About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

‘Sally, Get The Potatoes’ (2024) Danicah Waldo short dazzles at The Big Apple Film Festival

SALLY, GET THE POTATOES

Sally, Get The Potatoes

Filmmaker Danicah Waldo brings drama and sweetness to The Big Apple Film Festival with her short film SALLY, GET THE POTATOES. Our titular little lady is the youngest of a well-off household. The precocious redhead, just looking for someone to play with her, gets tasked with procuring the potatoes for her overwhelmed chef mother. 

Sally, Get The Potatoes tubSomething is happening within the family. Every member has a secret, leaving Sally with no one but her beloved housekeeper to care for her needs. Once Magdelaina, the heart of the household, gets dragged into the chaos, Sally intrusively discovers the extent of the mess.

Sally, Get The PotatoesKynlee Heiman is a star as Sally. The camera loves her sweet face and her wily personality. She is relentlessly charming. As the mother of a seven-year-old daughter, Heiman captures the spirit of play, the longing for connection, and the IDGAF determination of a girl. 

Sally, Get The Potatoes pantryThe camera work from Mike Lobello and Paul W. Sauline is brilliant. The audience experiences the goings-on from a child’s eye level. Beautifully lit close-ups of Sally convey the emotional rollercoaster. SALLY, GET THE POTATOES delves into familial dynamics through the eyes of a child and proves socioeconomic standing never lessens relationship complexity. The film is an incredible treatment for a feature. I want to see more of each character, but particularly Sally.

Sally, Get the Potatoes premieres at The Big Apple Film Festival, Wednesday 5/22
 

 

DANICAH WALDO – BIO

Danicah Waldo - Headshot

Danicah Waldo is a director, writer and producer based out of New York City. After spending her childhood performing on the stage and screen, she ultimately fell in love with the work behind the camera. Danicah got her 10,000 hours directing and producing narrative short films starring kids for the Applause New York YouTube channel, which now sits at 1.5 million subscribers and 1 billion views.

In 2021 she joined LIT Videobooks, where they make documentary versions of best-selling nonfiction books. She now holds the title of Director of Production, which includes overseeing all production operations while directing the live-action elements of the videobooks.

She started Yellow Chair Films to produce her debut short film, Sally, Get the Potatoes, set to premiere in early 2024.

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‘HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS’ (2024) is a wild exploration of dark legacy

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HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS

HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS poster

After inheriting an old schoolhouse, Elizabeth begins to lose time and experience visions of evil in her isolation and exploration of her familial connections.

Success lies within the use of a go-pro and the out-of-focus visuals. The set might be some artist commune or quirky AirBnB listing. It delivers jewel-toned decor choices and creepy corners, echoing loneliness. Elizabeth discovers a trunk filled with dark objects, including a book with sketches right out of Guillermo del Toro’s imagination. 

HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS Lani CallLani Call gives Elizabeth a dour and macabre personality. Bravo for her commitment to the role. The screenplay from director Richard R. Williams, Costanza Bongiorni, and Tom Jolliffe does not give her a moment of ease. HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS is a one-woman show that gets weirder and grosser by the minute. 

The film opens with a gruesome shot, transitioning to the world’s slowest upward pan. The pacing, while artistically intentional, remains an issue. Call’s narration deserved a pop shield in front of her microphone. Elizabeth makes questionable choices that defy logic as she plunges into her dark legacy. No doubt the practical FX team will make you gag as her physical appearance rapidly deteriorates. The film is out there. What’s good is great, but HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS ultimately suffers from the length. 

This otherworldly thriller arrives on VOD and DVD on May 21st

 

Directed and co-written by Williams (RUST BELT DRILLER) with a script co-authored by Costanza Bongiorni and Tom Jolliffe, HOUSE OF SCREAMING GLASS stars Lani Call.

Elizabeth Cadosia has lived a life of isolation under the shadow of her mentally fractured mother. On the day her mother dies, Elizabeth receives an unexpected inheritance—a timeworn schoolhouse from her grandmother—whom she has never met. Within the schoolhouse, Elizabeth finds herself entwined in a tapestry of unsettling visions and harrowing nightmares.

An incredibly surreal, ultra-low budget experiment in minimalist horror – inspired by classic horror, witchcraft legends, the Cthulhu mythos, and Tarkovsky and Antonioni’s “slow cinema” – the film was made by a very small group of close friends and is anchored by a powerful performance from actor Lani Call.

About DeskPop Entertainment
DeskPop Entertainment was created to offer a dynamic scope of original content ranging from light-hearted genre entertainment to thought-provoking, mission-driven cinema designed to stir up engaging conversation.


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‘PITCH PEOPLE’ (2024) Wildly entertaining 25th Anniversary of the Never-Before-Seen Feature Documentary

PITCH PEOPLE

PitchPeople poster-25 Anniversary

Selling is theatre and coercion. Stanley Jacobs‘ documentary PITCH PEOPLE explores the very best in persuasive personas and the history of honest sales. 

The film is a clever “how-to” guide to moving products. They are magnetic and funny. Urgency and cleverness get your attention. Does the product make life easier? All people genuinely want is to smile and feel like they’re not being taken advantage of, and that’s the key to selling. 


PITCH-PEOPLE_Still-1.Nowadays, if you can find an operating mall, you might still come across an AS SEEN ON TV store. A small display remains at Bed, Bath, and Beyond locations. Back in the 1950s, Atlantic City was the hub of Pitchmen. Future American celebrities like Ed McMahon, of Star Search fame, began on the boardwalk. 

You all remember waking up at 3 am to infomercials. From Vitamix to ShamWow, you find yourself watching but just a bit longer than you anticipated. In person, it’s an electric energy. It has to be more personable to lock you in, and the moment these experts get you to pause and pay attention, they’ve got you sold. 

PITCH-PEOPLE_Still-2Between local television spots and fairgrounds, pitching products was (and still is) a lucrative career. Only the best survive and put bundles of cash in their pockets. In a world of MLMs, this intimate energy exchange is the oldest truck in the book, and it works. The modern version comes in the form of TikTok influencers, but those 10-30-second uploads have nothing on the original masters.

PITCH PEOPLE takes the “Always Be Closing” model and mesmerizes by showing audiences entire live pitches in the wild, then cutting in sit-down interviews and archival footage. The editing is the hero of this film. You’ll be dazzled. And maybe start Googling the products as I did.

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Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmW8R9TuwnE
 
 


PITCH PEOPLE will be available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play on May 17, 2024. The film, fully restored in 4K, is the 25th Anniversary of the Never-Before-Seen Feature Documentary.

 

Directed, written, and produced by Stanley Jacobs (96 Souls), PITCH PEOPLE features Arnold Morris, Nancy Nelson, Lester Morris, Al Spino, Sandy Mason, Ed McMahon, Jerry Crowley, Joe Fowler, Jan Muller, John Parkin, Chester Nairne, Wally Nash, Jerry Mascuzzio, James Mason, Ian Long, and Harry Matheson.

The documentary PITCH PEOPLE is an energetic look at the pitch business, a dynamic world that started in Europe, made its way to the U.S. boardwalks, and exploded on television in the 1990s.

Run Time: 88 minutes | Rating: Not Rated

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‘NIGHTWATCH’ (1994) Classic now streaming on Shudder in preparation for the sequel

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NIGHTWATCH (1994)

nightwatch 1994 poster

A fresh-faced Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays 24-year-old law student Martin, taking a position as the sole night watchman in a hospital morgue. When a game of dare from his deviant best mate collides with a serial killer on the loose, Martin’s worst fears begin to haunt him. Writer-director Ole Bornedal helms this disturbing tale of mistaken identity and murderous mayhem.

Nightwatch (1994) 2- www.imdb.comNikolaj Coster-Waldau is, to no one’s surprise, spectacular. My introduction to his work began with Game of Thrones. Even thirty years ago, he possessed a magnetic presence on screen.

The soundtrack kicks ass. Great opening cinematography throws the viewer into a Hitchcockian vibe as the camera floats throughout the house like a ghost. Dan Laustsen‘s framing is a masterclass. I accept genre fans knocking my street cred for never seeing this film. I deserve it. Now that I have, I understand why it holds up.

Nightwatch (1994) 3- www.imdb.comNIGHTWATCH taps into classic fears and creates authentic dread from beginning to end. A premise stemming from toxic masculinity gets a perfect foil in its horror element. Bornedal’s dialogue is particularly meta, no doubt inducing a smirk from the audience more than once.

Nightwatch (1994) 1 - www.imdb.comThe film is a genre-bender. When you think you know what’s happening, the plot twists again. Bornedal’s sequel, 30 years in the making, has a lot to live up to. The Shudder Original NIGHTWATCH: Demons are Forever streams today alongside its predecessor.

Now streaming on Shudder!!

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Shudder Original ‘NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER’ (2024) A perfect Ole Bornedal sequel 30 years in the making.

Shudder Nightwatch: Demons Are Forever Ole Bornedal

SHUDDER NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - poster

Thirty years after NIGHTWATCH became a genre staple, writer-director Ole Bornedal delivers a Shudder Original sequel just as menacing and twisted as the original. NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER taps into our continued fascination with serial killers, true crime takes, and terror. 

NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - Still 5The film starts with a bang. Bravo to Casper Kjær Jensen for one hell of a performance. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau returns as Martin. We now know he and Kalinka married and had a daughter named Emma. After Kalinka’s suicide, Martin is distraught. Emma discovers the newspaper clippings about her parents’ traumatic ordeal. Seeking answers, she takes her father’s old job on night watch. 

I highly recommend watching both films back to back. You will immediately notice the perfect visual and dialogue callbacks. Coster-Waldau is not the only cast member to return. Most of the original actors are back. 

NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - Still 4Kim Bodnia is the same thoughtless jackass settling right back into the role of Jens. The character’s development feels darker and more insensitive than before, but Bodnia’s chemistry with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is still dazzling. 

Speaking of, this second iteration of Martin oozes fear. Coster-Waldau exists almost entirely in his unresolved trauma, soaked in alcohol and pills. When he steps out of his grief, it is contagious. 

