‘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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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.

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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.

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‘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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‘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.


For more IFC film reviews, click here!

‘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.


For more films about activism, click here

‘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


For more film festival reviews, click here!

‘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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‘STING’ (2024) Killer campy creature-feature

well go usa logoSTING

Sting poster

12-year-old Charlotte captures a pet spider in her rundown apartment building. When her pet’s appetite increases, she is not so cute anymore. STING is creature-feature heaven.

STING-Still5-1340x754Jermaine Fowler gives an unforgettable performance as Frank, the exterminator. All eyes are on him in every scene he shows up in. Noni Hazlehurst is loveable as Charlotte’s dementia-ridden grandmother.

Penelope Mitchell (What You Wish For) is solid playing the newly postpartum mother of Charlotte and baby Liam, Heather. PS- Keep your ears sharp for Kate Walsh‘s voice.

STING-Still4-1340x754Ryan Corr gives Ethan a palpable charm in his mounting frustration. Charlotte’s stepfather, the building handyman by day and graphic artist by night, the epic snowstorm outside, the needy residents inside, and a giant ass, alien spider severely harsh his mellow.

Alyla Browne is magnetic as Charlotte, an adolescent badass, budding graphic novelist, and into the macabre. A mix of fearless with a side of abandonment issues, she owns every second of screen time.

I adore the nod to Charlotte’s Web in our little ingenue’s moniker. Please give me a scenario where she teams up with Lulu Wilson (BECKY franchise), and that is an entirely new genre franchise laid out in front of you.

STING-Still1-1340x754The film boasts a sometimes curious childlike score, an absurdly upbeat soundtrack, smart-looking opening credits, and an unmissable homage to Alien and Terminator. Our titular character is a creative wonder. Sting is something you have to see to appreciate. It is magnificent. Thank you, WĒTĀ Workshops.

Writer-director Kiah Roache-Turner (The Wyrmwood films) delivers tons of gorey fun with gross transitions and gagworthy practical FX. STING is a cleverly updated stab at a classic horror trope. You will devour it.

Opens Wide in North American Theaters on April 12th

After raising an unnervingly talented spider in secret, 12-year-old Charlotte must face the facts about her pet—and fight for her family’s survival—when the once-charming creature rapidly transforms into a giant, flesh-eating monster.

Directed by: Kiah Roache-Turner

Cast: 
Ryan Corr
Alyla Browne
Penelope Mitchell
Robyn Nevin
Noni Hazelhurst
Silvia Colloca
Danny Kim
Jermaine Fowler

#StingMovie

STING has been rated R (for violent content, bloody images and language).

 

‘ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH’ (2024) delves into love, lust, and dark Irish lore

XYZ logoALL YOU NEED IS DEATH

All You need Is Death poster

In ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH, an ambitious couple discovers the all-consuming origin of an ancient folk song. Anna and Aleks search for a particular melody that might end in a big payday for particular collectors. They will learn that power is intoxicating, but curses come with rules.

All You Need Is Death still 2The script builds a vibrating anticipation. The audience has little information. Filmmaker Paul Duane slowly reveals our protagonists’ what, but the why remains a mystery. Based on dark Irish lore passed down through the maternal lineage and some ancient cursed story, the song drips with agony, even if the audience cannot initially understand a single word. All parties are consumed by its power the moment it is heard.

All You Need Is Death 2024Only one character appears to coherently recall the film’s secretive canon, but only to a point. Rita’s son reveals the unspoken, generational seriousness of their circumstances. The drastic measures he takes to protect the legend are shocking. He must find Anna and her cohorts.

These ancient songs act like spells or incantations. Themes of love, obsession, yearning, and control blur with each passing scene. Eoin McDonagh‘s intriguing editing includes flashes from the song’s origin, spliced with moments of Anna showing the interconnectedness of the women charged with the secret’s protection.

All You Need Is Death still- Olwen Fouere photo by Ishmael ClaxtonQuick visual and dialogue genre homages pop up from time to time. Horror fans will find a sly smirk spread across their lips while intently trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Cast members Simone Collins, Charlie Maher, Catherine Wiggins, and Nigel O’Neill are captivating. One performance in particular, while short-lived, is mesmerizing. Olwen Fouéré plays songstress Rita Concannon. Her presence is unmatched by anyone else in the film. It’s a chilling turn.

