When I set out to make my first film, I knew exactly what I wanted to tell: a story about the ambition, sacrifice and choice confronting an athlete competing at an Olympic level. Taking it even further, I wanted to share a story rarely seen in films—that of the athlete who almost makes it to the Olympics but just misses the cut. I wanted to explore how it must feel to give up so much in life and get inches away from personal goal, only to find oneself, ultimately, sitting on the sidelines. Many of us have experienced such personal setbacks in one way or another: what happens in your life when “the big dream” doesn’t work out? How do ambitions and goals change as life intervenes? How much are you willing to continue to sacrifice to reach a possibly elusive goal?
When you first watch Red Flag, a new dark comedy from HBO “GIRLS” star and independent director Alex Karpovsky, it feels a little autobiographical—especially since the character Alex plays in the film is literally, well, Alex Karpovsky. Red Flag is the story of Alex, a solipsistic filmmaker that takes his independent film Woodpecker (a real film Alex made) on tour.