NIGHTWATCH_ DEMONS ARE FOREVER - Still 11Ole Bornedal makes the sequel a true family affair. His daughter, Fanny Bornedal, plays Emma. She is a pro. Ole gives her characteristics of Martin and Kalinka. Emma is a bold, bright, and fearless medical forensics student. Fanny commands each frame. She’s a star.

Once again, the soundtrack is meticulously curated. “I Fink U Freeky” by Die Antwoord was my favorite choice. The practical FX are squirmworthy. NIGHTWATCH: DEMONS ARE FOREVER cleverly mirrors the original. Ole Bornedal keeps us guessing with complex storytelling choices. The script is a fresh take, delivering badass female characters to immortalize in the genre library. 

Streaming on Shudder May 17th

Screenwriter and Director: Ole Bornedal

Starring: Fanny Leander Bornedal, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kim Bodnia, Sonja Richter, Ulf Pilgaard, Casper Kjær Jensen, Paprika Steen, Nina Rask, Alex Høgh Andersen, Sonny Lindberg, Niels Anders Thorn, Tina Gylling, Casper Phillipson, Vibeke Hastrup, Christopher Læssø

Producers: Thomas Heinesen, Christel C.D. Karlsen, and Signe Baasch

Executive Producers: Katrine Vogelsang, Henrik Zein, Peter Nadermann, and Doris Schrenner

Language: Danish

Running Time: 113 mins

Synopsis

22-year-old medical student Emma (Fanny Leander Bornedal) has just taken a job as the night watch in the same forensic department where her parents were once almost killed by the famed psychopathic police inspector Wörmer. The events led to her mother’s suicide, and her father Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has turned to tranquilizers to suppress the memories. Determined to investigate what exactly happened to them, Emma tracks down and confronts Wörmer, only to unintentionally reawaken his bloodthirst and ignite a violent revenge on everyone who sealed his destiny years ago.

About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and Original Content is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Over the last few years, Shudder has introduced audiences to groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films including Rob Savage’s HOST, Jayro Bustamante’s LA LLORONA, Phil Tippett’s MAD GOD, Coralie Fargeat’s REVENGE, Joko Anwar’s SATAN’S SLAVES, Josh Ruben’s SCARE ME, Kyle Edward Ball’s SKINAMARINK, Christian Tafdrup’s SPEAK NO EVIL, Chloe Okuno’s WATCHER, Demián Rugna‘s WHEN EVIL LURKS, and the latest in the V/H/S film anthology franchise, as well as the fan favorite TV series THE BOULET BROTHERS’ DRAGULA, Greg Nicotero’s CREEPSHOW, THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS.

For more Shudder reviews, click here!

‘LAUGH PROUD’ (2024) LGBTQiA+ Stand Up Comedy Concert Film delivers uproarious fun

LAUGH PROUD poster

LAUGH PROUD: Nine diverse LGBTQiA+ comics each perform a short set connected by a hostess with the mostest in an orgiastic one-night stand starring fresh comics to veteran comic Jason Stuart and the world’s first intersex comic, Seven “7G” Graham. LAUGH PROUD is the first LGBTQiA+ stand-up comedy feature film of its kind.

LAUGH PROUD JunoMenThe effervescent joy of being in the room fully translates from the screen. You’ll find yourself smiling until it hurts. LAUGH PROUD features multigenerational comics. The sets range from serious to hysterical. Many comics discuss childhood trauma, coming-out stories, dating, technology, patriarchal structure, aging, and everything in between. A loving and supportive energy is beaming between the performer and the audience. It is an inviting and celebratory special.

LAUGH PROUD JasonStuart

Director’s Quentin Lee’s (LAST SUMMER OF NATHAN LEE) LGBTQiA+ stand up comedy concert feature film, 
LAUGH PROUD releases in LA at Laemmle NoHo on May 17th and VOD May 30th

 

Check out the trailer below!

 

Director Quentin Lee

2024 Canadian Screen Awards nominee, winner of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Awards for TV creators, a member of the Producers Guild of America, Canadian Media Producers Association and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Directors and Producers Peer Group) and a two-time recipient of Canada Council Media Arts grants, Quentin Lee is a multimedia creator and has directed and produced over ten feature films and created over three TV series. His first feature Shopping For Fangs (co-directed with Justin Lin) premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and became a cult classic as part of the Asian American New Wave Class of 1997. His subsequent features DriftEthan MaoThe People I’ve Slept WithWhite Frog and The Unbidden have all been sold and played festivals worldwide such as AFI Fest, Vancouver International, Hawaii International, Sao Paulo, Turin and Cardiff.

As a producer, Quentin has produced Big Gay Love#1 Serial Killer (aka Chink) and Gay Hollywood Dad. In 2018, he created, produced and directed Brash Girls Club, the limited TV series now streaming on Tubi. The TV series Comedy InvAsian that he co-created, directed and produced was streamed as a Hulu Exclusive in 2018. In 2020, Quentin produced three stand up comedy specials including the first gay male comedy special Brash Boys Club for Comedy Dynamics, directed and produced a Zoom feature titled Comisery and a Zoom TV series titled Boy Luck Club. In 2021, Quentin Lee directed and produced a feature film titled Last Summer of Nathan Lee and the second season of the TV series Comedy InvAsian 2.0, now streaming on Peacock. In 2022, he has created a science fiction comic book Mystery Brothers, launched at 2022 Comic-con, and a spin-off TV series, Comedy Invasion, the first all diverse Canadian stand up TV series, has received a 2024 Canadian Screen Awards nomination for Best Comedy Special. In 2023, he produced and directed Laugh Proud, the first LGBTQ+ stand-up comedy feature documentary of its kind, and is in preparation for Rez Comedy, the first all Indigenous and all Canadian stand-up comedy feature film.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, China, Quentin went to high school in Montreal, holds a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley, an M.A. in English from Yale University, and an M.F.A. in Film Directing from UCLA.

LAUGH PROUD

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‘FOR SALE’ (2024) The Good, Bad, and Haunted

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FOR SALE

For Sale (2024) - www.imdb.com

Christopher Schrack‘s FOR SALE finds Mason, a shady salesman who gets the opportunity to score big if he can sell a murder house. Can his relentless determination drive a sale and the spirits away?

For saleCorrine Britti gives Psychic Claire a great quirkiness. Schrack and co-writer Jordan Friedber‘s screenplay allows her to play a dual role. Her commitment is applause-worthy. Andrew Roth does a fantastic job at filling the screen with his presence. His optimism and generally ridiculous “always be selling” persona keep the film in the horror comedy subgenre. Once again, Friedberg and Schrack mix it up in the final act so Roth can show off his acting chops.

For sale 5The soundtrack is fun. A handful of sharp jump scares had my heart racing. I wish Schrack and Friedberg had leaned into Mason’s unresolved trauma earlier in the film. That emotional pull hits another level, heightening the dark threats, but I respect them for introducing a redemption arc. While the pacing is uneven, the visuals and sound editing are phenomenal. Essentially, what is good is extremely good. FOR SALE ends with one final genuine gafaw.

https://youtu.be/8ii0G23fnJ4

NOW AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS

FOR SALE is a handmade film in the truest sense – a crew of three, a cast of ten, and produced by director CHRISTOPHER SCHRACK and lead actor ANDREW ROTH. Despite its humble budget, the film went on to receive multiple awards on the festival circuit, including BEST FILM (Magic of Horror 2023), BEST COMEDY FEATURE (International Comedy Film Festival 2024), BEST ACTOR and BEST DROP DEAD FUNNY (Haunted House FearFest 2023), as well as receiving numerous other nominations.

Mason McGinness has always been good at two things: selling himself, and finding ways to cheat people into buying when they shouldn’t. One day, his brazen swindling catches up with him and he finds himself fired from his job and kicked to the curb by his ex-girlfriend. Mason finds a small realty company that needs someone to sell a piece of property that is considered “unsellable.” The catch? It is the infamous Scarlett Clay house — a haunted house where anyone who inhabits it ends up dead. Now, with the help of a quirky psychic, Mason must find his humanity to get his life back… or die trying.

PRE-ORDER TODAY ON APPLETV: https://apple.co/3xtjZR8

PRE-ORDER TODAY ON AMAZON: https://www.primevideo.com/detail/For…

SOCIAL HANDLES:

IG: @forsalemovieofficial

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‘THE PARK PLAYERS’ (2024) Charming new kids show premieres on YouTube today. Get ready to smile.

The park players logo

With comedy, facts, music, and puns mixed to bite-sized perfection, the new series THE PARK PLAYERS is a treat for kids and parents alike. Creator Joe Cobden‘s Sesame Street experience is on full display. Modern children’s programming has exploded over the past few years with shows upping the anty on clever and educational dialogue. THE PARK PLAYERS introduces us to characters like Rose, the curious skunk, the confident dog Mr. Whiskers, the chatty raccoon Rico, and the brave but timid Mouse. 

As a 43-year-old mother raised by Big Bird, PBS Kids is now a morning fixture in our house. Any parent will tell you that YouTube has made their life simpler now that official channels for kids’ shows are available. THE PARK PLAYERS enters the scene with unique characters, carefully crafted and hilariously voiced. Backed by the lovely park audio of birds and wind places the viewer in the environment with their new colorful friends, subconsciously exposing kids to places they might not have seen in real life. The original songs are smirk-inducing, and the score is calming. There is something about each one of our new friends that’s charming and quirky. Even in brief, quiet moments, you find yourself gazing at them with glee. 

THE PARK PLAYERS is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Congratulations to the entire production team for delivering new smiles.

Park Players characters 1

THE PARK PLAYERS characters 2

BIG BEACH

THE PARK PLAYERS - Big BeachFounded in 2004, Big Beach is a Los Angeles-based
company that produces, finances, and distributes
independent films, television, and theater productions.
With an eye toward intelligent, character-driven,
humanistic material, the company’s overall mission is
to showcase stories that inspire, engage, and entertain.

