season of America’s Got Talent maybe be making her acting debut with this gorgeous-looking new movie, but you best believe Grace seems to be performing like a pro.

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‘AGT’ Winner Grace VanderWaal Nabs Her First Acting Role In New Disney+ Film ‘Stargirl’
ET Canada
By Alyssa Croezen | Jan 15, 2020

The coming-of-age story based on Jerry Spinelli’s young-adult novel will follow the relationship between the two high schoolers and how Stargirl’s unconventional ways change how they see themselves and each other.

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Exclusive STARGIRL Secret Set Visit and Disney+ Photos
Finding Debra
By findingdebra | Jan 15, 2020

The young girl who stole America’s heart and won ‘America’s Got Talent’ years ago is Stargirl. I mean that in the literal sense. Yes, she’s the actress in her first starring role, but the very essence of Grace VanderWaal is exactly who I imagine Stargirl to be.

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First ‘Stargirl’ Trailer Teases Grace VanderWaal’s Film Debut in the Disney+ Movie
Collider
By David Trumbore | Jan 15, 2020

Stargirl from Disney+ is a tender and offbeat coming-of-age story based on the critically-acclaimed, New York Times’ best-selling young adult novel about an unassuming high schooler who finds himself inexplicably drawn to the free-spirited new girl, whose unconventional ways change how they see themselves…and their world.

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Stargirl trailer from Disney+ gives an America's Got Talent winner her first movie role
Entertainment Weekly
By Nick Romano | Jan 15, 2020

With the growth of social media, there’s the strongest force to conform more than ever, more than ever, ever, ever,’ VanderWaal told EW. ‘All young people feel that. I’ve felt that because I’m not the standard at the moment and it’s really, really important for everyone to know that if we were all supposed to be the same, we would be the same. We’re different for a reason and I don’t know why we would change that because that’s such a cool blessing.’

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Exclusive first look at Disney+'s Stargirl adaptation reveals Grace VanderWaal in her debut role
Entertainment Weekly
By Sydney Bucksbaum | Jan 14, 2020

(…) But VanderWaal faced her fears to bring Stargirl to life, knowing that the message of staying true to yourself and celebrating your differences rather than trying to hide them was important for young people to see as eccentric and colorful Stargirl moves to Mica, Ariz., and inspires a revolution of school spirit at her new school.

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Grace VanderWaal Is Growing Up—But Not Too Quickly
Vanity Fair
By Josh Duboff | May 23, 2019

When it comes to acting, though, VanderWaal calls the whole thing ‘nerve-racking,’ and says she is already feeling a certain anxiety about taking on a book adaptation with as many existing fans as Stargirl. ‘It’s super pressuring, because I know also how people are with books. They want it to be like [how they were imagining], so I’m like, ‘What if I’m not like Stargirl?”

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Rob Simonsen Scoring Julia Hart’s Disney+ Movie ‘Stargirl’
Film Music Reporter
By filmmusicreporter | May 8, 2019

Rob Simonsen (Love, Simon, Nerve, Foxcatcher, The Upside, (500) Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now) is reuniting with director Julia Hart on the upcoming Disney+ original movie Stargirl. The film is based on Jerry Spinelli’s best-selling YA novel and stars Grace VanderWaal in the title role, alongside Graham Verchere, Giancarlo Esposito, Karan Brar, Darby Stanchfield and Maximiliano Hernandez.

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Teen sensation Grace VanderWaal opens up about songwriting struggles in new single 'Stray'
USA TODAY
By Carly Mallenbaum | Feb 22, 2019

I was in a play once when I was 8 or 9, but making a movie is pretty eye-opening. When I’m watching a movie now, I see things and know how they made it. After every take, they would take pictures of me and my co-star (for continuity). Now every time I watch a movie, I’ll see someone’s necklace pop from inside of their shirt to the outside, or their ponytail move.

