Ian Barling lives in hipster Brooklyn, New York, but his hometown of Brigantine came out on top when it was time for him to pick a location for his latest short film.

Barling, 31, had one of his short films, titled “Safe,” selected as an entry into the Cannes Critics’ Week Shorts lineup. It was the first U.S. short to make the selection in four years, and the first time one of Barling’s films was accepted.

“I still don’t quite believe it. It has been a completely surreal experience,” Barling said during a phone interview from France. “It’s a complete shock and an honor. … There is a lot of love for the art form and filmmakers.”

Because everyone was cooped up so long due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a bunch of people connected to “Safe” traveled to Cannes.

Besides Barling, who is the director, writer and producer, other people associated with the film who attended the Cannes screening were the other producers, Jordan Drake, Sam Kaminer and Bruno Vernaschi, actor Philip Ettinger, actress Noa Fisher, who was in the movie “Uncut Gems” with Adam Sandler, and Barling’s mother, Victoria Barling.

Victoria Barling, who lives in Brigantine, started at Resorts Casino Hotel on day one and currently works at Harrah’s Atlantic City Resort and Casino.

Over the years, Barling said, his mother has been an actor in his films, been the head of transportation and had people stay in her home.