Dare follows three very-different teenagers through the last semester of high school. There are Alexa (Emmy Rossum), the overachieving good girl who longs to break out of her shell; Ben (Ashley Springer), the melancholy outsider confused about his sexuality; and Johnny (Zach Gilford), the rich kid who has everything, including good looks, but hides behind his bad-boy persona. This unlikely trio fall into each other's lives and each other’s arms, making a last-ditch effort to shake things up before they actually have to start living as adults. Director Adam Salky and writer David Brind takes us into some uncharted territory with fresh eyes and matter-of-fact authority. Sweet and sexy don’t always go together, but they work beautifully in this instance because the sexuality of the film is cleverly woven into the fabric of the story. You can ask why the kids are in such a hurry to experience adult feelings, especially when their parents, comically enough, are afraid to get in the way. All is answered in the nuanced performances of this exceptional cast. They capture perfectly a generation with nothing to rebel against except their self-imposed inhibitions. By being keenly perceptive, director Salky stacks up countless priceless moments in crafting teen romance with a decidedly modern spin. In Dare, the kids do what they need to do to become the adults they should.
--Courtesy of the 2009 Sundance Film FestivalAdam Salky
Born and raised in New York City, Adam Salky made his first film in place of a high school term paper. Since then he has directed three award-winning shorts, which have screened in dozens of film festivals around the world. Salky graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University as a creative writing major. He recently completed his MFA with honors at Columbia University's Graduate Film Division. In his second year, Salky was the sole recipient of grants from Kodak and Panasonic, the former for his work as director of “Panasonic Kids Witness News,” a program that teaches under-privileged inner-city kids how to make their own short films. Salky also received the 2007 James Bridges Award, a production grant, and one of the highest honors in the Columbia Film Division. Dare marks Salky’s feature film directorial debut.