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Grace VanderWaal Says Filming ‘Stargirl’ was ‘Life Changing’
Tigerbeat
By Ali Booth | Jan 26, 2019

During a recent interview, Grace gushed about filming the flick, the closer-than-can-be friends she met on set, and even teased the possibility of a sequel: ‘I was so scared and so nervous…It sounds so overdramatic when I say this but it literally changed my life. I came out a different person! And I miss everybody from the cast so much…I can’t wait for a sequel now!’

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Inspired by her Ukulele, Grace VanderWaal’s Star is on the Rise
Ukulele
By Greg Olwell | Jan 17, 2019

The main thing that would make [acting] different [from making music] is that when you’re acting, you’re pretending. But I’m not an actor and I don’t know how to act, so I’ve been trying to connect with the lines in my personal way. It’s the same with singing—you need to connect with the lyrics and if you don’t, it’s going to be a bad performance.

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Grace VanderWaal Talks Being Inspired by Ariana Grande, 'Stargirl,' New Music at WIM 2018: Watch
Billboard
By Rebecca Schiller | Dec 7, 2018

Asked about her experience filming the Disney movie Stargirl, VanderWaal reveals that she was so scared and nervous about it at first, but that it genuinely changed her life. ‘I actually came out a different person and I miss everyone from the cast so much,’ she says. (…) Asked if there are plans for a sequel, the singer replies, ‘I don’t know anything, but there’s a second book, so watch the movie, and then there might be a sequel!’

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Disney+ ‘Stargirl’ Movie Wraps Filming
What’s On Disney Plus
By Roger Palmer | Nov 21, 2018

Earlier this year, Disney announced a new live action movie, Stargirl, which stars 14 year old, Grace VanderWaal, who preivously won America’s Got Talent for singing and playing the ukulele. This will be her first acting role and filming has now wrapped on the movie, which will be coming to Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+.

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Now Casting: Upcoming Disney Film ‘Stargirl’ Needs Actors to Play Students + 3 More Gigs
Backstage
By Ashley Steves | Nov 8, 2018

Stargirl,’ a feature film starring Grace VanderWaal and produced by Walt Disney Pictures for its upcoming streaming service, continues background casting. Talent, aged 18–25, is wanted to portray students attending Winterball. The scenes will shoot on Nov. 13–15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Grace VanderWaal Reveals What Fans Can Really Expect From Her New 'Stargirl' Movie
Forbes
By Isis Briones | Oct 23, 2018

‘I’m so excited about Stargirl!! Expect only the best and I believe there will be a few tunes from the movie. (…) Graham’s great and very talented. I’m also so happy that he’s Leo. We’re both on top of the world about filming the movie.’

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Now Casting: Disney Feature ‘Stargirl’ Needs Actors to Play Football Players and Marching Band Members + 3 More Gigs
Backstage
By Ashley Steves | Oct 12, 2018

Walt Disney Pictures and Sande Alessi Casting are casting ‘Stargirl,’ a feature film produced by Walt Disney Pictures for Disney’s upcoming streaming service, starring Grace VanderWaal and Graham Verchere. Talent, aged 18–23, is wanted to portray high school football players and marching band members in background roles.

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Grace VanderWaal Talks 'Stargirl,' Fender Collab and 'AGT' Advice
POPCRUSH
By POPCRUSH | Oct 12, 2018

(…) I’m actually leaving tonight for New Mexico. I’m going to be there filming for ten weeks. I’m going to start pre-production the day after tomorrow, and I’m so nervous but so excited. I’ve been acting out my lines in the shower while washing my hair, like, ‘Leo!’ I’m so excited, and I’m so scared, but I definitely think it’s gonna be an amazing experience.

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Disney's new streaming service to film feature in NM
Albuquerque Business First
By Christian Marquez | Sep 25, 2018

(…) The “Stargirl” production, based on a book by Jerry Spinelli, is set to hire 180 crew members, 20 actors and 3,500 background talent, all from within New Mexico. The lead role will be filled by Grace VanderWaal, a 14 year old singer/songwriter who got her start two years ago on ‘America’s Got Talent’. (…)

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Disney production to start filming in N.M.
Santa Fe New Mexican
By Olivia Harlow | Sep 24, 2018

(…) The film is based on Jerry Spinelli’s 2000 award-winning book, which tells the story of a high school girl trying to navigate nonconformity and falling in love. It will star 2016 America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal and Canadian teen actor Graham Verchere, from The Good Doctor and Summer of ‘84. This weekend, VanderWaal posted a photo on Instagram standing on West San Francisco Street in Santa Fe; Verchere posted images looking out at the Sandia Mountains.

