Noah Pritzker–Writer/ Director
Noah Pritzker is a writer / director living in New York. Quitters is his feature debut, and premiered at SXSW, as did his short film Little Dad. He attended Columbia University for his BA and MFA.
I grew up on the Jewish comedies of Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks and Philip Roth and Woody Allen and Elaine May and Todd Solondz. From a young age, I found great comfort in their characters’ neuroses and longing, the boundary-less, enmeshed families, and the tumultuous relationships and romances. I always associated their humor with New York – fast-paced, intellectual, biting – and growing up in San Francisco it seemed very far away, and a tradition that I desperately wanted to be a part of.
After moving to New York at eighteen and living there for a number of years, I found myself looking back at my childhood in San Francisco, and wanting (however grandiose) to write my own Augie March, or Dawn Wiener, or Neil Klugman, but dropped into the world I grew up in and knew well.
At the center of QUITTERS are three teenagers: Clark (played by Ben Konigsberg), whose family is in disarray as his mother is checked into a psychiatric hospital; Etta (Kara Hayward), whose parents are in the midst of a divorce; and Natalia (Morgan Turner), the most together of the bunch. Clark and Etta are each looking for a place to go. Though they have a connection and know what the other is going through, they can’t offer one another much comfort at the moment since they’re each on the lamb. As their respective searches for new homes intensifies, they become more calculating and at times cruel, much like their parents.
It was always important to me to cast actors the age of the characters (14-16). To see that they are kids having to act like adults. As the writers and directors mentioned above do so expertly, I wanted to try and level the playing field between the generations in the story, so that you have an intimate sense of the relationships between everyone. The kids aren’t treated any differently than their teachers or parents, and everyone seems to be looking for the same things and having an equally hard time finding them.