Slamdance 2021 review: ‘WORKHORSE QUEEN’ the good, the bad, and the drag.

WORKHORSE QUEEN

By day, Ed Popil worked as a telemarketer in Rochester, New York for 18 years. By night, he transformed into drag queen Mrs. Kasha Davis, a 1960’s era housewife trying to liberate herself from domestic toil through performing at night in secret –an homage to Ed’s mother. After seven years of auditioning to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ed Popil was finally cast onto the tv show and thrust into a full-time entertainment career at the late age of 44. Workhorse Queen explores the complexities of reality television’s impact on queer performance culture by focusing on the growing divide between members of a small-town drag community – those who have been on television, and those who have not.

I was 19 years old in my freshman year at college in New York City when I entered a multileveled club in borrowed pleather pants and hair I had dyed blonde (without stripping first) when I found my way to a restroom after dancing my little suburban grown heart out. While washing my hands someone was next to me checking their lipstick in the mirror and casually asked me for the time. I glanced over to tell them, and without skipping a beat I told them 12:16. They thanked me and exited the bathroom. I had encountered my first live drag performer and I could not wait to tell my friends how much cooler I now was for it. After that, I regularly attended drag brunch, drag bingo, had a standing table at Lucky Cheng’s, and have sung on stage at Don’t Tell Mama. When RuPaul’s Drag Race began, I thought, “Yes! Now the world can experience what I’ve been so enamored with as a theater kid for so long.” To me, drag was and still is art. As for many a performance artist, the craft requires sacrifice, thankless long hours, and money for costumes, makeup, and hair sometimes just for the chance to be seen but always for the chance to live out your dream. Drag is performance at a showstopping level. And while Drag Race has certainly widened the platform, that same platform only has room enough for a small number of girls (and guys).

Slamdance 2021 audiences get to peek behind the curtain of what drag is really like. In its world premiere, WORKHORSE QUEEN gives Mrs. Kasha Davis her own time to shine, with and without the glitter and fanfare. This doc is about Ed Popil, the man under the wig and magic. His story is one that will most likely ring true for many individuals trying to find out who they are, told they are too much, and yet not enough. There is such an intriguing dynamic in this doc. Family is front and center. Not just Ed Popil’s husband and kids but his drag family. Mrs. Kasha Davis and Ed are genuinely loving and kind; everything you want and need them to be. Ed exposes his childhood trauma at the hands and words of his father, the decaying relationship with the mother he idolized, and his alcohol addiction. When you’re a queen with a catchphrase, “There’s always time for a cocktail,” how does your career survive rehab? The doc isn’t shy about the inequities faced by performers with lower profiles both on social media and among fellow performers. Drag Race is a competition, life should not be. WORKHORSE QUEEN is triumphant in its honesty. There is so much deliciousness packed into its hour and 27-minute runtime. It’s raw, celebratory, passionate, and revelatory. It honors living your true authentic self and how one person impacts people’s lives in ways you never thought possible.

WORKHORSE QUEEN
Directed by Angela Washko
USA I 2021 I Documentary I 88 minutes
SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021
Virtual Screening Information
Friday, Feb. 12
For Festival Passes, click here
Please Note: Audience caps may affect film accessibility

Review: ‘Koko-Di Koko-Da’ is a frightening grief allegory.

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA

Elin and Tobias are a happily married couple who regularly vacation with their young daughter. The family is on a dreamy holiday when an innocuous case of food poisoning derails their plans and forever alters the course of their lives.

Three years later, the once loving couple is on the road again to go camping, looking for one last chance to go back to the way things used to be. But what once was is lost, and our characters instead find themselves having to relive the same nightmarish events, as that day and the horrors it brings repeat themselves infinitely. Together, they must overcome their trauma, reconcile with their past and fight for their lives. Over, and over, and over again.

Easily one of the most out there films of 2020, Koko-Di Koko-Da is a twisted version of Groundhog Day meets The Babadook. Things aren’t going to fix themselves in any manner. Communication is everything. This is the weird parallel message of this film. I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, the fact that that these two are doomed to be slaughtered by crazies over and over or that their anger, resentment, and sadness have manifested into the death of their relationship literally and metaphorically. Koko-di Koko-da undoubtedly eludes to the cyclical nature of grief.

Performances from Leif Edlund and Ylva Gallon manage anchor this story in a harsh reality amidst the madness. They will have you yelling at the screen but also rooting for them to escape their endless nightmare. A white cat appears as a warning. I believe it represents their daughter from the beyond the grave screaming, “Fix this or this is the eternity you’ve chosen!” The bizarre but strikingly beautiful nature of the film does not end there. The shadow puppet scenes are morbid magic. The clues and visual storytelling are laid out to counter the terror perfectly. Without a doubt, Koko-di Koko-da is one of the most unique films of 2020.

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA

Director – Johannes Nyholm (THE GIANT)

Cast – Peter Belli, Leif Edlund, Ylva Gallon, Katarina Jackobson, Brandy Litmanen

 VIRTUAL THEATERS (November 6)-Including: Los Angeles and New York (Laemmle Theaters) and major cities including: Philadelphia (Film Society), Cleveland (Cinematheque), Columbus (Gateway Film Center) and Durham (Carolina Theater) and more to follow.
Link to buy tickets: https://linktr.ee/KokoDiKokoDa

VOD (US & Canada) (December 8): Including: Apple TV/ iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, You Tube, Fandango Now, Dish Network and all major cable providers (Including: Comcast/Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox and Verizon Fios)

Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Fantasia Film Festival 2019 (WINNER! AQCC-Camera Lucida Prize), and Fantastic Fest 2019

Harlem International Film Festival 2020 review: ‘The Subject’ is powerful from every angle.

Jason Biggs plays Phil, a documentary filmmaker whose conscious ways heavy on him. The Subject is aptly named. Phil made a film about a black 15-year-old whose murder is caught on tape, by him. It’s been two years, he’s worried that Malcolm’s death means nothing back in Harlem. He’s onto his next project but cannot shake the guilt of possible exploitation, nor can the press. His girlfriend wants him to get over it, but Phil tries really hard to do the right thing. After finally attempting to move forward, the other shoe drops. Someone begins filming him.

Bringing on a new assistant and managing his new project, we gain insight into his trauma. But it’s the social commentary about Harlem that strikes the loudest tone, recognizing that Phil cannot ultimately be the “white savior”. Writer Chisa Hutchinson has written a fully fleshed out, flawed man who is trying to keep levelheaded through success and the reality we currently reside in. The performance from Biggs is captivating and genuinely layered. He has great material. Once Marley enters the scene, she is privy to some new information. Manipulation and a clear underlying agenda appear. You get the feeling that something truly else, something larger is coming our way.