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Disney’s ‘Stargirl’ to film in New Mexico, starring Grace VanderWaal
Albuquerque Journal
By Adrian Gomez / Journal Arts and Entertainment Editor | Sep 24, 2018

“Stargirl” is coming to New Mexico.
The feature film will be one of the first to be shown on Disney’s planned streaming service.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, principal photography will be done this month through mid-November in Albuquerque and Truth or Consequences.

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Disney's 'Stargirl' to begin filming in Albuquerque, T or C
KFOX14
By Jessica Gonzalez | Sep 24, 2018

‘What a wonderful opportunity to have Truth or Consequences chosen as one of the location sites for ‘Stargirl,” said Truth or Consequences Mayor Steve Green. ‘The film industry has an enormous economic impact that is felt throughout all sectors of the economy, including small communities such as ours. Having productions in Truth or Consequences makes our community proud.’

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Disney Streaming Service Movie STARGIRL Adds Additional Cast
The Disinsider
By Skyler Shuler | Sep 19, 2018

Jungle Book actor Giancarlo Esposito has signed on for a supporting role in Disney’s Stargirl. According to Deadline, other new additional members to the cast include Disney Channel star Karan Brar (Bunk’d), Darby Stanchfield (Scandal) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). The film, which will be debut on Disney’s upcoming streaming service, stars Grace VanderWaal as the titular character and Graham Verchere as Leo.

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‘Breaking Bad’ & ‘Better Call Saul’ Actor Giancarlo Esposito Joins Disney’s ‘Stargirl’
DEADLINE
By Amanda N’Duka | Sep 18, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Giancarlo Esposito, most recently known for his role as Gus Fring on AMC’s Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul, has landed a supporting role in Disney’s Stargirl feature along with Disney Channel star Karan Brar (Bunk’d), Darby Stanchfield (Scandal), and Maximiliano Hernandez (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). The film, which will be released on Disney’s forthcoming streaming platform, stars Grace VanderWaal as the titular character and Graham Verchere as Leo.

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America's Got Talent Season 11 Winner Grace VanderWaal on Her New Fender Ukulele, Her Upcoming Disney Movie, Her Pug Puppy, and More
Parade
By Paulette Cohn | Sep 12, 2018

(…) The audition process was really, really weird. I’ve never auditioned for a movie before so it was very different, but it was really, really fun. I thought it would have been uncomfortable, but the director, Julia Hart, is amazing and she made me feel so comfortable. She understood that I hadn’t done acting before and she gave me tips. She made me feel really comfortable with the whole process. (…) I’m actually leaving for New Mexico and starting pre-production this week.

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Graham Verchere Joins Grace VanderWaal in Disney's 'Stargirl' Movie
JustJaredJr
By JustJaredJr | Aug 22, 2018

Graham Verchere just booked the male lead role in Disney’s upcoming Stargirl!The 16-year-old Good Doctor actor will star as Leo Borlock in the film with Grace Vanderwaal, who plays Stargirl Caraway, Deadline reports.

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Graham Verchere Set As Co-Lead Opposite Grace VanderWaal in Disney’s ‘Stargirl’ Film
DEADLINE
By Amanda N’Duka | Aug 21, 2018

Fargo and The Good Doctor actor Graham Verchere has landed the male lead alongside America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal in Stargirl, an original feature for Disney’s forthcoming streaming platform. The pic is based on Jerry Spinelli’s YA novel of the same title, which Julia Hart is directing.

