Framingham native Carly Hugo is headed to the Sundance Film Festival this week with two films in contention for prizes and a third scheduled for a world premiere at the famed Park City, Utah festival.
Hugo, 26, learned the basics of film production as a student in the Framingham public schools, went on to study film at Columbia University, and is now a producer with The Group Entertainment in New York City.
Higher Ground (2010), for which Hugo was a producer, is one of 16 films selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category. Higher Ground was directed by Vera Farmiga, who also stars in the film, along with Massachusetts-native Donna Murphy and John Hawkes. Farmiga plays a young woman experiencing a crisis of faith in a Christian Fundamentalist community during the 1960s.
Hugo also produced Hot Coffee (2010), one of 16 films chosen for the Sundance U.S. Documentary Competition. Hot Coffee, directed by Susan Saladoff, tackles the issue of tort reform by delving behind the scenes of real-life cases, including that of the customer who sued McDonald’s after spilling hot coffee on herself.
A third film Hugo worked on, Restless City (2011), will have its world premiere at Sundance. Hugo was unit production manager for the movie, which tells the story of an African immigrant musician living in New York City.
Carly Hugo showed an interest in film at a very early age, according to her mother, Beverly Hugo, who serves as Vice Chair of the Framingham School Committee.
Mrs. Hugo recalled her daughter’s first film project, a documentary about cats that Carly created in first grade. From that moment on, Mrs. Hugo said, Carly knew she wanted a career in the film industry.
Carly Hugo graduated from Framingham High School, where she was mentored in film production by technology teacher Dan Devlen. Hugo and Devlen remain close to this day, according to Mrs. Hugo. In fact, whenever Carly hits a milestone in her career, her first phone call is to her parents; her next call is to Devlen
Bev Hugo has taken a star turn herself. Since Carly got into the film industry, she has given her mother cameo appearances in a number of movies. Mrs. Hugo is particularly pleased to appear in Restless City because she was not cast in this film by her daughter. Instead, director Andrew Dosunmu thought Mrs. Hugo would be a good fit for the role.
But as the Sundance Film Festival begins this week, Bev Hugo and husband Michael will be playing two of the best roles: those of proud parents.
“It’s so nice to see your child be successful doing what they love. We are so pleased and so thrilled,” said Mrs. Hugo. “It’s amazing to watch your child grow up and see her dream come true.”