Alum Will Hand Get Hollywood Filmmakers' Backing to Shoot Feature in Sonoma

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

SONOMA INDEX-TRIBUNE -- Hand was attending San Francisco State University, and Alvarez was living in Portland.

“Jay called me up out of the blue to see if I was still acting,” said Hand, who was indeed still acting as well as running a local theatre company.

“I was reading a ton of scripts but when he sent over his script for ‘I Play with the Phrase Each Other,’ it was the best thing I’d ever read,” said Will. “So we started rehearsing over the phone together.”

In those days, both worked hospitality jobs on the side, but Hand now runs a theatre company in New York, and Alvarez works in Los Angeles on commissioned scripts and script polishes.

That first film, “I Play with the Phrase Each Other,” which was financed entirely on Alvarez’s credit card, ended up getting attention from film festivals all over the world. And when it played at Slamdance, which focuses on emerging artists, the Russo brothers saw it, loved it and have been championing Alvarez’s films ever since.