- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) - A film directed by a Valparaiso High School graduate has been accepted to the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Bryan Carberry, who graduated in 2005, caught the film bug while making videos for various class projects at the high school.

“It kept escalating,” Carberry said. “I did more for more classes. VHS was surprisingly supportive and doing those I realized it was kind of fun,” Carberry said. “I started thinking maybe it would be cool to be a filmmaker.”

It’s what Carberry became after attending the University of Southern California film school. And after directing many short films, his “Finders Keepers” has made it into the U.S. Documentary Competition in Sundance that starts Jan. 22 in Park City, Utah.

“It’s still a first step,” Carberry told The Times (http://bit.ly/1zYc4mH ). “It’s nice to be able to go to Sundance with it.”

“Finders Keepers” revolves around recovering addict and amputee John Wood who finds himself in a “stranger-than-fiction” battle to reclaim his mummified leg from Southern entrepreneur Shannon Whisnant, who found it in a grill he bought at an auction and believes it therefore to be his rightful property.

The film is produced by ESPN sports analyst Ed Cunningham, who also produced the documentary “Make Believe” about teen magicians. That film was what Carberry did his internship upon graduating from USC.

When Cunningham came across the missing leg story Carberry “convinced him to let me take a whack” at directing it.

The film found backing through the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, which has become popular with independent filmmakers.

“It’s changed the game,” Carberry said.

Carberry is putting the final touches on the film. This week he’s been working at the home of the film’s music composer, Dan Romer, who scored the Oscar-nominated “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Carberry, who makes it back home to his parents’ house a few times a year, said they’ve been supportive of his career and are not only excited about the new film but will be there for its premiere at Sundance.

“We’ll have a good time in Park City together,” he said.

Carberry plans to be at the festival throughout its 11-day duration. He’ll be at the directors’ brunch at the resort of Sundance founder Robert Redford and use the festival to “help discover what’s going to be next for me.”

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Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com

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