The makeup FX are wonderful. Both opening and closing credits lend to a disquieting feeling. The script has massive expansion potential. You cannot begin to predict what comes next. ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH boasts a disturbing finale. Paul Duane delivers an unsettling story that burrows into your brain and will leave your mouth agape in horror. 

The nightmarish Irish folktale arrives on VOD and in select U.S. cinemas on April 11th

 

ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH stars Olwen Fouéré (Mandy, Sally Hardesty from 2022’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Charlie Maher (Blue Lights), Simone Collins (The Last Duel), and Gary Whelan (The Contract). The film had its World Premiere at Beyond Fest in Los Angeles, followed by an Irish Premiere at Cork International Film Festival.

Not Rated
Color
91 Minutes
English Language



 About XYZ Films 
XYZ Films is an independent studio whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. XYZ was founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian and has expanded in recent years into documentary, talent management, and distribution. Some of the company’s classic titles include THE RAID franchise, 2017 Sundance winner I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE, and Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic revenge thriller MANDY.

 

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‘ASPHALT CITY’ (2024) Death and Ethics.

ASPHALT CITY

ASPHALT CITY Poster

Based on Shannon Burke‘s novel Black Flies and directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, ASPHALT CITY follows newbie Ollie Cross as he navigates the unrelenting NYC night shift under the guise of a veteran paramedic.

Immersive handheld camera work and quick editing place the audience on Ollie’s shoes from the first frame. The sound mixing is stellar. There is a constant din of noise, whether it’s the score or the sounds of the city. The repeated angel wings motif is beautifully clever.

ASPHALT CITY_STILL 10Michael Pitt plays co-worker, and piece of shit, Lafontaine. His dwindling morality acts as a mirror for Ollie. Pitt is vile and spectacular.

Sean Penn delivers a lived-in performance as mentor Gene Rutkovsky. He makes every role seem effortless, and this is no exception. His chemistry Tye Sheridan straddles fatherly and realistic confidant.

ASPHALT CITY_Sheridan gives Ollie a perfect balance of anxiety, rage, and a hero complex. We watch his sanity slowly crumble under the weight of the world’s evil. Sheridan is phenomenal as his priorities shift and nothing goes as planned. He proves himself as a leading man once again.

The screenplay leans into the human atrocities, the nuance of the job, and the complexities of the city’s eclectic population. ASPHALT CITY is a tense and deeply affecting drama rife with grief and grit.

EXCLUSIVELY IN THEATERS MARCH 29

Asphalt City

Asphalt City follows Ollie Cross (Tye Sheridan), a young paramedic assigned to the NYC night shift with an uncompromising and seasoned partner Gene Rutkovsky (Sean Penn). The dark nights reveal a city in crisis; Rutkovsky guides Cross, as each 911 call is often dangerous and uncertain, putting their lives on the line every day to help others. Cross soon discovers firsthand the chaos and awe of a job that careens from harrowing to heartfelt, testing his relationship with Rutkovsky and the ethical ambiguity that can be the difference between life and death.

 

CAST

Sean Penn “Gene Rutkovsky”

Tye Sheridan  “Ollie Cross”

Gbenga Akinnagbe “Verdis”

Michael Carmen Pitt “Lafontaine”

Katherine Waterston “Nancy”

Mike Tyson “Chief Burroughs”

Raquel Nave “Clara”

Kali Reis “Nia”

 

CREW

Director:                         Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire

Screenwriters:                Ryan King and Ben Mac Brown

Based on:                       the novel Black Flies by Shannon Burke

Producers:                      Warren Goz, Eric Gold, Christopher Kopp, Lucan Toh, Sean Penn, John Ira Palmer,

John Wildermuth, Tye Sheridan, Tina Wang

Executive Producers:      James Masciello, Matthew Sidari, Mitchell Zhang, Luke Rodgers, Jean-Stéphane