Anabelle Acosta as girlfriend Jess is very compelling. There is a lot to learn from their relationship dynamic and it comes into play heavily. Carra Patterson as Marley is quite the catalyst for chaos. She gives off a Maya Rudolph vibe and I dug her energy throughout. Nile Bullock’s performance as Malcolm is exactly where the audience needs him to be; balancing the line of an arrogant teen and an innocent child. Jason Biggs is better than ever. He plays Phil with an understanding of power and guilt. It’s stunning. Aunjanue Ellis plays Malcolm’s mother, Leslie. The scenes between her and Biggs are explosive. She represents so many mothers who lose their children to violence. Her performance is the culmination of everything in this film. Cutting through mansplaining and truth, everything leads up to these moments. The Subject is phenomenal in its storytelling. It’s a must-see film. Harlem International Film Festival was a fitting home for its Manhattan premiere. The film has an ending you will not see coming. Congratulations to director Lanie Zipoy and everyone involved in making this film.

Harlem International Film Festival review: Narrative short ‘Steve’ is an entire journey.

If grinding in the bustling streets of NYC isn’t enough for a Broadway actress, an uninvited guest in her apartment might be just the thing to put her over the edge.

As someone who went to school for musical theatre in the city, short film Steve spoke to me in a very specific way. Star and writer, Amber Iman, is the “private me” on film. I have never felt more “seen”, as the kids say, as watching an extroverted, fellow theatre kid in her element. In real life, Iman is a Broadway star and it shows. Living in Manhattan is its own experience. Everyone, at least once, has had a mouse in their apartment. It’s basically a right of passage. We all react in pretty much the same way, with few exceptions. Amber Iman takes all of that energy and translates it into the funniest short I’ve yet to see. My husband had headphones on while I was watching this film. I was laughing so loud he took them off and laughed with me having no knowledge of what I was watching. Iman’s chemistry in her brief scenes that include other cast members is downright hilarious. But, for the majority of the film, she is speaking directly to her unwanted guest. It is the full range of emotions and then some. Who needs a professional reel when you have this short to show casting directors? The simplicity and relatable nature make Steve a brilliant treatment for Iman to have her own series, even if that was not the intention. I would not be mad at that notion. Director Jason Hightower‘s resume is massive. Great call on connecting with this script and Amber.

Review: ‘An American Pickle’ has you seeing double on HBO Max.

AN AMERICAN PICKLE

AN AMERICAN PICKLE, directed by Brandon Trost, is based on Simon Rich’s New Yorker novella and stars Seth Rogen as Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling laborer who immigrates to America in 1919 with dreams of building a better life for his beloved family. One day, while working at his factory job, he falls into a vat of pickles and is brined for 100 years. The brine preserves him perfectly and when he emerges in present day Brooklyn, he finds that he hasn’t aged a day. But when he seeks out his family, he is troubled to learn that his only surviving relative is his great grandson, Ben Greenbaum (also played by Rogen), a mild-mannered computer coder whom Herschel can’t even begin to understand.

The simple wonders of experiencing something for the first time is essentially the purest form of comedy in An American Pickle. Seth Rogen plays two distinctly different versions of “himself”. Having met Seth in real life, his Ben character feels very much like him. Down-to-earth, genuinely sweet, and very funny. As Herschel, he is truly astounding. The magic in his eyes, the reverent and tender respect for history and his family. I fear Rogen gets lumped into a certain category when you mention his name. While I love all his films, An American Pickle is different in a good way for him. It’s an engaging script with a funny concept. But really, the film is about family loyalty and pride. The jokes are whipsmart and insanely relevant to the absurdity of social influence and 2020 in general. This film lives and dies by the performances from Rogen. He needs more opportunities to show his acting chops in earnest. While the film has a lot of hilarious moments, as a whole it’s a little meandering for its roughly hour and a half runtime. Come to think of it, it might have fared better as a serial sitcom. Nonetheless, I think it’s worth your time. If you’re a Seth Rogen fan you will not be disappointed. An American Pickle premieres tomorrow exclusively on HBO Max.

“An American Pickle” begins streaming on HBO Max on August 6

Review: We Are One – A Global Film Festival short film ‘CIRCUS PERSON’ is an emotional high wire act.

Synopsis:
Left by her fianceì for another woman, a grieving painter (Britt Lower) abandons the life she knew to join the seemingly chaotic, yet invigorating world of a one-ring circus. Intermingling live-action circus arts and animated body paint, CIRCUS PERSON follows an introspective artist through the often humorous landscape of heartbreak to reclaim her forgotten wildness.

 

 

 

 

This mixed media, sometimes stop animation, twist on a “Dear John” letter is simply amazing. Vibrantly colored, engrossingly shot, Circus Person is a little bit of every visual storytelling treat you didn’t know you needed. It’s poetic and cathartic and funny. Watching it literally makes me want to join a circus for my own set of personal reasons. The script is easily about grieving, changing, and accepting the fact that we cannot control a damn thing. I first met Britt Lower at the premiere of Beside Still Waters (which if you haven’t seen, do yourself a favor and experience some more great storytelling). This feat of acting, directing, and writing is ripe for further development. (Hint, hint) I want to know what happens next. It is smart and touching from every angle. I highly recommend you catch it while you can! You can watch Circus Person on YouTube now as part of Tribeca’s contribution to the We Are One – A Global Film Festival.

TRT:                                      17 min
Country:                               USA
Curated by:                          Tribeca Film Festival

Screening information:
CIRCUS PERSON will be available to view for 10 days at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioS4X7O2sZA&feature=youtu.be

Creative Team:
DIRECTOR/WRITER:                          Britt Lower
CREATIVE PRODUCER/EDITOR:      Alex Knell
PRODUCERS:                                     Sam Fox, Desiree Staples
CO-PRODUCERS:                              Alexandre Naufel, Jasmine Dickens
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS:               Elsa Gay, Tricia Lee
CINEMATOGRAPHER:                       Alexandre Naufel
COMPOSER:                                       Jason Lesser
BODY-PAINTING:                                Christopher Agostino
CAST:                                                   Britt Lower, Philip Smithey, Jess Marks, Ramona Young

Tribeca Film Festival 2020 review: Angela Bettis clocks in for ’12 Hour Shift’

It’s 1998 and over the course of one 12 Hour Shift at an Arkansas Hospital, A Junkie Nurse (Angela Bettis), Her Scheming Cousin (Chloe Farnworth) and a group of black market Organ-Trading criminals (Mick Foley, David Arquette, Dusty Warren) start a heist that could lead to all of their demises.