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Stargirl – Graham Verchere sarà il co-protagonista nel film Disney
CINEMATOGRAPHE
By Martina Volonté | Aug 21, 2018

Graham Verchere, attore di Fargo e The Good Doctor, sarà il protagonista maschile, insieme a Grace VanderWaal, in Stargirl, un film originale della prossima piattaforma di streaming Disney. L’adattamento è basato sul romanzo Young Adult di Jerry Spinelli con lo stesso titolo, Julia Hart è alla regia.

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Graham Verchere Set As Co-Lead Opposite Grace VanderWaal in Disney’s ‘Stargirl’ Film
DEADLINE
By Amanda N’Duka | Aug 21, 2018

Fargo and The Good Doctor actor Graham Verchere has landed the male lead alongside America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal in Stargirl, an original feature for Disney’s forthcoming streaming platform. The pic is based on Jerry Spinelli’s YA novel of the same title, which Julia Hart is directing.

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Everything We Know About the Disney Streaming Service
Film School Rejects
By Emily Kane | Aug 15, 2018

The original story of Stargirl comes from a young adult novel by Jerry Spinelli about a boy named Leo moving from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Four years after he moves to Arizona, a girl named Susan ‘Stargirl’ Caraway who was previously homeschooled starts attending public school. The two develop a friendship despite Stargirl’s quirky ways that deem her strange and unpopular in school. One of the many oddball things that Stargirl does is bring a ukulele to school to serenade students on their birthday.

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Grace VanderWaal Squeals With Excitement About Her First Movie Role in 'Stargirl'
JustJaredJr
By JustJaredJr | Jul 9, 2018

Just last month, it was announced that Grace VanderWaal would be starring in Disney’s upcoming Stargirl.
The film, based on Jerry Spinelli‘s book of the same name, centers on Leo Borlock, who follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school.

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Grace VanderWaal Lands Lead in Disney's Stargirl After Beating Out 700 Other Girls
People
By Melody Chiu | Jun 8, 2018

Grace VanderWaal is kicking off her acting career in a big way. According to Deadline, the America’s Got Talent winner, 14, beat out 700 others to nab the leading role in Disney’s upcoming original film Stargirl. Based off the young adult novel of the same name written by Jerry Spinelli, the movie is set to begin production in the fall.

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Disney's First Live-Action Streaming Service Movie Will Be STARGIRL and They've Found its Star
Geek Tyrant
By Tommy Williams | Jun 8, 2018

Many of you are probably wondering what on earth Stargirl even is. Simply put, it’s the first live-action film that Disney is making for their streaming service.Grace VanderWaal has been chosen by Disney to star in the film and it will be her first acting gig. If you watched America’s Got Talent a couple of years ago, you may recognize her as she won for singing and playing the ukulele. She has since released an EP and debut album and is currently going on tour with Imagine Dragons.

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La Disney sceglie Grace VanderWaal per il film di Stargirl
everyeye.it
By Matteo Regoli | Jun 6, 2018

La VanderWaal, che attualmente sta promuovendo il suo nuovo singolo “”Clearly”” aprendo i concerti degli Imagine Dragons, ha letteralmente rubato il cuore della regista Julia Hart (evidentemente specializzata nello scoprire i talenti, avendo lanciato Timothée Chalamet in Miss Stevens) e del produttore del film.

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Grace VanderWaal to Star in Disney Adaptation of Young Adult Novel “Stargirl”
Laughing Place
By Laughing Place Disney Newsdesk | Jun 6, 2018

Stargirl is about a high schooler who’s eccentricities make her stand out. At first, she’s loved by her classmates, then they begin to turn on her. Will she succumb to the crowd and conform to “normal?”
VanderWaal beat out nearly 700 other actresses for the role. Stargirl will mark her acting debut.
Principal photography is scheduled to being on September 24th with filming locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico and parts of Arizona.

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Grace VanderWaal, nueva chica Disney
Los40
By Juan Vicente | Jun 6, 2018

El rodaje de la película arrancará el próximo 24 de septiembre y con ella quién sabe si Grace VanderWaal conseguirá seguir los pasos de otras chicas Disney como Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus o, si viajamos algo más atrás en el tiempo, Britney Spears o Christina Aguilera. ¡Mucha suerte Grace! Si todo va bien, ya nunca más volverás a ser la pequeña Taylor Swift.