Meet Our Friends

The Park Players -Shelly and Mouse

In true Park Players fashion, Joe invited a slew of his
friends along to help bring his vision to life.
From Fred Stoller lending a voice to Shelley, to
Hombre McSteez illustrating initial sketches and
design legend, Rhek, lending a helping hand.
Ron Clark, an original writer on the muppets, helped
Joe crack a few jokes for your laughing pleasure too.
Park Players encourages you to come together with
your friends and enjoy the magic that real-life
connection can bring.

For more Family Friendly reviews, click here!

THE HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AMAZING 2024 LINEUP

The Harlem  International Film Festival logo

Harlem FF partners

THE 2024 HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
announces line-up for 19th edition
(May 16-26)

Opening Night features the World Premiere of
Nana Ghana’s You Are Always Right Here
and an Uptown Shorts Spotlight

Saturday’s Spotlight Presentation will feature the
NY Premiere of Nancy Saslow’s documentary
Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White

 

The Harlem  International Film Festival still 1YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT HERE, XERNONA CLAYTON: A LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE



New York, NY (May 3, 2024) – The 2024 Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) today announced the films and events for its 19th edition – returning as a fully in-person event taking place May 16-26 with special support from the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. The film festival will open with the world premiere of Nana Ghana’s You Are Always Right Here, preceded by Gabri Christa’s short film Kankantri (the Silk Cotton Tree), and a special premiere curation of Uptown Shorts.

Due to their successful teaming last year, Harlem International Film Festival and Columbia University Zuckerman Institute’s free-to-the-public presentations will not just return but encompass all in-person screenings for the first four days of the film festival. Located at The Forum (601 West 125th Street), Hi’s famous Opening Night red carpet, screenings and panels will all be located at that central hub with the second weekend at Maysles Documentary Center (343 Malcolm X Boulevard). This year’s film lineup will once again celebrate and showcase relatively undiscovered international cinematic gems and local New York filmmaking talent with a special focus on Harlem artists. Hi’s lineup features 61 films, including 24 features (10 narrative, 14 documentaries), 20 shorts (11 narrative, 9 documentaries, 1 television webisode), 2 experimental, 4 music videos, and 3 VR projects, 4 television webisodes, and 4 youth films.

Harlem International Film Festival’s Program Director, Nasri Zacharia, said. “This is our fourth year working with the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University and the second with the Forum, and we are thrilled to be able to provide so many programs free to the public. This festival is unique in our dual focus on world cinema alongside our homegrown talent here in the HUB ­– Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx. This year’s lineup scores on both of those fronts yet again.”

Opening Night on Thursday, May 16 at The Forum will be highlighted by the world premiere of Nana Ghana’s You Are Always Right Here. The film looks at the relationship that develops during the lockdown between Eve, a woman drowning in grief and pain following a personal tragedy, and Adam, who attempts to help her navigate those dark waters. The screening will be preceded by the New York premiere of Gabri Christa’s short film Kankantri (The Silk Cotton Tree) about a woman who enters a place of worship and is transported to the parallel universe of all her ancestors who do not let her leave, until she participates in their dances and rituals. The directors of both films will attend and participate in post-screening Q&As. The evening will also include Hi’s popular Uptown Shorts Spotlightpresentation, featuring short films shot in Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx.

The featured film for Saturday’s Spotlight Presentation will be Nancy Saslow’s documentary Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White. The film celebrates the life of Xernona Clayton, one of the most unheralded civil rights icons and African American pioneers of our time. Clayton is an extraordinary woman who has impacted our country so respectfully and quietly that many aren’t aware of her enormous contributions. Following the screening will be a Q&A with Saslow and the icon herself, Xernona Clayton.

The Harlem  International Film Festival still 2
THREE (EXTRA) ORDINARY WOMEN, PLAYING THROUGH, ILEANA’S SMILE

Additional highlights include Friday May 17 presentations featuring Cionin Lorenzo and Pearlette J Ramos’ Three (Extra) Ordinary Women, which takes us on a harrowing minute-by-minute journey with three women seeking to overcome traumatic events by reaching Africa’s tallest peak Mount Kilimanjaro. Balbinka Korzeniowska’s festival favorite Playing Through which dramatizes the fateful golf match between Ann Gregory, the first woman of color to enter the USGA Women’s Amateur, and Babs Whatling, a privileged white woman from the south. Three (Extra) Ordinary Women director Cionin Lorenzo, and Playing Through producer Peter Odiorne will both attend and participate in post-screening Q&As. The evening will conclude with a live musical performance by Brad Corrigan, from the band Dispatch, prior to a screening of his film Ileana’s Smile which follows the tragic story of a girl with a lightning smile who endures life in a trash dump community in Managua, Nicaragua, and the unlikely friendships that form around her.

Negrita The Harlem  International Film Festival NEGRITA

Saturday, May 18 will feature a special panel discussion on colorism in Black and Latinx communities prior to a screening of Magdalena Albizu’s Negrita. The film focuses on diverse Afro Latinas who explore and confront culture and racism while defining their own identity in the United States. The film explores the ideology of Blackness, and how both American and Latino cultures perpetuate the belief that Blackness is to be destroyed.

For updates, registration, and more information on the Harlem International Film Festival go to http://HarlemFilmFestival.org


2024 Harlem International Film Festival Official Selections

Opening Night Selections
You Are Always Right Here World Premiere
Director: Nana Ghana
Country: US, Running Time: 82 min
You Are Always Right Here unfolds linearly, with the day-to-day mundaneness of the lockdown. Eve bakes bread, deep cleans, virtual therapy, for a moment things are feeling good, but soon the memories of her past life, coupled with the discomfort and uncertainty in isolation sends Eve riding the waves of dark waters, drowning with grief and pain. Eve tries to make the best of the government issued stay at home order, but it becomes clear that Eve is using Adam as a band aid for her deep wounds, her divorce as a result of the tragic and accidental death of her 2-year-old son.
Preceded by
Kankantri (The Silk Cotton Tree)
Director: Gabri Christa
Country: Suriname, Running Time: 27 min
A woman enters a place of worship and is transported to the parallel universe of all her ancestors who do not let her leave, until she participates in their dances and rituals and exits, integrated.

Saturday Spotlight Presentation
Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White New York Premiere
Director: Nancy Saslow
Country: US, Running Time: 118 min
Celebrating the life of one of the most unheralded civil rights icons and African American pioneers of our time, the documentary tells the amazing story of Xernona Clayton, an extraordinary woman who has impacted our country so respectfully and quietly that many aren’t aware of her enormous contributions.

ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILMS

NARRATIVE
As If It’s True
Director: John Rogers
Country: Philippines, Running Time: 105 min
Gemma Stone is a social media influencer/content creator who’s burning out from trying to maintain the interest of her followers. She meets James, a struggling musician suffering from depression. They enter into a relationship with the mutual intent to capitalize on the other. Gemma uses James for content by presenting him as a perfect aspirational romantic partner, while James leeches off Gemma’s wealth and connections to further his own music career. But, as time passes, their intentions don’t pan out as they expect and a blur forms between real love and exploitation.

La Pura Vida
Director: Dylan Verrechia
Country: Mexico, Running Time: 90 min
Nana and Fili live in Tijuana, Mexico, and try to make ends meet but struggle with money. Fili’s parents, Oscar and Angie, are on their way from their home in Valle de Guadalupe (the wine country in Baja California) to their second home in Cozumel. They stop uninvited to Nana’s house. The parents slowly invade the space, making it theirs, and in the course of it destroy the fragile couple. La Pura Vida tells the story of Nana who must deal with the overbearing family of her boyfriend and overall abuse.

My Last Best Friend
Director: Filippo M. Prandi
Country: US, Running Time: 106 min
NYC. March 2020. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, two men, both named Walter Stoyanov, watch their lives unravel as one of them falls ill and the other one is being investigated by FBI Agent John McCallany.

My Motherland
Director: Benoit Cohen
Country: France, Running Time: 91 min
France has been living alone in her apartment since her husband’s death. When she hears on the radio that an NGO is putting homeless migrants in touch with people who are willing to welcome them, she decides, against her only son’s opinion to welcome Reza, a young Afghan broken by war and exile. Two worlds meet, and they begin to hold each other’s hands.

Playing Through
Director: Balbinka Korzeniowska
Country: US, Running Time: 87 min
Late in her career, Ann Gregory finds the courage to be the first woman of color to enter the USGA Women’s Amateur. She collides with Babs Whatling, a privileged white woman from the south who is searching for her own identity. This highly publicized match forever changes them and the game.

Sappy
Director: Shusei Ueda
Country: Japan, Running Time: 86 min
A man has ambitions to be a novelist, while working as a driver for a sex worker. Kobayashi, an acquaintance and best-selling novelist, mentors the aspiring writer, advising him on how to complete his first novel.

Valley of Exile
Director: Anna Fahr
Country: Lebanon, Running Time: 107 min
Two sisters arrive in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley at the onset of the Syrian war, embarking on a journey into exile that tests their loyalty to their country, their family and each other.

When Morning Comes
Director: Kelly Fyffe-Marshall
Country: Jamaica, Running Time: 92 min
A young boy struggles with his widowed mother’s decision to relocate the family from Jamaica to Canada.

White Guilt
Director: Marcus Flemmings
Country: UK, Running Time: 61 min
Eleven affluent white individuals in their twenties and thirties head off in a bus, hoping to assuage their white guilt. They seek a unique pay-to-play service: experiencing reverse slavery. While this controversial service typically proceeds as planned, things take a dark twist when a carefree newcomer joins the crew, and a woman of mixed-race ethnicity stands among the elite clientele.


DOCUMENTARY
A Thousand and One Berber Nights
Director: Hisham Aïdi
Country: US, Running Time: 53 min
In the late 1950s Hassan Ouakrim was a young dancer and actor in Morocco. Little did he know that he would soon become the protegé of La Mama Theatre founder Ellen Stewart, performing across America, forming friendships with the likes of jazz virtuosos Ornette Coleman and Randy Weston, and becoming a pioneer in spreading Berber dance and music in North America.