Angela Bettis is horror royalty in my book. Watching her interpret Brea Grant’s script is heaven. During this uncertain, weird, and exhausting time in our history, watching an overworked nurse with vices for days adds an extra element of terrifying WTF. Bettis is a revelation. The weight of desperation and the constant barrage of emotional abuse is palpable. It is written on her face. There is so much backstory bubbling under the surface. I would watch an entire series developed from 12 Hour Shift. (Hint, Hint)

The opening scene is divine in establishing the attitude of Bettis’ character. It’s a symphonic white trash word vomit. The attention detail of Y2K paranoia and the late ’90’s in general land perfectly between over-the-top and completely legit. If you lived through it, you’ll laugh and nod. But it’s the delicious moral dilemma that Grant has given us that keeps your eyes glued to the screen. We’re definitely rooting for bad over worse and it is fun as hell. The climax is so batshit crazy it’s like watching a ping-pong tournament; super fast and just as fantastically absurd. Performances all around are stellar. Practical FX are gagworthy and wonderful. The final scene is actually the most frightening. Brea Grant, I’ll be looking forward to a sequel to 12 Hour Shift, ASAP.

Tribeca Film Festival 2020 review: Short films, ‘I Can Change’, ‘Beyond Noh’, ‘Grey Zone’, ‘Look At Me’.

Beyond Noh

Beyond Noh rhythmically animates 3,475 individual masks from all over the world.

The transitions are meticulously crafted. The specific choices of masked on a downbeat are no accident. Even though you are experiencing over 3 thousand masks in under 3 and a half minutes, each one make an impact much larger than you can immediately process. I actually spotted one we inherited years ago. The story behind it makes us fearful to toss it. It presently lives in a closet. Beyond Noh is a simply stunning short.

 

I Can Change

The night before his wedding, an underachiever (John Hoogenakker) receives the power to stop time, so he attempts to make major life changes his fiancé (Lucy Cudden) wants him to make, all before morning.

The transitions are meticulously crafted. The specific choices of masked on a downbeat are no accident. Even though you are experiencing over 3 thousand masks in under 3 and a half minutes, each one make an impact much larger than you can immediately process. I actually spotted one we inherited years ago. The story behind it makes us fearful to toss it. It presently lives in a closet. Beyond Noh is a simply stunning short.

Look At Me

On a winter night in New York City, a young, intoxicated boy’s (Connor Vasile) fate is determined by his brief encounters with strangers, and a deeper American truth is exposed.

This poignant short puts a mirror up to society, especially here in New York City. We want to believe we’d do right by own fellow city dwellers, but the longer you live here the thicker the protective armor becomes. The writing and editing lead you to out yourself in multiple character’s shoes. It’s incredibly well done from every single angle. This is one of the festival’s best this year.

 

Grey Zone

On an urban crosswalk, Neta (Rachel Yaron) finds herself following a man (Udi Pers) who touched her abruptly and without her consent.

In the era of #MeToo, this short is incredibly powerful. From the specific dialogue choices to women empowering other women, to the recapturing of your own narrative. All this in just 10 minutes. It’s a brave film.

 

Tribeca Film Festival 2020 interview: Best Narrative Short Winner- writer/director Abraham Adeyemi and his film ‘No More Wings’

At a divergent point in their lives, two lifelong friends (Ivanno Jeremiah, Parys Jordon) meet at their favorite South London fried chicken shop.

 

The directorial debut from Abraham Adeyemi, ‘No More Wings in the Don’t Look Back program was the winner of the Best Narrative Short Competition at Tribeca 2020. Once you experience the film for yourself, you’ll immediately understand why. With captivating storytelling, in a mere 10 minutes, you will experience two lifetimes of memories, regrets, and choices. There is a heavy cyclical feeling you cannot shake as you watch. The authenticity of the writing, directing, and performances will stick with you long after the credits. I was lucky enough to interview Abraham during the festival and get to peek behind the curtain of the process and the mindset. I cannot wait to see what is coming to audiences next.

 

 

Abraham, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me about this extraordinary short. This feels like a major labor of love for you. Can you describe the specific inspiration for a story that will undoubtedly resonate with so many?

Hi Liz, thank you for having me and for the kind words about the film! Sure thing. Well, whilst this film isn’t biographical… My upbringing wasn’t too dissimilar to the two characters. I was raised in South London, went to a Grammar School… What really inspired me was spending some time thinking about two friends I grew up with whose lives have turned out quite differently, and imagining what it might be like if they were to meet at this point in their lives. And, above all in some ways, trying to understand why their lives have turned out differently when things were so similar for them.

 

What did you learn from your mentorship with Sam Mendes? 

There was something that Sam said to me on set of 1917 which I actually wrote down… He said that I needed to make sure there was somewhere on set that I could be to concentrate and watch takes alone, without anyone’s opinion and that I always needed to be sure for myself that “this is what I wanted”. As I learned whilst on set, there are times where – for a host of different reasons – people might think they hit a scene but if it’s not how you imagined it, even the smallest detail, then it means it needs to be done again until it is. And whilst I didn’t have the gigantic set-up that Sam had – it was like a blacked-out marquee with TV screens and all sorts of tech that probably cost more than our film – in our own low budget way, we were able to ensure that I could concentrate and watch takes back without anyone else’s opinions but my own.

 

Being both writer and director, did you find yourself changing the script as you shot?

There were no major changes whilst we were shooting, no. I did quite a lot of work on the script beforehand. I initially wrote the script with just my writer hat on. Then, eventually, I had to switch to the director hat. On the morning of the first shoot day, I made a final few tweaks – things that probably came off the back of the rehearsal we did the day before – but I went in pretty happy with what we had on paper and I was more concerned about getting great performances and how things looked visually. On occasion, actors may have asked me if they could tweak a line, or just done it off their own volition and I’m usually fine with that as I trusted the actors I was working with and their understanding of the characters they were playing.

 

Thank you for adding subtitles. It was helpful to put regional slang in context. It was reminiscent of how our vernacular changes when we are most comfortable. 

Ah, thank you! I’m really glad the subtitles helped. That was actually a suggestion made by Sharon Badal at Tribeca and I’m really glad I took the advice if it means ultimately that it made it more accessible for a wider, global audience.

 

How long did you shoot for?

We shot the film over two summer nights, which also meant shorter nights! Once that sunlight even began to creep up… It was game over. The first night we shot felt straightforward but the second night… The pressure was really on. But it could have been worse, up until about ten days before the shoot I was still clinging tightly to an ambition of shooting the film as one continuous shot and my first thoughts – maybe an hour into the shoot – was that I was so glad that I was convinced to scrap that idea. 

