Alumni pull together UT resources to make feature film, ‘Forev’


Matt Mider, Noel Wells and Amanda Bauer star in radio-television-film alumni film, "Forev."

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

After years of making group projects for classes, a crew of radio-television-film graduates collaborated to create a feature film to show to the public. 

“Forev” is co-directed and written by radio-television-film graduates Molly Green and James Leffler, and it is about a young couple who get engaged on their first date. Its two main characters are also played by UT alumni Matt Mider and Noel Wells. Wells is currently a featured cast member on "Saturday Night Live." 

In the film, Wells and Mider play two neighbors, Sophie and Pete, who decide to get married on their first date. They make a plan to get married and bring along Pete’s sister, played by Amanda Bauer, but end up getting stranded in the desert. According to Green and Leffler, the idea for “Forev” came from witnessing the growing number of their college friends getting married. 

“They look really adult, in sweater vests or whatever, and you go, ‘Wow, I guess getting married means being a real grown-up,’” Leffler said. “We thought that was a funny idea to play with. We were all in our early 20s, feeling decidedly un-grown-up.”

Green, Leffler and Mider formed a relationship in fall 2007 after participating in the UTLA program, which is a program that offers a film internship in Los Angeles for a semester for radio-television-film majors. 

During the film’s production, Green and Leffler relied heavily on their connections from UT. Cast and crew members, from the make-up and hair supervisor to the two main characters, largely came from programs Green and Leffler had participated in while in school. 

“UT was pretty crucial because a lot of the cast and crew were people we went to school with,” Green said. “We just had a lot from our UT connections to pull together a cast and crew. It was kind of awesome because it was friends and people we knew we really liked and wanted to work with.” 

Leffler said the skills he learned while in the radio-television-film program also came in handy while making “Forev.” 

“The sort of scrappy mentality that we learned in RTF of just figuring out how to get it done however possible was something that really helped us,” Leffler said. 

“Forev” has had showings at various festivals around the country, winning more than 10 awards and has been picked up by two distributors.

“We got really positive reactions, and I think that we definitely were surprised,” Leffler said. “We were thinking younger people would be into the movie, and we saw that that was true, but then we also saw old men and moms being into it.”

Green said “Forev” won’t be premiered at any more festivals, but it will be available for online purchase on such platforms as Amazon Video, Bluray Disc, iTunes and more. She said the film has garnered much more success than she was initially expecting.

“It’s already sort of exceeded most of our expectations,” Green said. “We made it basically out of the back of my car, and most of the money came from personal
savings accounts.”

Green, Leffler and Mider all have plans to work together in the future but don’t have anything solid in the works yet. According to Leffler, they are currently writing a few scripts that may develop into future projects.  

“We’re still figuring out what the next thing is going to be, but we’re excited,” Leffler said. 

“Forev” is available for pre-sale Thursday and for sale Thursday on