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Grace VanderWaal Signs On For Disney Movie ‘Stargirl’
Idolator
By Mike Wass | Jun 5, 2018

(…) Since then, the teenager (she’s now 14) has established a budding music career with a top 10 EP, Perfectly Imperfect, and well-received debut album. The next step on her path to world domination is acting. Today (June 5), the “I Don’t Know My Name” singer signed on for Disney’s Stargirl, one of the Mouse’s first original films for their new streaming platform. (…)

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Grace VanderWaal, ‘America’s Got Talent’ Champion, Is Disney’s ‘Stargirl’
DEADLINE
By Anita Busch | Jun 5, 2018

Grace VanderWaal, who at 12 years old won American’s Got Talent two years ago playing the ukulele and singing her original songs, has beat out 700 other girls to take the lead in Disney’s Stargirl — one of the first original films that will go through the company’s new streaming platform. (…)

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NU alum Jordan Horowitz, his wife to showcase film on motherhood, superheroes at Chicago Critics Film Festival
The Daily Northwestern
By Madeleine Fernando | May 2, 2018

When Jordan Horowitz (Communication ’02) and his wife, Julia Hart, had their first child, Horowitz recalled his wife saying she had never felt more powerful than when she became a mother. The thought sparked the defining combination of the duo’s latest film: motherhood and superheroes. (…)

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‘Fast Color’ Filmmaker Julia Hart: Disney Hired Me to Direct ‘Stargirl’ at 5 Months Pregnant (Video)
TheWrap
By Beatrice Verhoeven | Mar 14, 2018

(…) “We’re not supposed to think this is cool because we think this is what people should do, but Disney hired me at five months pregnant to direct this movie,” Hart told TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman Sunday during the second annual BE Conference in Austin. (…)

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Female Directors Scorecard: Six Helmers Grace Disney’s Upcoming Slate
DEADLINE
By Anita Busch | Mar 2, 2018

Julia Hart just sealed a deal to helm a feature film version of Stargirl, the young adult novel Stargirl from author Jerry Spinelli which flew off shelves when President Obama bought the book from a Washington D.C. bookstore for his girls in 2015. Stargirl will become one of the first — if not the first — original film for Disney’s new streaming platform. (…)

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Disney Unveils Inaugural Streaming Service Launch Slate To Town; No R-Rated Fare
DEADLINE
By Mike Fleming Jr | Feb 8, 2018

The goal in the first year is to generate four to five original movies, and five TV series for the streaming service. (…)

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EDITORIALS

Stargirl Trailer
Stargirl Trailer
By Mark Lalonde | Jan 20, 2020

Disney+ dropped the first (possibly the only) trailer for “Stargirl” on Grace VanderWaal’s 16th birthday (January 15th, 2020), to much love from the vast majority of fans of the book (most of whom had no idea that a film adaptation had even been in development, let alone coming out in less than two months).

My thoughts on the trailer, as someone who has cut many trailers for short films and our own documentaries and understand just how difficult a chore it can be; it was subtly fantastic.

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Julia Hart’s Stargirl: Graceful Expectations
Julia Hart’s Stargirl: Graceful Expectations
By Mark Lalonde |Dec 19, 2018

(…) While my expectations had been high for Julia Hart’s vision of “Stargirl” as not only the director, but also the co-writer (in the latter role working alongside her husband Jordan Horowitz), I had no idea just how good she was/is.

If “Miss Stevens” is any indication as to what we can expect from “Stargirl” then I am beyond thrilled with Disney for hiring Ms. Hart. I also now am on the edge of my seat waiting for “Fast Color”, her second film, to be released in select U.S. theaters on March 29th, 2019. “Fast Color” delves into the realm of science fiction and people with superhuman abilities, but one that places character before any tropes of the genre. Ms. Hart is creating for herself quite an eclectic catalogue of films in a very short time!

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