 

Having three distinct roles, writer, director, producer, which was most enjoyable, which the most frustrating, which did you learn more from?

Ooh I love this question! I enjoyed all of them but the one which I am without a doubt most in my element with is the writing. I always say in life that I am most at peace when I have my head buried in writing and, actually, in these strange times it’s been the saving grace for my sanity. I’d have to give the frustrating award to producing because there are just so many things that go wrong but I can’t complain because, for all the hard work I did, my producer Abiola Rufai did 100x more in producing! So my frustrations must be so minimal compared to all she has to deal with… Without a doubt, I learned the most from directing. As a producer, I’m always learning but you have to remember, this was my first time directing and prior to this, I hadn’t been to film school nor taken a conscious interest in directing. From the moment I won the competition that gave me funding for this film (where one of the rules was that whoever wins must also direct the script), I had approximately ten weeks to learn how to direct. That was reading books, studying the art of filmmaking,  the great advice that my more experienced peers were able to give me and so much more. Directing was definitely a steep learning curve but I’m so excited to get behind the camera again (something I never thought I’d say!).

 

Can you give us any clues about your upcoming feature-length script? 

Which one?! There’s a concept for a No More Wings feature. 

But, as for the one I reckon you’re asking about… I’m holding it tightly to my chest but what I will say is that Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise is one of my favorite films. The entire trilogy, in fact, I love those. 

 

Abraham, congratulations on Tribeca. I cannot wait to share your film with our readers.

It’s been a pleasure talking with you, thank you for taking the time to watch the film and talk to me.

Tribeca Film Festival 2020 Shorts Program review: ‘Update Required’

Tribeca Film Festival 2020 Shorts Program- UPDATE REQUIRED

Out of this world Sci-Fi shorts.

Playing in this program:

Toto

Rosa Forlano, a 90-year-old Nonna, falls in love with a Robot while teaching it how to make spaghetti. Unfortunately, her recipe is forgotten after a software update.

A charming look at companionship through the eyes of a 90-year-old woman and her robot. Marco Baldonado, writes, directs, produces, and voices our titular character. It’s a lovely look at generational relationships in more ways then you’d expect.

Abducted

A tongue-in-cheek Southern thriller about a rookie cop’s (Jenna Kanell) first date gone horribly wrong.

This film immediately sent me into panic mode as a woman. Never leave your drink unattended. Don’t worry, the universe works in mysterious ways.

Jack and Jo Don’t Want to Die

Jack (Justin Kirk) works at a suspension facility where people choose to halt their lives. On the night of his suspension, Jack’s life takes a turn when he meets Jo.

Justin Kirk plays a heartbroken man who is confronted with his own mortality. This film beautifully explores the small moments that make living so wonderful.

A Better You

Living in a dystopian, neo-steampunk world, a shy young man named Douglas (Seán T. Ó’Meallaigh) invests in a customizable carbon clone to help him win the girl of his dreams.

This shirt is a gorgeously stylized look at being confident in your own skin. It’s one of the most endearing performances of the festival this far.

Carmentis

An injured and grief-stricken miner (Ben Mortley) on the desolate planet Carmentis must overcome his personal demons in order to survive, but can he get there before the planet freezes?

Human instinct Vs the AI created to protect it. This short is completely unpredictable. It’s a beautiful commentary on the fragile human spirit.

The Light Side

An aging Sith Lord (Joseph Ragno) must come to grips with his past and discover why humility may be the greatest force in the galaxy.

Utilizing a booming voice over from Tim Plewman combined with lead actor Joseph Ragno’s physical performance, this film shines with true humor. It is pure fandom fun with a side order of redemption.

System Error

George works at a convenience store, desperately hoping for a friend. But George is a robotic service unit, and robotic service units do not have friends. Not yet, anyway.

This short challenges how emotion and information alter a being’s perception of others. It will leave the imagination running wild. I can safely say I would watch an entire series or full-length feature based on the storytelling laid out in this 13-minute cut. It sounds like I’ll be getting my wish, as the filmmakers have a development deal at Screen Australia for a dystopian rom-com TV show based on the characters in System Error. I could not be more excited. There is so much more to explore and laugh at here.

Review: ‘Blood On Her Name’- a killer neo-noir brimming with tension.

SYNOPSIS: The dead body lies at her feet, its blood still draining onto the floor. It was an accident, borne of self-defense, but its discovery could have devastating consequences for local garage owner Leigh Tiller and her son.

Feat. Bethany Anne Lind (REPRISAL, OZARK), Will Patton, (REMEMBER THE TITANS, ARMAGEDDON) and Elizabeth Röhm (AMERICAN HUSTLE, JOY)

There is a heavy and devastating state of dread that occurs as you experience Blood On Her Name. The film occurs in what feels like real-time pacing making the tension truly palpable. As details of a haunting past slowly leak into view, karma’s long-arm feels destined to right the universe. This story is nothing short of tragic. Leigh simply wants to make a better life for her son but circumstances will not release her from childhood trauma and poor current choices. As a mother, I immediately put myself in her shoes. The fear and panic were overwhelming. It was an actual experience sitting through this film.

Bethany Anne Lind is a force to be reckoned with. She has an extraordinary ability to own the screen and pull you along her emotional journey. She is the heart of this film. Frankly, the other members of the cast could have been played by anyone. Don’t get me wrong, the chemistry among everyone else is spot on. What I mean is, Lind is so captivating that it’s her performance alone that remains seared into your psyche. Blood On Her Name is a triumphant feature debut for director Matthew Pope and co-writer and producer Don Thompson. It opens in select cinemas (Today) Feb. 28th and on VOD.

BLOOD ON HER NAME will expand nationwide in the coming weeks.

Review: ‘You Go To My Head’ has a long lasting psychological effect on its audience.