Another Part of Me
Director: Ivan Lopez
Country: Spain, Running Time: 81 min
This is the story of how Gustavo Hernández (known as Gus Jackson) managed to become, chosen by the fans themselves, the best Michael Jackson impersonator in Europe and the second worldwide. Born in Ingenio (Gran Canaria), Gustavo Hernández began working in the late nineties as an imitator of the King of Pop and since then he has made this work his philosophy of life. The film approaches Gustavo’s day-to-day efforts to achieve his teenage dreams, while deepening his relationship with fans around the world and showing how his work has become an influence and inspiration for thousands of people as Michael Jackson himself achieved in life.

The Apology
Director: Mimi Chakarova
Country: US, Running Time: 82 min
The Apology, a feature-length documentary by Mimi Chakarova, investigates an incident in California in the 1960s in which Alameda County and the City of Hayward dismantled the entire community of Russell City, pushing 1,400 residents out of their homes and off their land – all to claim the 200 acres for an industrial park.

Firefly: The Tay Fisher Story
Director: Christopher Nostrand
Country: US, Running Time: 56 min
Tay Fisher’s basketball and life journey is one of determination, inspiration, teamwork, and downright talent – developing into one of the greats in 4-point shooting history during his 10 years on the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. As “Firefly” he enthralled fans around the world with his “Curly” Neal-inspired one-of-kind dribbling style and infectiously positive attitude. Today, Tay shares the challenges and guidance of his never-give-up story on and off the court, by mentoring kids and holding basketball camps in his hometown.

Healer: The Dr. Joycelyn Elders Story
Director: Candace Bellamy
Country: US, Running Time: 48 min
From Sharecropper’s daughter to the first African American Surgeon General of the United States, Healer is a documentary about the life of Dr. Joycelyn Elders.

Ileana’s Smile
Director: Bradley J Corrigan
Country: US, Running Time: 64 min
Ileana’s Smile is the tragic story of a girl with a lightning smile who endures life in a trash dump community in Managua, Nicaragua, and the unlikely friendships that form around her. The film follows American musician Brad Corrigan, Nicaraguan taxi driver and pastor Bismark Rocha, and several Nicaraguan social workers and educators as they try to open up new paths of opportunity and healing for Ileana, and the devastating choices she makes.

One Person, One Vote?
Director: Maximina Juson
Country: US, Running Time: 78 min
An Award-winning documentary that takes and in-depth look at the US Electoral College, its slavery origins, and impact on American politics today.

Negrita
Director: Magdalena Albizu
Country: US, Running Time: 50 min
Negrita is a feature documentary about diverse Afro Latinas who explore and confront culture and racism while defining their own identity in the United States. The film explores the ideology of Blackness, and how both American and Latino cultures perpetuate the belief that Blackness is to be destroyed. Through personal accounts, family pictures, old videos, and interactions with family and friends, Negrita follows the director’s own struggle with identity, her journey to embrace her African history, and her conversations with her family about their disapproval of her journey, while interweaving the stories/experiences shared by other Afro Latinas.

Return To Your Corner
Director: Ashley Malcolm Morrison
Country: Australia, Running Time: 62 min
Who was the first Boxing World Champion from Africa? Why do so few people know his name?
Sadly, few know his name even in Africa because Battling Siki was a world champion during the colonial era so his world title is recorded as belonging to his colonial ruler. Siki faced severe racism during his career, but used the very thing used against him to promote himself and his fights. He also stood up to racism at a time when few did.

Silent Fallout
Director: Hideaki Ito
Country: Japan, Running Time: 76 min
Narrated by Alec Baldwin, this documentary film looks at the damage caused by the resulting radiation from the testing of nuclear bombs. The U.S. government dropped 101 atomic bombs on the American continent for years. As a result, in the 1960s, milk was contaminated with radiation. Women stood up and proved that their children were exposed to radiation. President Kennedy declared a halt to atmospheric nuclear testing, but we are just discovering the extent of the damage done.

Sing! Fight! Sing! Fight! From Leroi To Amiri
Director: Colin Still
Country: UK, Running Time: 88 min
A portrait of the African American poet & playwright Amiri Baraka, formerly LeRoi Jones.

Skate Night
Director: Emily Leibow
Country: US, Running Time: 58 min
Skate Night is a documentary film about freedom told through a unique community of inline skaters as they explore New York City on wheels. This skating community, like the city itself, brings people together—every race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, religion, and nationality. The motto is, “all wheels welcome.” To be included, all you have to do is show up with some way to “roll as one.”

Three (Extra) Ordinary Women
Directors: Cionin Lorenzo, Pearlette J Ramos
Countries: United Republic of Tanzania/US, Running Time: 92 min
The feature documentary Three (Extra) Ordinary Women tells the personal stories of three women of color who have collectively overcome poverty, abuse, systemic racism, and political occupation through practicing forgiveness, helping others and immersing themselves in nature. As they brave their biggest physical obstacle yet – climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – trekking up Africa’s tallest peak through arctic temperatures and some of the highest altitude on the planet, they discover they still have emotional hurdles to climb.


ADDITIONAL SHORT FILMS

NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
Billy Boy
Director: Will Roane
Country: US, Running Time: 6 min
In this tense, enigmatic drama, a former football star turned real estate broker meets with a troubled young heir to an old-money fortune to close a deal on a new house, and nothing goes according to plan.

Bronx Park Thunder
Director: Shaun Vivaris
Country: US, Running Time: 16 min
Forced to run an errand for a Bronx mafioso, a small-time fireworks & ecstasy dealer seizes the opportunity of a lifetime and goes rogue.

Homing
Director: Ricardo J. Varona
Country: US, Running Time: 17 min
In a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood, a reclusive pigeon keeper is tasked with caring for his estranged daughter for a day but is blindsided by a revelation that could mean losing her for good.

I Promise You Paradise
Director: Morad Mostafa
Country: Egypt, Running Time: 22 min
Following a violent incident; Eissa, a 17 year old African migrant in Egypt is in a quest against time to save his loved ones whatever it takes.

Love Letter for the Subway
Director: Mary Hawkins
Country: US, Running Time: 2 min
Animation – The filmmaker works with type making this set of hand-drawn, animated letters representing New York City’s subway lines as a love letter to NYC. Imagery is pulled from the neighborhoods that trains move through, using common items in the subway as textures, and found shapes in the architecture and sights around us as we get where we’re going.

Pantagruel
Director: Omar Al-Nakib
Country: US, Running Time: 6 min
A New York scientist’s experiment to revive a hybrid goes horribly right.

Pen, Again
Director: Julian J. Delacruz
Country: US, Running Time: 13 min
Mourning the unexpected loss of his wife, Leo embraces a new technology that promises to bring her back. We discover Leo just before he’s about to receive his “new” wife, Penelope. Not knowing what to expect, Leo discovers what he’s willing to accept to cope with the grief.

Speak Up Brotha!
Director: Wes Andre Goodrich
Country: US, Running Time: 15 min
Grad student Ahmad Jones drives for a rideshare company. He receives a request from a mysterious woman — a poet. They connect over music, but she seems to ignore him. When the opportunity arises to see her again, Ahmad must learn how to communicate in ways beyond his understanding to win her heart.

The War Torn Drum
Director: Derek A Ham
Country: US, Running Time: 12 min
Animation – In the late 1860’s, a U.S. Marshal bonds with a post Civil War drummer boy in their search to track down a wanted criminal.

What Somalia Wants
Director: Jade Bryan
Country: US, Running Time: 44 min
In this gentrified Harlem dramedy series, Somalia LaMine, a Black deaf fashion designer, pop-up store owner, and TikTok influencer experiences new challenges and hilarious situations associated with the pressures and demands of a Gen Z era.


DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS
A Race In The Sun
Director: K. Nicole Mills
Country: US, Running Time: 20 min
An exploration of cycling culture through the eyes of Ayesha McGowan who rose through the ranks of the New York City underground cycling world to break barriers as the world’s first African American woman to become a professional cyclist.

The Book of Days
Director: Ian Phillips
Country: US, Running Time: 43 min
In a neighborhood where everything around him is changing, one man’s life remains stagnant. A documentary by Ian Phillips, filmed over the course of sixteen years.

Dr. Eddie Henderson: Uncommon Genius
The remarkable life story of renowned African American jazz trumpeter and flugelhrn player Eddie Henderson, whose curiosity, desire for exploration, and athleticicsm led him down many career paths, including figure skating and dual career in medicine and music.

The Historic HBCU Photograph
Director: Ciara D. Ingram
Country: UK, Running Time: 27 min
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic put an abrupt halt to all in-person social activities across the nation. An ongoing wave of civil unrest ensued in the United States, triggered by the murder of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020, leading to riots and peaceful protests aainst years of systemic racism toward African Americans in the United States. In 2021, a vaccine was approved by the CDC, allowing social activities to slowly resume. As a result, HBCU alumni from across the country came together for one day on the steps of Morningside Park in Harlem for a Historic Photograph.

How To Sue The Klan
Director: John Beder
Country: US, Running Time: 34 min
From Producer Ben Crump. America’s first hate group, the Ku Klux Klan, dealt out hatred and violence for over a century without penalty – until five Black women and a young Black civil rights lawyer finally forced them to pay for their crimes. The strength of these women and the groundbreaking 1982 civil case set forth by their attorney established a legal precedent that paved the road for today’s fight against organized hate.

Interception: Jayne Kennedy
Director: Safiya Songhai
Country: US, Running Time: 15 min
When a bronze-skin bombshell rocks the world of Sunday Morning Football, millions tune in… but few know the tumultuous story of Jayne Kennedy, the first Black woman to boldly run interception on the racial lines of American sportscasting.

Kingdome
Director: Shawn Antoine II
Country: US, Running Time: 20 min
Kingdome chronicles the remarkable journey of the legendary basketball tournament in Harlem known as the Kingdome. For 37 years, this tournament has been a symbol of community, resilience, and the transformative power of basketball. Through the eyes of its founder, Terry “Huncho” Cooper, and the diverse cast of players, fans, and organizers, the film explores the profound impact of the Kingdome on the lives of those involved and the Harlem community at large.

Taking Your Best Shot
Director: Aminah Salaam
Country: US, Running Time: 31 min
This documentary focuses on a Youth Citywide Basketball Tournament held by the New York City Housing Authority for its residents. The protagonists in this film are youth and teen athletes from New York City Housing, also known as ‘the projects’ all over NYC.

