With help of Quinnipiac professor, documentary to be screened at Sundance

Ashley Brandon

“Stay Close,” the story of a Brooklyn fencer who rises to compete in the Olympic games, will premiere to the world at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Ashley Brandon, a North Haven resident who works as an assistant professor of film, television and media arts at Quinnipiac University, helped make that happen — she helped produce the film.

Quinnipiac issued a release Thursday illuminating Brandon’s role in creating the movie.

Brandon said Thursday she met the film’s directors, Luther Charles Clement and Shuhan Fan, while attending the master of fine arts program at Northwestern University.

Clement asked her to be a part of the movie, and, as she enjoyed films about sports and working with him, she agreed. Over time, she offered notes and suggestions as the film took shape, she said.

Brandon hesitated to emphasize her role Thursday — she said Clement and Fan were the driving forces behind the film, which uses archival footage, recreations, and animation to tell its story.

“I don’t want it to come off like I’m taking any credit,” said Brandon. “I’m just happy they allowed me to be a part of the journey.”

She said the film’s acceptance at Sundance would allow a wider audience, including filmmakers, to see and share feedback — a big step for her, Clement and Fan, and a way forward to a brighter future.

They graduated from Northwestern approximately a year ago, she said.

According to Quinnipiac, “Stay Close,” “will be screened in Sundance’s documentary short film category Jan. 24—Feb. 3 in Utah.”