In a desolate stretch of the Sahara, a mysterious car accident leaves a young woman lost and alone. Jake, a reclusive architect, finds her unconscious. He drives her to the nearest doctor, to discover that she’s suffering from post-traumatic amnesia. Intoxicated by the woman’s beauty, Jake claims to be her husband. He names her Kitty and takes her to his remote desert home to recuperate. The Angell Law Firm knows personal injury law, which is why our Atlanta car accident attorneys are able to offer the best legal representation in the state. For best legal advice, check out your url. At JLF Firm | Accident Attorneys, we will fight for the rights of all the victims who are injured in accidents or caused by negligence. We are the car accident attorney Riverside residents trust. Your life is valuable and you deserve fair compensation. If you have an accident, then you need to get a Riverside accident attorneys to fight for your rights. When it’s time to find a law firm it’s very often because of a sudden unexpected event. Perhaps an accident or injury that you need to act on right away. Sometimes it’s not unexpected as much as it is just delaying the inevitable. This is often the case where bankruptcy attorneys are involved. Many of their clients spend time looking for simple answers to their debt until they get sued by a creditor and it’s time to find a bankruptcy attorney. So the question is, how do you go about finding an attorney? Seems like a simple enough question on the surface, but when you start to look for a Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys firm, you’ll notice right away that there seems to be an endless number of law firms and how will you manage to find the one that’s right for you. As good as the search engines are, the legal profession is just as good as marketing themselves on the search engines. For this reason, if you type in a particular legal issue, such as bankruptcy or medical malpractice, it’s very likely that you will get results from law firms all over the country. In a medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit, a victim seeks compensation for the injury or injuries he or she has suffered. Compensation can include past and future medical expenses, disability or deformity, loss of income, emotional and mental anguish, loss of a spouse’s comfort and society, past and future pain and suffering, and an amount which would be necessary to make the person whole as respects a permanent personal injury. You can check this news for more detail about the medical malpractice attorney. Those firms that have done such a good job trying to get noticed on search engines will be displayed when you are searching. Exploring a bankruptcy attorney’s website and finding a lot of great information may lead you to believe that this is the attorney you want to retain. It is a bit disappointing to find out that when you click the contact tab, you find out the attorney is in Chicago, and you are in New York. Certainly I am not suggesting that you turn to the Yellow Pages! However, there are sources that still let your fingers do the walking, but this time, on the keyboard. One of the most underused resources on the Internet is the local search directory. The major search engines have long recognized this with sites like Yahoo Local and Google Places, but many people don’t know that they have to access those sites differently. It’s hard to change old habits, and eve the major players aren’t making inroads to the local marketplace as fast as they had hoped. In addition, the thrust of their marketing seems to be directed to retail stores and services.
Vehicle accidents are the most common type of incident which will require you to go seeking the services of Attorneys’ dealing in personal injury cases. Aside from auto accidents, there are other kinds such as motorcycle, truck and boat accidents as well. These can result in personal injuries or death at worst. The main reason why there are car accidents is the failure to exercise care while driving. Irresponsible and reckless driving is usually the main reason why car accidents occur. Unfortunately not all countries have laws that can protect people from personal injury. As a driver one should follow the rules, exercise care and adjust to different driving conditions. The failure to do so could result in serious injury and your lifestyle to be compromised. When an auto collides with another, personal injury is very likely to occur and this leads to having to be represented in court by an Attorney for personal injury. Usually the case is taken to court to determine fair and just compensation and this is when you need an experienced Attorney to represent you. You can check this https://www.stephenbabcock.com/ site for more information regading to personal injury and accident attorney.
The party who is proven to be responsible will be ordered to pay for damages, loss of income, medical bills and other related items. If a car is damaged, they have to pay for repair or if a victim is suffering from injuries, the medical bills need to be paid which can amount to a considerable sum of money. The victim may also suffer from mental anguish and trauma as well. This will all be taken into account when the judge makes his decision. As a victim, there are things you need to bare in mind. When the injury is severe, call an ambulance and the police, so that everything is recorded. There are cases when injuries are not visible like fractures or internal injuries so receiving hospital treatment is vital. A good idea is to take a picture of everything like skid marks, location of cars and injuries to the injured. These should be available for immediate release. Photographs are considered to be great evidence. It is also a good idea to collect details from witnesses. The success of a case is often determined by witnesses and an instance of this is when a driver runs a red light. In order to make sure that the maximum payment is received, you need to do some research on Attorneys for personal injury in view of engagement. You need to select a licensed person to ensure that they are legitimate to practice. Perhaps asking friends and family for personal recommendations can help you in your selection process. Being confident that you have the very best personal injury Attorney representing you will lessen the stress involved when dealing with a court case.
There is no need to worry about upfront payments, we can guarantee there will be no charges until we get you your compensation. We can handle any type of situation such as car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, slips, falls, wrongful death, and any situation which involves negligence. You will not have to worry about anything because your Riverside accident attorney from the JLF Firm| Accident Attorneys will take care of you. You can trust our knowledge and experience in this stressful moment of your life. Contact your Riverside accident attorney today. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers are great firm if you need someone to handle your injury case. Jeff and his associates and legal assistants are very precise in what they do. They are skilled, efficient, professional and compassionate. They did such a great job that I even didn’t have to appear in a court. I could not have had better representation. I would highly recommend him to anyone! Thank you for the amazing job Jeff! The personal injury attorneys at denton & zachary, pllc are committed to helping victims in Little Rock obtain the compensation they deserve for his or her injuries. Our injury lawyers will go above and beyond to carry the at-fault party accountable and make sure you are fully compensated for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
As Kitty struggles to come to grips with who she is, Jake invents an elaborate life they can share – the life he has always yearned for. Little by little, Kitty begins to fall in love with him. But when shreds of her past begin to surface, Jake takes steps to ensure he will not lose the love of his life…
As a viewer, you feel just as captive as our leading lady. The constant feeling of dread looms large. The beautiful desert landscape in stark contrast to the modern, predominantly white architecture, allows us to fully immerse ourselves into the relationship between Kitty and Jake. You will feel the isolation and wonder if you have a bit of Stockholm syndrome. Waiting for “the other shoe to drop” is maddening. The score is jarring and incredibly effective. You Go To My Head is a masterfully structured film from every angle. Not to mention it is breathtakingly shot.
Performances by Delfine Bafort and Svetozar Cvetkovic are hypnotizing. They are both charming and flawed, and their chemistry is a perfect balance of wonder and skepticism.  And while the film is almost a full 2 hrs with a slow burn, the anxiety holds you down and forces you to watch. That is a sign of a truly successful film. I cannot stop thinking about this story. It sincerely through me for a loop. You Go To My Head will confound audiences long after the credits roll… and that’s a great thing.
DIMITRI DE CLERCQ’S GRIPPING 
PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER 
YOU GO TO MY HEAD
OPENS ON VALENTINE’S DAY (FEBRUARY 14) IN 
NEW YORK CITY & FEBRUARY 21 IN LOS ANGELES

BHFF 2019 review: ‘The Swerve’ is striking and complex.

