Edmonton’s Princess Theatre presented the world premiere of the SXSW comedy Campus Radio, written and directed by Northern Alberta native, Aaron James Sorensen. In this interview posted to Avenue Edmonton Magazine’s website, Sorensen, who is also a notable musician, discusses how his time hanging around and listening to Edmonton and Calgary’s campus radio stations also inspired the Texas-centric flick; why he made the decision to create a Canadian-cast, Canadian-funded, Canadian-manned movie about a quintessential part of American music culture; and how he gave the lead role to an actor he just met in a Chinese gift shop. Campus Radio premiered on the evening of Friday, October 14 at the Princess Theatre (10337 Whyte Ave.).
Aaron James Sorensen is a Canadian born musician, writer, and film director. He came to some prominence at home and abroad with the release of his feature film Hank Williams First Nation in 2005. The film was the first Canadian feature to premiere in competition at the American Film Institute’s AFIfest in Los Angeles, and was the third highest grossing Canadian film (English) of 2005. That film also won Sorensen “Best Director” honors at the 2005 American Indian Film Festival. The following year it was adapted into a mini-series for Canadian broadcaster APTN. Sorensen studied acting with Keith Johnstone at the University of Calgary, and later in Los Angeles with Milton Katselas at the famed Beverly Hills Playhouse. In 2007 Sorensen, going by his musician moniker, Aaron James, released a CD of original Americana/roots songs titled Cranberry Wind.
In early 2007 Sorensen established a residence in Los Angeles, California where he is a principal partner in the production company Extra Butter Pictures. Campus Radio is his second film.
Read the Avenue Edmonton interview of Aaron Sorenson by Omar Mouallem for the Culture City department at Avenue Edmonton.