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Dance Party USA (film): Wikis


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Dance Party USA
Directed by Aaron Katz
Produced by Brendan McFadden
Marc Ripper
Written by Aaron Katz
Starring Cole Pensinger
Anna Kavan
Ryan White
Natalie Buller
Sarah Bing
Brendan McFadden
Chad Hartigan
Music by Keegan DeWitt
Release date(s) March 12, 2006
Running time 67 min.
Language English
Budget $3,500 (estimated)

Dance Party USA is a 2006 film written and directed by Aaron Katz. It stars Cole Pensinger and Anna Kavan.

The film took nearly two years to complete. Katz explained the reason for such as being due to the film's editor, Zach Clark, living in Virginia while he lived in Brooklyn. Clark would send edited footage on a DVD to Katz, who would then respond by sending notes to Clark.[1]

The film debuted at the 2006 South by Southwest Film Festival and subsequently played at almost a dozen other festivals around the country and a two-week exclusive run at the Pioneer Theatre in New York City.

Reviews were mixed, with praise being given to Katz's subtle direction and the naturalistic performances of the cast. The New York Times stated that "Dance Party USA is a remarkably delicate construction, directed with extraordinary empathy by Aaron Katz." In addition, The New York Sun placed it at number nine on their Top 10 Films of 2006 list.

The film and director have also been mentioned by the media as an important part of a new movement in independent cinema that also includes Joe Swanberg, Andrew Bujalski and Jay Duplass, many of whom got their first exposure at SXSW.



Apathetic seventeen-year-old Gus hangs around doing nothing with his buddy Bill most of the time. Gus likes to tell half-true stories about all the girls he’s slept with and all the drugs he’s done. Jessica is seventeen too. She doesn't seem to have much in common with anyone anymore – not even her best friend Christie. Every year this one guy Brian throws a 4th of July party. The party’s never that great, but there's free beer, so people always go. Gus and Jessica meet each other there. They watch fireworks outside and light sparklers. Gus says that he's not the sort of guy she thinks he is. He tells her a secret he has never told anyone before.


The film was shot in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2004 and was made by a small crew of eight friends from The North Carolina School of the Arts.


  1. ^ Armstrong, Josh E (2008-03-11). "Aaron Katz talks Dance Party, Quiet City". Retrieved 2008-03-12.  

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