The Swerve

East Coast Premiere
USA | 2019 | 95 Min | Dir. Dean Kapsalis

High school English teacher Holly (Azura Skye) has always taken the stress and thanklessness of motherhood in stride, but a dark secret weighs heavily on her. The sudden appearance of a mouse and a betrayal by her self-absorbed husband send her spiraling down into catastrophe as she wreaks total havoc on her life. THE SWERVE is an epic, tenacious showcase for Skye, who shreds through the screen flailing for a lifeline in director Dean Kapsalis emotionally crushing feature debut. —Joseph Hernandez

This was the film that punched me in the gut at this year’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. The Swerve is a build-up of agony. Long-suffering in silence. Pasted on smiles. This film is essentially how it often feels to be a mother. Dean Kapsalis has given us a truly gutwrenching character in Holly. Azura Skye is simply devastating in this role. The quiet anguish is palpable. As a mother of two toddlers, I can attest to the isolation and loneliness of living for other people. The despair that can come with a mother’s inherent guilt. This story goes beyond the normal realm. Betrayed by a selfish family, Holly just wants to be acknowledged. As her behavior escalates we wonder where the lines actually blur. Therein lies the genius of this script. The ending is so powerful is was physically painful to watch. The Swerve is an eye-opening and unique film. It will stick with me longer than it should.

BHFF 2019 review: ‘This Is Our Home’ proves grief is a ghost that haunts eternal.

THIS IS OUR HOME

USA | 2019 | 73 Min | Dir. Omri Dorani

A struggling couple’s weekend getaway goes awry when a child arrives in the middle of the night claiming to be their son.

Grief carries a power that is beyond our understanding. It can be all-consuming or a numbness. Each person deals with it in a very personal way. When couples lose a child, the statical chances of them remaining in that relationship drop dramatically. Grief changes who you are. This Is Our Home plays upon the fragility of this concept. Grief never leaves you.

The uneasy dread comes into the script immediately. An old colonial home in the middle of nowhere is a great place for fear to live. Add a locked door? Yup. I wanna open it knowing full well that’s a terrible idea because obviously bad things hide behind it. But don’t we always want what we can’t have?

Performances are incredibly natural. The chemistry between Simone Policano and Jeff Ayars is magic. The sound editing brings This Is Our Home into another terrifying realm. Brooklyn Horror Film Festival goers must have had an extra visceral experience in a theater. I will fully admit that I covered my eyes and got chills more than once. I had no idea what would be coming next and it scared the shit out of me. There are some truly startling scenarios that will keep you hanging on, every single second with your heart pounding. Beautifully framed and stunningly scored, This Is Our Home proves that if we’re not very careful, grief can consume us permanently.

BHFF 2019 review: ‘Sator’

SATOREast Coast Premiere
USA | 2019 | 85 Min | Dir. Jordan Graham

Deep in the woods, it’s hard to really say what’s whispering in the night. Ask grandma, though, and she’ll tell you it’s Sator—a protective dark force among the trees, a satanic presence, a ritualistic killer who’s haunted their family for generations. A young man ventures back to the forest in an attempt to rebuild a relationship with his brother who’s been hibernating in seclusion after traumatic events led to the disappearance of their mother years past. A disturbing mediation on family bonds and mental illness, SATOR is an impressive cinematic feat by first-time filmmaker Jordan Graham. —Vanessa Meyer

This enigmatic script is partially based on true events. 5 years in the making, writer, director, producer, editor Jordan Graham has brought a slow burn indie horror to BHFF that is worth the wait. Something is stalking Adam. Living in the woods in what amounts to a hunting cabin, isolation and family trauma haunt the shit out of him. With concerned siblings and a grandmother who is plagued by automatic writing to an entity she calls Sator, this family feels doomed from the get-go. The build-up has moments reminiscent of the original Blair Witch. The woods are a scary place at night, period. Add a little Hereditary for good measure. Even with those similarities, Sator is incredibly original and undeniably eerie. Besides the insane climax, that is straight-up bonkers, scary AF, it’s the sound editing and score that makes Sator as disturbing as it is. Graham wears all the hats so it makes sense that it took 5 years to complete. My own grandmother experienced automatical writing all throughout my childhood and adolescence. This was not a foreign concept to me. Sometimes I wonder if all of us on the outside might regret thinking it was crazy, one day. It’s easier to push that sentiment aside and coalesce to an old woman’s ramblings. Brooklyn Horror Film Fest is lucky to have Sator in its program this year.

BHFF 2019 review: ‘Girl On The Third Floor’ is a gag-worthy trip to hell.

GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR

New York Premiere
USA | 2019 | 93 Min | Dir. Travis Stevens

Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans.

Travis Stevens’ feature debut is dripping with gore… And bodily fluids. It is a truly demented film. A man’s future is haunted by his own past and that of the house he’s attempting to renovate for his newly growing family. Someone’s not thrilled with the changes.

The use of mirrors in his film is classic. There are some super pissed off spirits in this house. You always hear about the horrors of renovation but this is some next-level shit. Philip “CM Punk” Brooks as Don is epically awesome. There is humor behind the horror and damnit, that’s what makes this film so damn rad. Brooks fully immerses himself in the grotesque bits of this film. And I do mean fully. Stevens has an IDGAF attitude in story and style and I am here for it. If this is what I can expect from him, give the man a giant bank account, a swimming pool of blood, and take my money already. Brooklyn Horror Film Festival audiences lapped this film up and were grossed out in the process. Girl On The Third Floor is like nothing else you’ll see right now.

BHFF 2019 review: ‘Spiral’ is socially relevant horror at its best.

SPIRAL

North American Premiere
Canada | 2019 | 87 Min | Dir. Kurtis David Harder

To get away from the city life, same-sex couple Malik and Aaron and their teen daughter, Kayla, move to a small suburban town in the mid-’90s. Unfortunately, they’re greeted right away with homophobic threats. When Malik witnesses a strange gathering in the neighbor’s house, he starts to fear for their lives. A queer horror game-changer, SPIRAL uses the genre to call out the deep-rooted fear of the other in America and expose the cycle of hate as the most corruptible, ancient evil of all. —Joseph Hernandez

Bigotry and cults? PTSD and ghostly warnings? Lost time and murder mysteries? Making its North American premiere at Brooklyn Horror Film Fest this year, Spiral has all these things at once. This mind-bending script will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. As a viewer, you will live in the shoes of our leading man, Malik. Played by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman his performance is so incredibly nuanced, it is simply captivating. The terror is visceral. The confusion is exhilarating. The reveal is gasp-inducing. I literally exclaimed, “Dear God!” It will be socially relevant for far longer than we’d like it to be. With beautiful pacing, intriguing storyline, and a genuinely gag-worthy practical effect, Spiral is pretty much perfection.

BHFF 2019 review: ‘A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio’ makes short films its frightening focus.

A NIGHT OF HORROR: NIGHTMARE RADIO

North American Premiere
Argentina, New Zealand | 2019 | 100 Min | Dir. Luciano and Nicolás Onetti, Sergio Morcillo, Joshua Long, Jason Bognacki, Adam O´Brien, Matt Richards, A.J. Briones, Pablo S. Pastor and Oliver Park.