Tell Me Your Story
Directors: Jamal Joseph, Mike De Carp
Country: US, Running Time: 40 min
Academy Award Nominee musician Tevin Thomas comes back to New York City after many years to record a new album with his lifelong colleagues. The music sessions become an opportunity to reflect on his life and musical journey.


EXPERIMENTAL
For Those That Lived There
Director: Shawn Antoine II
Country: US, Running Time: 6 min
Amidst the ivy-draped remnants of once-notorious public housing projects, the film weaves a visual tapestry, navigating the poignant impacts of gentrification, the displacement of Black legacies, and the emergent migrant narratives. Against Chicago’s ever-evolving skyline, this evocative exploration immerses audiences into the soul of a neighborhood transformed.

Re-Éksodos
Director: Julia Horta Paiva
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 16 min


MUSIC VIDEOS
Cyano Sun Suite
Director: Stefan Verna
Country: Canada, Running Time: 9 min

Damn Thing
Director: Toby Sidler
Country: US, Running Time: 4 min

In Sync
Director: Jeff Collin Suttles
Country: US, Running Time: 9 min

Never Hold Me Down
Director: Toby Sidler
Country: US, Running Time: 4 min


VIRTUAL REALITY
A Vocal Landscape
Directors: Omid Zarei, Anne Jeppesen
Country: Denmark, Running Time: 14 min
A Vocal Landscape is a hyperrealistic VR short film that explores the strange and familiar
Anatomy of a conversation.

The Carrier
Director: Andrew Cochrane
Country: US, Running Time: 10 min
The Carrier is told through the eyes of a baby waking up in the back seat of their family’s car, which is stuck in a traffic jam. In the front seat, the baby’s parents lament their decision to wait to evacuate the city – from what is not clear, but the duct-taped vents and windows of the car and the luggage strapped to the cars surrounding them seem to indicate that something serious is happening.

Nirwana Gold
Director: Andreas Waldenmaier
Country: Germany, Running Time: 13 min
Nirwana.Gold is a multi-sensory virtual reality trilogy that offers the viewer three different spiritual experiences. An individual film, soundtrack, perfume, and ice cream flavor was created for each VR experience.


WEBISODES
6 Train to Parkchester
Director: J. Swain
Country: US, Running Time: 20 min
Webisode – Based on a true story, 6 Train to Parkchester is a gripping drama about two brothers (Dirk&Jewelz) from the Southeast section of The Bronx.

Connection (episode 2)
Director: Sarah Gross
Country: US, Running Time: 44 min
The Corona virus is not over. Nor are the divisions between us. Race and economic situations separate us far more than any ocean. This intimate 4-part documentary builds a political and historical chronicle of our time through personal stories of daily life from around the world.

Lucy and Sara (pilot)
Director: Susan Park
Country: US, Running Time: 7 min
Two unlikely recluse sisters learn to cope with living with each other after the death of their father.

Rick Younger Presents The Rick Younger Show (Starring Rick Younger as Rick Younger)
Director: Lalou Trotter Dammond
Country: US, Running Time: 12 min
Middle aged actor Rick Younger suddenly finds himself out of his Broadway gig and discovers that he must go viral if he wants to have a career.


YOUTH FILMS
Asphyxia
Director: Luciano Alzate
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 14 min
A failed writer and his son are stuck in their home after an apocalypse. Tensions rise as the son vies for freedom while the father forces him to write.

Black Care
Director: John Joseph MonacoCountry: US, Running Time: 4 min
Life and meaning at Smitty’s Barbershop.

Little Sahara
Director: Emilio Martí López
Country: Spain, Running Time: 30 min
Those who do not know the Sahara think that in the desert there is only sand. But here there are children, who play and draw and make movies, and who would like not to have to think about war. In the desert there is a European colony, an occupied country, called Western Sahara, and there are thousands of Sahrawi refugees living a hard life in exile. Little Sahara is an animated documentary that tells their story, that of a resilient people who try to thrive and grow up in the Hamada, where everything struggles to grow.

Project: KLB2
Director: Andrew Baker Taylor, Andrew Yuen
Country: US, Running Time: 8 min
Set in the near future. When Caleb, a humanoid AI teenager escapes, a corporation unleashes a search to find the missing subject. On the run Caleb seeks out his long-lost Mother for asylum. However, when he finally has the chance to reunite with her, something internal prevents him from doing so. He then realizes he must figure out how his emotions work to gather the courage to properly meet his mother.



ABOUT THE HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Celebrating the art of cinema in the home of the Harlem Renaissance, The Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) inspires and entertains by honoring dynamic films by anyone about anything under the sun. Conceived from the belief that we all have unique experiences and perspectives to share, the Festival actively seeks and exhibits fresh work. Hi is committed to exemplifying the eminence that Harlem represents and is dedicated to bringing attention to the finest filmmakers from Harlem and across the globe.

For previous Harlem International Film Festival coverage, click here!

The Harlem  International Film Festival logo

‘THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY’ (2024) The good, the bad, and the opportunistic.

well go usa logoTHE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY

The Last Stop In Yuma County poster

When a ragtag group of folks get stranded at a diner waiting for the gas truck to show, a pair of bank robbers complicate things for all involved. Francis Galluppi‘s heart-stopping THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY is one of the year’s most epic rides. 

 Last Stop In Yuma County Still 3Jim Cummings proves once again that his high-strung straight guy routine is gold. His eye for unique projects as an executive producer remains top-notch. His entire look, down to his Archie comic red hair, is perfection for The Knife Salesman. (Yes, that is his actual character’s title).

The Last Stop In Yuma County 1Jocelin Donahue brings authenticity to small-town waitress Charlotte. She is so watchable. Sierra McCormick (We Need To Do Something) is a delight as aspiring bank robber Sybil. She’s another bright spot in this wild ensemble cast. 

I can’t forget horror icon Barbara Crampton as the Sheriff’s secretary Virginia. She elevates every film with her unmatched screen presence. Connor Paolo uses his youthful energy to tap into newbie deputy Gavin’s well-meaning bumbling. He continues to surprise in his indie cred. 

 Last Stop In Yuma County Still 14Faizon Love that star quality. He brings a fully fleshed-out essence to gas station and motel operator Vernon. I request a spinoff feature of Vernon’s life. I bet filmmaker Francis Galluppi could make that happen in a heartbeat. 

Richard Brake is so good at being bad. Every villain he portrays is on another level, and Beau is no exception. Brake is effortlessly terrifying and commanding. Nicolas Logan owns each moment of screen time as Travis, hot-headed know-it-all sidekick to Brake’s Beau. The pair have fantastic chemistry.

Mac Fisken’s cinematography is outstanding. Galluppi’s script is wildly entertaining from the first shot to the last. I watch very few films as a critic without pause or notetaking. THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY easily takes that prize home. It is tremendous, risk-taking storytelling. Bravo. 

THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY
IN THEATERS: May 10, 2024
ON DIGITAL: May 10, 2024

The film is currently 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

DIGITAL PRE-ORDER LINK:

https://tv.apple.com/us/movie/the-last-stop-in-yuma-county/umc.cmc.3azd4vge5rrvoy9bxi3cez22p

Well Go USA will release the western, crime, thriller film THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY in Theaters and On Digital May 10, 2024. The debut feature from writer-director Francis Galluppi had its World Premiere Fantastic Fest before heading to Sitges where it won the best film prize in the Orbita section.

THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY stars an ensemble cast of Jim Cummings (The Wolf of Snow Hollow), Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil), Sierra McCormick (The Vast of Night), Nicholas Logan (I Care a Lot), Michael Abbott Jr. (Killers of the Flower Moon), Connor Paolo (A Creature Was Stirring), Alexandra Essoe (“The Haunting of Bly Manor”), Robin Bartlett (The Fabelmans), Jon Proudstar (Reservation Dogs), Sam Huntington(“Being Human”), Ryan Masson (“Good Girls”), and Barbara Crampton(Suitable Flesh, Re-Animator), with Gene Jones (Killers of the Flower Moon), Faizon Love (Elf) and Richard Brake (Barbarian).

SYNOPSIS: While awaiting the next fuel truck at a middle-of-nowhere Arizona rest stop, a traveling young knife salesman is thrust into a high-stakes hostage situation by the arrival of two similarly stranded bank robbers with no qualms about using cruelty—or cold, hard steel—to protect their bloodstained, ill-begotten fortune.

DISTRIBUTOR: Well Go USA

For more Crime films, click here!


‘BLOOD FOR DUST’ (2024) Intense and timeless crime drama

the_avenue_logoBLOOD FOR DUST

blood for dust posterYears after some shady dealings haunt a group of business associates, Cliff tries to provide for what’s left of his family. As a floundering traveling salesman, his past finally catches up, forcing his hand into a new scheme with an old friend.

BLOOD FOR DUST_Still 4Scoot McNairy gives Cliff a palpable desperation and a fearlessness that captivates. He does not flinch. McNairy effortlessly carries the entire film. Kit Harington is unrecognizable as Ricky. His ultra-toxic masculinity drips off the screen. His physical and vocal work are unreal. His deliciously standoffish chemistry with Scoot McNairy makes the film.

BLOOD FOR DUST_Still 2This crime drama brings fantastic performances and a well-developed script. Cliff’s character has baggage and secrets that fuel his ultimate motivation. The slow-burn thriller pays off in spades with an explosive finale. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. BLOOD FOR DUST challenges your idea of both. An unexpected story of redemption, it is a solid genre entry. Slow clap for the last frame.

