Synopsis for “Highlights”
TRT 8:45

Jane loves to go to Marianne’s Beauty Salon with her mother. It’s a crisp November day in 1963, and the salon is buzzing with energy and music while Jane looks through her favorite magazine. Suddenly the television delivers tragic news into this safe, happy place.  Jane tries to make sense of a moment that opens her eyes to peril in the world, a historic moment that has come to symbolize the loss of innocence in America


Director’s Statement
Mary Novak Writer/Director

The terrible shock that struck America on September 11, 2001 reminded me of the shock that paralyzed the nation when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed. A painful national awakening occurred after both events, and it was true that our world would never be the same. In “Highlights” I wanted to cinematically portray the loss of innocence that occurred during the President Kennedy assassination and how that altered American consciousness.

Jane is in her happy world when it is pierced by the grief and shock that the women around her are experiencing.  Jane is the innocence of childhood; and while there will be many more events in her life that will take her from innocence, this moment is her first initiation into the adult world and the potential pain and violence in it.  And Jane is the innocence of America, and the day that President Kennedy was killed was like a national initiation into the dark heart of humanity. 

Making “Highlights” was a tremendous adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed with all of the crew and the amazing efforts of Laurie Little and Caroline Brandes.  Recreating 1963 opened my eyes to the uniqueness of the time period; it was not the pure, somewhat kitchy 50s and it wasn’t the mod 60s.  That time period is sophisticated in style and unique in its transitory culture.  I was fortunate to find a spectacular, talented cast who looked great in chunky jewelry and the outstanding hairdos that Randy Ramos created.  Allison Sparrow was a real find and I think one day when she’s a high powered actress someone will pull out this little film that portrayed her as the innocent Jane and see the beginning of her greatness.