As the host of a popular horror-themed radio show, disc jockey Rod shares tales of terror with his eager listeners, and although this particular night is no different, there’s also the unexpected wrinkles of alarming calls from a scared-to-death child. How that all ties together is part of the magic behind A NIGHT OF HORROR: NIGHTMARE RADIO, an anthology constructed by Argentinian duo Nicolas and Luciano Onetti, who’ve assembled an impressive lineup of recent festival-touring horror shorts to deliver a refreshingly unique new kind of omnibus. —Matt Barone

 

Visually delicious from every angle. It’s like a beautiful love letter to horror fans. Directors Nicolas and Luciano Onetti have gathered some of the buzziest horror shorts from the festival circuit to create a brilliant feature film. Each short is magnificent in story and genuinely bone-chilling. Our radio host Rod, played cooly and nonchalantly by James Wright, is essentially a more attractive Crypt Keeper. Telling stories and taking calls all while checking the time religiously. He’s a bit of an enigma but we can tell he is on edge during this particular broadcast. Rod’s tales deal with something for everyone; body horror, lore, possession, demons, trauma, monsters, urban legends and everything else terrifying in-between. While we enjoy his stories, our man Rod is wrestling with his own nightmare. The practical effects make-up and the scores are all top-notch. This is a special film. Highlighting great horror shorts in such a genuinely unique, scary way is brilliant.  A Night Of Horror: Nightmare Radio is a hell of a crowd-pleasing film for Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.

CineCina Film Festival 2019 opens Friday. Here’s what to expect this year.

CINECINA FILM FESTIVAL 2019

The CineCina Film Festival will begin this Friday. Here are the official selections for the second year of the New York City-based film festival, which takes place October 25-November 3.

Dedicated to presenting the best in world cinema, the introduction of new international filmmakers to New York and the United States, and the celebration of past masters, this year’s edition of the film festival will open with Elia Suleiman’s Palestinian Oscar selection for 2019, IT MUST BE HEAVEN, and will close with a special 10th Anniversary presentation of Samuel Maoz’s LEBANON. A digitally restored version of King Hu’s 1979 classic RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN will make its U.S. Premiere as the Centerpiece Screening.

The CineCina Film Festival’s highly curated fest includes a main slate comprised of nine films, with five special presentations, representing 24 countries. With screening locations spread throughout the city, CinaCina films will be presented at; AMC Lincoln Square 13 (1998 Broadway); AMC Empire 25 (234 W. 42nd Street); SVA (333 W. 23rd Street); DGA New York Theater (110 W. 57th Street); and French Institute Alliance Française (22 E. 6oth Street).

CineCina Film Festival Founder and Director Vina Sun, said, “In our second year, we have created a ‘road’ theme meant to highlight our cinematic journey, the connection, and mutual communication platform we seek to build to boost film culture exchanges. Our programming has expanded to all world cinema beyond the Chinese focus we established with last year’s debut. That creative road also leads to our Horizon Project, meant to encourage and develop young filmmakers, as well as Master Class lectures, which will feature film artists like one of our special guests this year, Samuel Maoz.”

Suleiman’s whimsical, yet thoughtful film IT MUST BE HEAVEN will be the Opening Night presentation Friday, October 25 at the DGA New York Theater. The film features the beloved filmmaker observing the goings-on around him in Nazareth, Paris, and France. Through his eyes, we see moments, and fragments of life and human interaction that can surprise and delight one moment, and be very familiar the next.

A 40th Anniversary screening of King Hu’s RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN will be presented on Friday, November 1 at AMC Lincoln Square as the CineCine Film Festival’s Centerpiece Screening. Voted as one of the “100 Greatest Chinese Films” by the Hong Kong Film Awards. Beautifully photographed, the film is set in a Buddhist monastery during the Ming Dynasty in turmoil over who will be appointed as the next abbot. And tensions only get worse when someone steals a venerated sutra from the Buddhist scriptures.

Maoz’s LEBANON won numerous awards during it’s release ten years ago, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The claustrophobic and bitingly tense drama places us with an Israeli army unit in a tank during a mission to Lebanon. With a POV relegated to what can be seen from the perspective of the cramped soldiers in the tank, the atrocities of war mix with a veritable stew of humanity inside the tank itself. The film will serve as the Closing Night selection when it screens Sunday, November 3 at French Institute Alliance Française.

Two North American premieres head the main slate selection of films. Takahisa Zeze’s THE CHRYSANTHEMUM AND THE GUILLOTINE follows two female sumo wrestlers trying to escape the abuses of their past, while two other women – members of an anarchist group start to watch their wrestling matches.

Lu Zhang’s FUKUOKA looks at two old schoolmates reconnecting, a mysterious woman who enters the picture and the love triangle that ensues. Zhang is set to attend the screening on Friday, November 1 at AMC Lincoln Square.

Other highlights include Lisa Zi Xiang’s award-winning A DOG BARKING AT THE MOON, about a Chinese family saga, commencing with the wife’s discovery of her husband’s homosexuality. The film was a winner at Berlin, aGLIFF, and Inside Out, among other film festivals.

Yinan Diao’s THE WILD GOOSE LAKE (which you can read a review for here, deserves to be seen in a theater!) will be the focal point of a Special Halloween event at SVA. The stylish Chinese crime noir is about a gang leader on the run and a girl in trouble ready to risk everything to change her luck.

Regarding the main slate of selections, CineCina Film Festival Co-Director of Programming Frank Yan, said, “These films are all gems that we enjoyed and were inspired by at major film festivals around the world. In the spirit of ‘the road’, we felt it was important that their road led to a screening here for the great and discerning film fans in New York City.”

Rounding out the Special Screenings, Halloween will also feature a 30th Anniversary presentation of John Woo’s influential classic THE KILLER. Chow Yun-Fat’s disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.

Naoko Yamada’s A SILENT VOICE will be screened as a special Tribute to Kyoto Animation. In the film, a young man loses friends after he bullies a deaf girl so much she moves away. As an adult, he decides he must make amends. The CineCina Film Festival will donate all proceeds from the screening to assist in the reconstruction of Kyoto Animation, which recently suffered a disastrous fire to their production offices in Japan.

Serif Gören and Yilmaz Güney’s YOL (1982) will also be the subject of a special screening which will mark the U.S. premiere of a newly-restored digital print of the film. YOL is about five Turkish prisoner who face oppression from everyone during a one-week leave, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes as well as an award from the National Board of Review.

Film festival passes and tickets are on-sale now. To purchase passes or tickets to individual screenings go to: https://cine-cina.co/tickets/.