In Select Theaters & Digital April 19 

www.bloodfordustmovie.com

Director: Rod Blackhurst

Writer: David Ebeltoft

Cast: Scoot McNairy, Nora Zehetne, Ethan Suplee, Amber Rose Mason, Stephen Dorff, Josh Lucas, Kit Harington

Executive Producers: Arianne Fraser, Delphine Perrier, Henry Winterstern, Martin J. Barab, JJ Caruth, Paul W. Hazen, Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor, Grady Craig, Tyler Gould, Rod Blackhurst, David Ebeltoft, Justin Oakey, Ford Corbett, Joshua Harris, Anthony Standberry, Angel Campbell, Matthew Alex Goldberg, Kanwaldeep Kalsi, Arthur Farme D’Amoed, David Gendron, Viviana Zarragoitia

Producers: Ryan Winterstern, Bernard Kira, Petr Jákl, Ari Novak, Arun Kumar, Bobby Campbell, Nathan Klingher, Mark Fasano, Noah Lang

Cinematographer: Justin Derry

Production Designer: Rob Ebeltoft

Editor: Justin Oakey

Run Time: 100 minutes

Synopsis

Cliff (Scoot McNairy), a former salesman with a checkered past, is pulled back into a life of crime after losing his job. Desperate to keep his family afloat, lured by his old colleague, Ricky (Kit Harington), into trafficking drugs and guns for a cartel. As Cliff delves deeper, his once straight-laced life turns into a high-stakes game of survival in this gripping thriller hailed as “Breaking Bad meets Fargo” (Variety). Also starring Josh Lucas and Stephen Dorff.

For more crime films, click here!

‘JEANNE DU BARRY’ (2024) A sumptuous feast for the eyes and heart.

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JEANNE DU BARRY 

Jeanne Du Barry poster

French filmmaker Maïwenn wears multiple hats in her latest film, the period drama JEANNE DU BARRY. The film introduces audiences to the dazzling titular courtesan that changed the French Court forever. 

The script tackles the sheer absurdity of royal existence, highlighting everything from tradition to mundane routines, some undeniably laughable. Louis allows Jeanne a behind-the-scenes look at the realities of the French Court, and the audience is along for the ride and education. 

jeanne du barry still 1The fragility of Jeanne’s station and extraordinary influence are beautifully nurtured by Lavernhe’s continuous narration. On the other hand, we also experience the vitriol Jeanne received from anyone threatened by her existence. Her boundless love is her only Achilles. 

Johnny Depp is King Louis XV. Unsurprising, Depp eats the role alive with effortless charm. The with which he settles into any role is on full display. His star power has not waned one bit. 

jeanne du barryBenjamin Lavernhe delivers an unforgettable performance as La Borde. He is Jeanne’s guide to life at court and the only entirely human interaction anyone encounters. Lavernhe is the emotional stronghold of the film. 

Jeanne du Barry and zamorMaïwenn gives Jeanne a ceaselessly passionate and curious air. Her gentle elegance and care for her fellow actors beam off the screen. She is nothing less than captivating. Depp and Maïwenn’s chemistry is off the charts. She and Lavernhe take your breath away.

Wrapped in stunning camera work, sumptuous production and costume design, and Stephen Warbeck’s melancholy score that vibrates through your body, JEANNE DU BARRY is a period drama lover’s dream. 

Only In Theaters beginning May 2, 2024


DIRECTED BY:

Maïwenn

WRITTEN BY:

Maïwenn, Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi

STARRING:

Johnny Depp, Maïwenn, Benjamin Lavernhe, Pierre Richard, Melvil Poupaud, and Pascal Greggory

RUN TIME:

116 minutes

RATING:

NR

GENRE:

Period Drama

SYNOPSIS:

Jeanne du Barry follows Jeanne Vaubernier (Maïwenn), a working-class woman determined to climb the social ladder, using her charms to escape her impoverished life. Her lover, the Comte du Barry (Melvil Poupaud), wishes to present her to King Louis XV (Johnny Depp) and orchestrates a meeting through the influential Duke of Richelieu (Pierre Richard). The encounter goes far beyond his expectations for it was love at first sight for the King and Jeanne. Through this ravishing courtesan, the king rediscovers his appetite for life and feels he can no longer live without her. Making Jeanne his last official mistress, scandal erupts as no one at Court will accept a girl from the streets into their rarified world.

 

VERTICAL 

Founded in 2012, Vertical has become a leading global independent distributor releasing films across all mediums. Vertical’s unique combination of full-service marketing and highly effective sales services provides collaborative solutions for filmmakers, as the company leverages creative and platform relationships to maximize revenue streams from all content providers.


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‘MIND BODY SPIRIT’ (2024) is quite the frightening flex for filmmakers Alex Henes and Matthew Merenda

welcome-villain logoMIND BODY SPIRIT

mind body spirit posterAnya moves into her estranged late grandmother’s home in an attempt to find herself and start a career as a yoga influencer. Her timid, authentic nature makes her a target of criticism and self-doubt. When she discovers a hidden door to the attic and a handwritten book of rituals collected by her grandmother, dark motives inhabit Anya’s spiritual journey.

A clever transition device includes internet buffering and built-in ads. The camera work, mostly laptop-based and hand-held, fully immerses you in the stillness, making you hyper-aware of the slightest movements on screen. The slow build is undeniably effective. The 360° shot is the star pupil.

Mind Body Spirit Still 1Inspiration from both Rob Savage‘s Host, Paranormal Activity, and The Blair Witch Project are unmissable. The dialogue has a slick duality. While we know more than Anya at any given moment, her unassuming words hit a nerve more than once. I feel compelled to warn you now. One particular scene might make you vomit by testing your natural gag reflex.

Sarah J. Bartholomew gives Anya a tangible vulnerability and innocence just ripe for the picking (off). She is the entire film. Her physical performance is applause-worthy. MIND BODY SPIRIT mixes Russian folklore and unresolved generational trauma. Filmmakers Alex Henes and Matthew Merenda make spirituality scary. In true form, Namaste to you both.

MIND BODY SPIRIT
 On Digital May 7th




Director: Alex Henes, Matthew Merenda    
Screenwriters: Alex Henes, Matthew Merenda
Producer: Dan Asma
Cast: Sarah J. Bartholomew, Madi Bready, KJ Flahive
Genre: Horror
Run Time: 80 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Distributor: Welcome Villain Films


Synopsis: MIND BODY SPIRIT follows Anya, an aspiring yoga influencer, as she embarks on a ritual practice left behind by her estranged grandmother. What starts as a spiritual self-help guide quickly evolves into something much more sinister. As Anya becomes obsessed with the mysterious power of the practice, she unwittingly unleashes an otherworldly entity that begins to take control of her life — and her videos. Now Anya must race to unlock the truth, before her descent into madness threatens to consume her mind, body, and spirit. 


Hashtag: #MindBodySpiritMovie
Instagram: instagram.com/welcomevillain
Twitter: twitter.com/WelcomeVillain
Facebook: facebook.com/WelcomeVillain
YouTube: youtube.com/@welcomevillain
Website: welcomevillain.com




ABOUT WELCOME VILLAIN FILMS
Welcome Villain Films, who recently released MALUM, HUNT HER, KILL HER, and BEATEN TO DEATH, is a fully integrated genre studio with an innovative business model and flexible approach to development, production, marketing, and strategic distribution. A destination for filmmakers with unique voices who seek a creative studio partner that embraces their visions and has the ability to deliver them to genre-hungry audiences in exciting new ways, Welcome Villain Films’ mission is to empower creators of all levels, bridging the gap between studio and artist to consistently deliver edgy and exciting films in the horror and genre space. For more information, visit www.WelcomeVillain.com 

For more Horror film reviews, click here!

‘LITTLE EMPTY BOXES'(2024) A loving portrait with vital insight on Dementia.

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LITTLE EMPTY BOXES

Little Empty Boxes Pictures

If you’ve ever watched dementia slowly ravage a loved one, Max Lugavere and Chris Newhard‘s raw documentary LITTLE EMPTY BOXES will hit you square in the chest. The film follows Lugavere’s coast-to-coast quest to find answers about his mother’s rare form of the disease. Kathy is only 63, but she is displaying the neurodegeneration of someone much older. 

Little Empty Boxes Pictures - 2One of the most surprising aspects of dementia is the unfiltered confessions of an exhausted brain. Kathy is an open book, always willing to share her innermost thoughts with Max on camera. Max is an angel in her presence. His unconditional love and relentless patience are the things we can only hope to instill in our children. And because he is the primary caretaker, he must suffer the brunt of Kathy’s sporadic disdain. 

Twenty-five minutes in, the audience gets their first glimpse at what dementia can do to a person and how it takes over the body and brain. Throughout the tests Kathy endures throughout the film, one of the doctors reveals that her diagnosis looks like Lewy Body disease, the same disease that Robin Williams had. 

Little Empty Boxes Pictures Max and KathyDelving into the science behind the rise and cause of Alzheimer’s is fascinating. Food is a major player in our likelihood, as is the occurrence of surgery. The scenes of medical talking heads go down easy with the addition of quirky 2D animation. The film features childhood home videos shot by Max and his father, intercut with his research. 

The heaviness of the film is inescapable. We are witnessing real-time grief as Kathy’s health declines. It mourns the great losses and celebrates the small wins. It is a film about the inflicted individual and the ripple effects on family members. The film creates an intimacy that invites you to be a family member along for the ride, for better or worse. LITTLE EMPTY BOXES is essential viewing in educating the masses and offering hope that maybe, just maybe, we can do something about it. 

LITTLE EMPTY BOXES will be released theatrically in New York at LOOK Cinemas on 4/19
and in LA on 4/26 at the Laemmle Monica.

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‘HUMANE’ (2024) is unhinged, vicious fun.

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HUMANE

Official Poster - HUMANEDIRECTED BY CAITLIN CRONENBERG
WRITTEN & PRODUCED BY MICHAEL SPARAGA
STARRING JAY BARUCHEL, EMILY HAMPSHIRE, PETER GALLAGHER

HUMANE - Still 11In Caitlin Cronenberg‘s HUMANE, the only way for Earth’s population to survive under environmental collapse is to have people “enlist” or volunteer for scheduled and compensated euthanasia. When the program hits too close to home for one family, secrets come to light, and motives change everything. 

Peter Gallagher is the York family patriarch, Charles. While he is a supportive and gentle soul, owning his absenteeism in parenting, his flaws are the catalyst for the entire plot. 

HUMANE - Still 9Alanna Bale is an aspiring actress and the youngest family member, Ashley. Her selfishness and loose lips cause nothing but chaos. Sebastian Chacon plays Noah York, adopted son, recovering alcoholic, and piano prodigy. Chacon is sensational, bringing a humanity that stands out among the ensemble cast.