The 2019 CineCina Film Festival official selections:

Opening Night Selection

IT MUST BE HEAVEN                                                           New York Premiere

Director: Elia Suleiman

Countries: France/Palestine/Qatar/Germany/Canada/Turkey, Running Time: 97 minutes

Filmmaker Elia Suleiman travels to different cities and finds unexpected parallels to his homeland of Palestine.

Centerpiece Selection

RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN (1979)

Director: King Hu

Countries: Taiwan/Hong Kong, Running Time: 120 min

An esquire and a general both eye a priceless handwritten scroll by Tripitaka, held in a temple library. The Abbot of the Temple selects his successor.

Closing Night Selection

LEBANON (2009)

Director: Samuel Maoz

Countries: Israel/Germany/France/UK, Running Time: 93 min

During the First Lebanon War in 1982, a lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town.

MAIN SLATE

AWAY                                                                                     New York Premiere

Director: Gints Zilbalodis

Country: Latvia, Running Time: 75 min

A boy and a little bird are on a journey across a strange island trying to get back home.

THE CHRYSANTHEMUM AND THE GUILLOTINE             North American Premiere

Director: Takahisa Zeze

Country: Japan, Running Time: 189 min

After the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, a troupe of female sumo wrestlers, including Tomoyo and Tamae arrive in the area near Tokyo. Meanwhile, an anarchist group, including Tetsu and Daijiro go to watch the female sumo wrestlers compete and become fascinated by them.

A DOG BARKING AT THE MOON

Director: Lisa Zi Xiang

Countries: China/Spain, Running Time: 107 min

A Chinese family saga, told in different periods of time, commencing with the wife’s discovery of her husband’s homosexuality. When her adult daughter comes to visit, other secrets slowly come to light.

THE FACTORY                                                                      New York Premiere

Director: Yuriy Bykov

Countries: Russia/France/Armenia, Running Time: 109 min

When a factory is about to close, a group of workers decides to take action against the owner.

FUKUOKA                                                                             North American Premiere

Director: Lu Zhang

Countries: South Korea/Japan, Running Time: 88 min

A film about a middle-aged man’s retrospect to his past, two Koreans’ trip to Fukuoka, and three people’s reconciliation with love.

THE MAGIC LIFE OF V                                                         New York Premiere

Director: Tonislav Hristov

Countries: Finland/Denmark/Bulgaria, Running Time: 87 min

Documentary follows a young woman haunted by childhood trauma, who learns how to face that past and become more independent as she helps her mentally disabled brother through live-role-playing.

TAKE ME SOMEWHERE NICE                                             New York Premiere

Director: Ena Sendijarevic

Countries: Netherlands/Bosnia and Herzegovina, Running Time: 91 min

A Dutch girl of Bosnian descent travels to Bosnia to visit her sick father. It will be the first time they will see each other.

THE WILD GOOSE LAKE

Director: Yinan Diao

Countries: China/France, Running Time: 113 min

A gang leader on the run seeking redemption. A girl in trouble risking everything to gain her freedom. Both hunted on the hidden shores of The Wild Goose Lake. They set a deadly gamble for what may be their last day.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

THE KILLER (1989)

Director: John Woo

Country: Hong Kong, Running Time: 111 min

A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.

A SILENT VOICE (2016)

Director: Naoko Yamada

Country: Japan, Running Time: 130 min

A young man is ostracized by his classmates after he bullies a deaf girl to the point where she moves away. Years later, he sets off on a path for redemption.

YOL (1982)

Directors: Serif Gören, Yilmaz Güney

Countries: Turkey/Switzerland, Running Time: 113 min

When five Turkish prisoners are granted one week’s home leave, they find to their dismay that they face continued oppression outside of prison from their families, the culture, and the government.

About CineCina Film Festival (CCFF)

CineCina Film Festival (CCFF) is the only New York-based film festival dedicated to promoting excellent Chinese films. Founded in 2018, it was conceived by a group of young film scholars and filmmakers
active in New York. CCFF aims to bring the best international films to New York. Starting from the exhibition of wonderful Chinese films, the committee of CineCina is committed to making CCFF a platform for the export of Chinese culture, and increasing opportunities for the development and distribution of Chinese films in North America. Meanwhile, CineCina is going to expose the rapid development of Chinese film to more audiences, and enlarge the influence of Chinese cultural industry in North America.
At the same time, CineCina is devoted to becoming the entry point in the development of many a young filmmaker. Through exploring young filmmakers and supporting the development of potential new films, it established a platform for young Chinese directors to display their works.

BHFF 2019 review: ‘The Shed’ wows at first sold out screening.

THE SHED

North American Premiere
USA | 2019 | 99 Min | Dir. Frank Sabatella

Stan, Roxy and Dommer are lifelong friends whose bond is being tested by the ever-taxing rigors of high school. For Stan and Dommer, in particular, the daily bullying they encounter comes in second only to watching Roxy’s popularity grow, and, in turn, her closeness to them dissipate. But there’s an unexpected possible solution to their problems in Stan’s backyard: a nondescript-looking toolshed, which houses something inhuman. Centered around the unlikeliest of villains, Frank Sabatella’s THE SHED takes what could have been a gore-drenched monster movie romp and layers it with potent coming-of-age anxiety and youth-in-crisis urgency. Don’t worry, though: There’s still carnage aplenty. —Matt Barone

Awesomely jarring nightmares, a killer soundtrack, combined with insanely good performances by the entire cast makes for a fantastic indie horror. There is more than face value to The Shed. Yes, there is a sick monster and buckets of blood, but all that aside the film speaks to much bigger issues. Our lead Stan has all the makings of a kid that’s about to lose it on society. He lost his parents, he’s in the custody of an abusive grandfather, he gets bullied at school. Stan and best friend Dommer are just trying to survive high school.

The cyclical nature of abuse and bullying is statistically proven. The Shed utilizes classic movie monster canon as a metaphorical weapon rather than making Stan another school shooter cliche. It’s a unique commentary on the kids that are far too often ignored. What happens when these kids taste power? The lines are quickly and easily blurred when revenge seems like the sweetest option. The Shed is a surprising and one of a kind film. It’s a hell of a sophomore venture from Frank Sabatella. Even though the two screenings at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival already sold out, RLJE will be releasing it soon. Do not miss this when it comes to theaters in November.

The film will open in cinemas and on VOD nationwide from RLJE on November 15th.

 THE SHED is written and directed by Frank Sabatella, and stars Jay Jay Warren, Cody Kostro, Sofia Happonen, Frank Whaley, Timothy Bottoms, and Siobhan Fallon Hogan. It is produced by Peter Block and Cory Neal.

Color

English Language

98 Minutes

Not Rated