Enrico Colantoni gives a haunting performance as Bob, the government’s executioner. His morbid comedy gifts the audience with much-needed breaks in tension. 

HUMANE - Still 3Emily Hampshire, whose film cred has exploded since the Schitt’s Creek finale, is the eldest York daughter, Rachel. She is abrasive, unfiltered, and fearless. Hampshire owns every moment of screen time. 

Jay Baruchel plays Jared, a government spokesperson for this extreme population mitigation and the eldest York son. He is a flashy know-it-all whose racist tendencies allow him to excuse the program and target certain family members. 

HUMANE - Still 1The set is stunning, a stone mansion with deep jewel-toned walls and carved mahogany. The use of solar-lined umbrellas in the brief periods exposed to the sun and the implementation of solar film on the windows make a massive impact. The characters each comment on the ingredients their stepmother has procured, suggesting the food chain has affected every socioeconomic corner. It is all very carefully curated, and undeniably brilliant. 

Michael Sparaga‘s script tackles racism, elitism, conspiracy theories, real-world parallels, and self-preservation. The characters are loathsome. Will you feel wrong rooting for villains? Absolutely, Yes, and absolutely, No. One final scene is the cherry on top of this unhinged sundae. HUMANE is deliciously complex and viscous fun. 

IFC Films and Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, are proud to present HUMANE, a chilling dystopian satire from Caitlin Cronenberg, making her highly anticipated feature directorial debut. The film will open exclusively in theaters, including the Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan and Alamo Drafthouse Downtown LA, on Friday, April 26th and will stream on Shudder starting July 26th.

 

SYNOPSIS – HUMANE takes place over a single day, mere months after a global ecological collapse has forced world leaders to take extreme measures to reduce the earth’s population. In a wealthy enclave, a recently retired newsman has invited his grown children to dinner to announce his intentions to enlist in the nation’s new euthanasia program. But when the father’s plan goes horribly awry, tensions flare and chaos erupts among his children.


ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Caitlin Cronenberg

Director Caitlin Cronenberg grew up on the sets of Canada’s most iconic filmmaker to become a supremely gifted visual storyteller in her own right. As an in-demand celebrity portraitist, Caitlin’s work has been featured in top global publications including Vogue Italia, Marie Claire, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times, The Washington Post, W Magazine and Variety. A proud Torontonian, she shot the cover and album art for Drake’s four-time platinum, Grammy nominated record Views. Caitlin’s move into the directing chair started with music videos and short films including The Endings (2018) based on her best-selling, celebrity charged photo book of the same name, and The Death of David Cronenberg (2021). Humane marks Caitlin’s feature directorial debut and will be released in theaters and digitally courtesy of IFC Films and Shudder.


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‘PHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY’ (2024) Essential viewing in this moment.

ALL IS WELL PICTURES

IN ASSOCIATION WITH FORD FOUNDATION, AND SCANDOBEAN PRODUCTIONS

PRESENT

photographic justice the corky lee story

PHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY

Chinese American photographer Corky Lee focused entirely on his community, the Asian population. Their contributions have been notoriously erased from US history. An accidental activist since picking up his first camera, Lee’s instincts guided him to protect and encourage fellow Asian Americans in NYC to stand up for themselves. He was on the front lines at every political rally and every march. “I take pictures that I think matter.”

POLICE BRUTALITY PROTEST 1975 (Credit_ Corky Lee)Director Jennifer Takaki includes sweet animation sporadically playing under Corky’s narration. The film mixes personal footage and stills from Corky, the camera always in hand on the streets of Chinatown, old news interviews, and scenes of his relentless kindness towards the younger generation of aspiring photographers.

HATE IS A VIRUS 2020 (Credit_ Corky Lee).JPG - www.dropbox.comPHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY comes at a time in American history when Asian hate crime continues its uptick. Logging the cyclical violence and ignorance of the general population is vital to understanding the importance of the film.

Corky Lee

After heading out to the scene of a young Asian woman’s attack in 2021, Corky contracted COVID-19, leading to his shocking passing. The outpouring of support from Chinatown’s locals to national news broadcasters said it all. Corky Lee changed the landscape for his community, single-handedly creating Asian American history pages with each photograph and story. PHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY is a lesson in resilience and passion.

PHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY will be released theatrically in New York (DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema) on April 19 and in Los Angeles (Laemmle Glendale) on April 26 with a regional expansion to follow.


Director: Jennifer Takaki

Executive Producers:  George and Hillary Hirose, Lily M. Fan

Producers: Jennifer Takaki, Linda Lew Woo

Co-Producers: David Koh, Nicole DiMiceli

Editor: Linda Hattendorf

For 50 years, Chinese American photographer Corky Lee documented the celebrations, struggles, and daily lives of Asian American Pacific Islanders with epic focus. Determined to push mainstream media to include AAPI culture in the visual record of American history, Lee produced an astonishing archive of nearly a million compelling photographs. His work takes on new urgency with the alarming rise in anti-Asian attacks during the Covid pandemic. Jennifer Takaki’s intimate portrait reveals the triumphs and tragedies of the man behind the lens.

Corky Lee was born in 1947 in New York to Chinese immigrants who owned a laundry in Queens. He majored in history at Queens College and became a community organizer in Manhattan’s Chinatown in the 1970s. Over the next five decades he photographed countless protests and cultural events in the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Lee’s photographs documented the birth and growth of the Asian American movement for social justice and he became known as “The Undisputed, Unofficial, Asian American Photographer Laureate.”   His death in 2021 at the age of 73 due to Covid was mourned in the press worldwide.

Filmmaker Jennifer Takaki  is a fourth generation Japanese American from Colorado. She began her career in journalism at a Denver TV station and later moved to Hong Kong to work with Encore International. In Hong Kong she produced English-based news programming broadcast in China, India, and the Middle East via Rupert Murdoch’s STAR-TV.  In New York, she produced and directed “Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story” which premiered at DOC NYC and was supported by the Ford Foundation and The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). She was awarded the prestigious Better Angels Lavine Fellowship in 2023.

Running Time: 87 minutes / Language: English / Not Rated / Documentary Feature (USA)

OFFICIAL SELECTION: DOC NYC, CAAMFest, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) and many more.


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‘PRATFALL’ (2024) Complex and quintessentially human walk and talk in NYC teems with trauma and connection.

freestyle-digital-media-logoPRATFALL

PRATFALL poster

A troubled insomniac encounters an enigmatic French tourist in Central Park. The two set off on a sleepless New York adventure as the city casts a shadow over them.

PRATFALL 1Filmmaker Alex Andre captures an unusual connection between two strangers. PRATFALL walks a highwire of intimacy, trust, and confession. It’s a powerfully human story through the lens of two culturally diverse individuals. 

Chloé Groussard gives Joelle a tangible vulnerability. She is honest, wide-eyed, and receives Burge’s energy at every turn. 

Joshua Burge (BUZZARD) should be a household name. His ability to slip into the skin of every character he plays is astounding. The manic energy delivered in Eli wreaks of an authentic New Yorker who’s been there too long without the proper mental health care. He is abrasive to most strangers and yet embraces Joelle’s company fullfold. His chemistry with Groussard is the stuff of the gods. It’s challenging to decipher which lines of dialogue are organic or written by Andre. A compliment to all

PRATFALL 2Filmed predominantly on the Upper West Side (trust a local gal to recognize every street corner in the opening scene), moving its way east, then south through midtown and back, the hand-held cinematography lends to the intimacy and claustrophobia of Eli and Joelle’s inner turmoil. The classical score lulls you during the long follow shots. The upbeat soundtrack is a fantastic foil. 

The script feels like an eclectic mix of overheard conversations and romanticizing the city. The pace is uneven, but that does not lessen the most rewarding scenes, seeped in unresolved wounds and the essence of New York. PRATFALL boasts a tragic finale that somehow manages to be poetic perfection. It is a complex and quintessentially human walk and talk in NYC, teeming with trauma and connection.

Week-long theatrical release begins April 26 at Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles,
the same day as Freestyle Digital Media releases the film on
all major VOD platforms in North America (pre-order)

Credits

Director/Writer/Cinematographer/Editor/Producer – Alex Andre

Co-Producer – Jordyn Barber

107 minutes, USA, 2023

 

Follow:

PRATFALL Instagram: @pratfallmovie

Alex Andre Instagram: @thatalexandre

Joshua Burge Instagram: @joshuatheburge

Chloé Groussard Instagram: @craph

 

About Freestyle Digital Media

The digital distribution unit of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, satellite, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record, and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films. Recent releases include THE ROAD DOG starring comedian Doug Stanhope, SURVIVE starring HBO’s GAME OF THRONES star Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins, the music documentary profiling blues guitar legends Jimmie Vaughan & Stevie Ray Vaughan, BROTHERS IN BLUES, DEAR ZOE starring Sadie Sink from the hit Netflix series STRANGER THINGS, Jessica Capshaw and Theo Rossi. Other Freestyle Digital Media titles include BEST SUMMER EVER the teen musical featuring a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities, produced by Jamie Lee Curtis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson, THE WEDDING YEAR starring Sarah Hyland and Anna Camp, THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH starring Danny Houston, UNTOGETHER starring Jamie Dornan, Jemima Kirke, Ben Mendelsohn, Alice Eve and Billy Crystal, the action-comedy BETTER START RUNNING starring Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons and Maria Bello, THE BACHELORS starring Academy Award-winner J.K. Simmons, Julie Delpy and Odeya Rush and the award-winning documentary HONDROS produced by Jamie Lee Curtis and Jake Gyllenhaal.

For more information, visit:

www.allenmedia.tv

www.freestyledigitalmedia.tv

Director Bio:

Alex Andre is an award-winning Director, Cinematographer, Writer & Producer based in Los Angeles. He is recognized for SADA (2022), which won 12 awards and received Official Selection in over 20 festivals worldwide. His feature film debut is PRATFALL starring Joshua Burge and Chloé Groussard. Andre also has producing credits on Alison Bagnall’s FUNNY BUNNY (2015) and Erin Li’s KEPLER X47 (2013). Andre was raised in the South of France and the English countryside before moving to Los Angeles. He cites Alan Clarke, Nicholas Roeg and The Dardennes as early cinematic influences.

Star Bios:

Joshua Burge, a Michigan native, has appeared in THE REVENANT opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN opposite Greta Gerwig, and BURDEN opposite Garrett Hedlund, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. RELAXER, Joshua’s third collaboration with filmmaker Joel Potrykus, premiered to great reviews at SXSW. This collaboration follows APE (2012) and BUZZARD (2014), the latter of which also made its world premiere at SXSW and was named one of Indiewire’s top films of the year.

Chloé Groussard is a French actress, born in Bretagne. She took her first theater classes at the age of 10 in her hometown. After graduating from a business master degree, she decided to turn her passion into her everyday life. Chloé intensified her acting training in Paris and New York and she started performing both on stage and on screen – in France, Italy and the United States. After giving her the role of Valérie in his short film Sada, Alex Andre chose her to embody Joelle alongside American actor Joshua Burge in his first feature film, Pratfall, marking also the feature debut of Chloé – for which she won the award of best actress at the Manchester Film Festival. Chloé is also part of the upcoming Netflix series of Stefano Sollima, Il Mostro, and she’s now represented by French prestigious agency, Time Art.


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‘MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN’ (2024) makes it’s stunning hometown debut at Indie Vegas Film Festival this weekend

indie Vegas film festival logoMove Me No Mountain

Deborah Richards’ locally filmed drama 
MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN
Makes “homecoming screening” at
Indie Vegas Film Festival
Saturday, April 27

move me no mountain poster

SYNOPSIS
Real estate agent Jenna Anderson is crippled by guilt from the violent and sudden death of her daughter. The experience and the unbearable weight it places her under, leads Jenna to abandon the life she knew to live on the streets of Sin City, Las Vegas. There, she finds herself among people who have different reasons for being homeless. Then, Jenna meets an exploited homeless girl who lives with her addict caretaker. After a violent attack, she helps the homeless girl escape her situation. Now, the two of them must try to find a way out of unforgiving life they have been living on the streets before it consumes them.

move me no moutain- jennaWritten, directed, edited, and shot by Deborah Richards, Indie Vegas Film Festival 2024 selection MOVE ME NO MOUNTAINS is a dark meditation on grief and healing. 

Richards leans into Jenna’s pain-numbing and Self-destructive behaviors. Unable to climb out of her loss, The film follows day by day of Jenna’s chosen homelessness, displaying the ever-evolving danger, hopelessness, and saving grace. MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN captivates in contrasting closeups and sprawling wide-angle shots. Both are unforgiving and awe-inspiring. 

move me no mountainThe script dives headfirst into the plight of the unhoused from every perspective, giving us a wide range of backstories in the characters Jenna crosses paths with. The film’s premiere comes at an auspicious moment in history as The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a complicated case that may make homelessness illegal. Richards handles the issue with the care and respect it deserves. 

Cat Lellie is ceaselessly compelling as Jenna. She delivers a compassionate authenticity and lived-in sorrow. MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN lives and dies by her dazzling presence and Deborah Richards‘ engrossing storytelling.


MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN SCREENING INFORMATION
Saturday, April 27 at 7:30PM
Cinemark Century Orleans 18 and XD
The Century Orleans Hotel and Casino
4500 W. Tropicana Ave.

TICKETS
https://www.indievegasfilmfestival.com/

LOCALLY SHOT WITH A FOCUS ON LAS VEGAS’ HOMELESS PROBLEM
Move Me No Mountain was shot entirely in Southern Nevada, including the underground flood control tunnels, and shows the city as it’s never been portrayed before in a movie.

The movie highlights the Las Vegas Valley’s homeless problem, particularly as it affects women. Multiple Emmy-award winning filmmaker Deborah Richards, and Emmy-nominated producer Patrick Wirtz are both Las Vegas residents who worked with the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and the Shine A Light Foundation to bring the issues facing the homeless population to light in this film.

Deborah Richards - Film Director - Head Shot
Deborah Richards

Director/Writer:                        Deborah Richards
Producer:                                  Patrick Wirtz
Editor:                                       Deborah Richards
Cinematographer:                    Deborah Richards                      
Composer:                               Travis Lohman, David Rosen
Cast:                                         Cat Lellie, Nicholas Roylance, Amanda Forstrom
TRT:                                          84 min
Country:                                   USA


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‘THE COFFEE TABLE’ (2024) is the year’s most disturbing horror film.

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THE COFFEE TABLE

The Coffee Table 2024 posterThe Coffee Table 2024 poster

THE COFFEE TABLE follows Jesus and Maria, a couple going through a difficult time in their relationship. Nevertheless, they have just become parents. To shape their new life, they decide to buy a new coffee table. A decision that will change their existence.


A film about a coffee table and not at all about a coffee table, this meditation on communication through the lens of horror is epic. THE COFFEE TABLE is the year’s most traumatizing film.

The Coffee Table still 2The notion of invisible labor rears its ugly head around 15 minutes in, but it’s what happens 4 minutes later that is so horrific you won’t believe what you’re eyes are telling your brain. THE COFFEE TABLE pulls no punches. Its first brutal images are so disturbing you won’t know what to do next. With Maria dutifully shopping for her idiot husband, the audience can only wait with bated breath for her reaction and what Jesús plans to do next. Admittedly, his behavior will break you.

Estafanía de los Santos delivers a tour de force performance as Maria. Her unconditional love for their son, incredibly intense opinions, and full-bellied laugh create a mesmerizing turn.

The Coffee Table still 1David Pareja gives Jesús a shockingly calm demeanor when forced to speak with the other cast members. It will, no doubt, upset the viewer tenfold. The lies flow out, and poor Maria continues to berate him without knowing a damn thing. His subsequent management of trauma drives the entire film.

The score by Bambikina is a demented manipulation of lullaby tones and funeral dirge. The practical FX and makeup are so effective. You wish they weren’t. THE COFFEE TABLE quite literally drips with irony and dread. Every minute that passes, the dialogue digs into your psyche in the most intrusive way. It’s brilliant and unspeakably fraught writing. You are not ready.


THE COFFEE TABLE will begin a limited theatrical run beginning in Los Angeles at Laemmle Glendale on April 19, with additional markets to follow including New York, Austin, and Chicago. The film will arrive on DVD and VOD on May 14.

 

THE COFFEE TABLE
Original title: La mesita del comedor

Directed by Caye Casas
Written by: Cristina Borobia, Caye Casas

Starring: David Pareja, Estefanía de los Santos, Josep Riera, Claudia Riera, Eduardo Antuña

Produced by: Norbert Llaràs
Production Company: Alhena Production
Co-Production Company: Apocalipsis Producciones, La Charito Films
Cinematography by: Alberto Morago
Edited by: Caye Casas
Music by: Bambikina

Spain I 2022 I Horror, Comedy I 90 minutes

The film held a robust festival life, including a World Premiere at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival where it won Best Film in the ‘Rebels with a Cause’ section, a North American premiere at Fantastic Fest, and additional screenings at Fantaspoa – International Fantastic Film Festival, Macabro – Festival Internacional de Cine de la Ciudad de México, and Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, where it received the White Raven award.

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‘The Long Game’ (2024) is timely and inspiring

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MUCHO MAS MEDIA SETS APRIL 12TH RELEASE FOR DENNIS QUAID AND JAY HERNANDEZ-LED SXSW AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER 

THE LONG GAME

A 1955 group of Mexican-American caddies forms the first-of-its-kind high school golf team in South Texas. Based on the true story and book, Mustang Miracle by Humberto G. Garcia, THE LONG GAME is an inspiring and timely story of perseverance and heart.

The Long Game still 2THE LONG GAME puts racism at the forefront of this sports story. There’s a push and pull between their Mexican-Ametican identity and belonging. Peña encourages the boys to fit in by acclimating to white culture. Even when the boys sneak across the border, the Mexican locals give them a hard time. Joe also battles the unresolved fear of his hyper-masculine father. His own biases stunt his emotional growth. The idea of acceptance, both self and socially, is the key to the narrative.

These boys navigate a culture stuck in the past with other teams and their adults actively sabotaging their progress. The team’s work ethic and respect for the grounds is a thoughtful addition that shows the glaring differences in manners and privilege.

the long Game - Cheech marinThis ensemble cast is a hole-in-one. Cheech Marin delivers a funny, heartwarming performance as course groundskeeper and inside man Pollo. He is a wonderful addition. Dennis Quaid plays Frank Mitchell, Peña’s war buddy and the only white man in town willing to act as the face and assistant coach of the team. Quaid railroads fear by normalizing every moment. There is nothing “white savior” about his performance. He is charming.

Jay Hernandez in The Long GameJay Hernandez gives a complex performance as conflicted JB. His trauma often overtakes his good intentions, but his arc catalyzes change. Hernandez effortlessly holds your attention. Countering JB’s outlook, Julian Works captivates as Joe. As he gains due confidence, Works gives the role an honest vulnerability. He has fierce chemistry with Hernandez.

The Long Game still 1The upbeat, nostalgic soundtrack elevates the family-friendly feel. Super 8 footage, beautifully shot and edited milestone montages, has the same effect. THE LONG GAME remains relevant in a world where many opinions of race haven’t changed since the story’s origin. This cheer-worthy film educates and inspires. It is the real deal.

Julio Quintana’s sports drama The Long Game, starring Jay Hernandez and Dennis Quaid,
in theaters nationwide on April 12th.

 

The film had its world premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival, where it won the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award and received rave reviews from critics praising its top-notch performances and calling it a crowd-pleasing and uplifting film based on a true story. This marks director Quintana and Quaid’s reunion after the success of their first film, Netflix’s true-story sports drama Blue Miracle.



The Long Game, inspired by the book “Mustang Miracle” written by Humberto G. Garcia, follows the true story of five young Mexican American caddies in 1955 who created their own golf course in the middle of the South Texas brush country. Despite outdated and inferior equipment and no professional instruction to begin with, they would go on to compete against wealthy, all-white teams and win the 1957 Texas State High School Golf Championship.

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