Sauvaire, Jamie Buckner, Shannon Burke, Babak Anvari, Ryan King

Director of Photography: David Ungaro, AFC

Editors:                           Saar Klein & Katie Mcquerrey

Production Designer:       Robert Pyzocha

Costume Designer:        Stacy Jansen

Music:                            Nicholas Becker and Quentin Sirjacq

Casting:                          Lori Eastside

Distributors:                   Roadside Attractions / Vertical

Genre:                            Thriller

Rating:                           R

Running Time:                125 minutes

ASPHALT CITY_STILL 12

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Thrilling ‘SLEEPING DOGS’ (2024) Russell Crowe dives into deception and dementia

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SLEEPING DOGS

Sleeping Dogs Russell Crowe

In SLEEPING DOGS, Russell Crowe plays Roy Freeman, a former detective who has just undergone an experimental treatment for dementia. When an inmate on death row requests a sit-down with him, a series of unanswered questions from the case pull us down a rabbit hole of mystery and lies.

SLEEPING DOGS -Russell CroweUtilizing Alzheimer’s as a creative device in storytelling delivers a nuanced and intriguing film. It places the viewer in Roy’s shoes as clues to his past drop in real-time. Classic noir lighting, score, and clever casefile tape transition visuals add to the flashback-filled narrative.

SLEEPING DOGS - Karen GillanKaren Gillan plays Laura Baines, the obsession of a potential subject in the case. She nails the old-school detective ingenue style of dramatics. Gillan brings a vocal tone and cadence similar to Elizabeth Holmes. It’s jarring but effective.

Crowe is spectacular, fully embodying the internal and external grief of dementia. It is no surprise that he owns this role in all its complexity. While the cast is undoubtedly strong, he brings a much-needed weight with his presence.

SLEEPING DOGS stillDirector Adam Cooper and co-writer Bill Collage do an excellent job adapting the 2017 novel The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici, keeping the viewer guessing. We know something is off, but with each character’s perspective, we constantly question the truth. Boasting an intensely dark ending, SLEEPING DOGS satisfies the bibliophile and cinephile alike.

 

ONLY IN THEATERS: March 22, 2024

DIRECTOR: Adam Cooper
WRITERS: Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (written by), E.O. Chirovici (based on “THE BOOK OF MIRRORS” by)
CAST: Russell Crowe, Karen Gillan, Márton Csókás, Thomas M. Wright, Harry Greenwood, and Tommy Flanagan
SYNOPSIS: An ex-homicide detective (Russell Crowe) with memory loss is forced to solve a brutal murder he can’t recall. But as evidence uncovers secrets tied to his forgotten past, he is led to a chilling truth – sometimes, it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.
RUN TIME: 110 minutes
RATING: R                               
GENRE: Action, Crime/Thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: The Avenue

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‘WICKED LITTLE LETTERS’ (2024) The Best F*cking Film of the Year

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WICKED LITTLE LETTERS

Wicked Little Letters (2023) poster

When Edith Swan becomes the target of untoward, profanity-laced letters, the first suspect is her unfiltered neighbor. Chaos ensues when a police officer thinks they’ve arrested the wrong person.

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Timothy Spall plays Edward Swan, the abusive patriarch actively stifling Edith’s development. His use of religion as a moral and spiritual threat is alarming and infuriating. WICKED LITTLE LETTERS is a genuinely outstanding female ensemble. Boasting delightful performances from (a brilliant ) Anjana Vasan, Lolly Adefope, Joanna Scanlan, Eileen Atkins, and Alisha Weir, audiences will flock to the theatre.

Jessie Buckley is flawless as a foul-mouthed immigrant single mother, Rose Gooding. Buckley’s fierce spirit proves perfection for the role. She and Colman share a delicious chemistry, and I beg the industry to pair them together in future projects.

Olivia Colman gives Edith Swan an endearing faux bashfulness, particularly when you understand the trauma behind it. Her comic timing is a thing of the gods. Thriving off the attention of the scandal, Colman is a revelation. The nuance is, as usual, award-worthy.

Wicked Little Letters 2024 Olivia ColmanA massive thank you to screenwriter Jonny Sweet and director Thea Sharrock for gifting audiences with a dazzling story about complex, fearless women. The script is a creative commentary on repression, patriarchal rule, female friendship, and freedom of expression. You’ll be doubled over with laughter at the ceaselessly imaginative insults in the letters. The unadulterated glee in hearing these words feels naughty in a rather freeing and celebratory way. WICKED LITTLE LETTERS is the best fucking film of the year.

OPENING IN LA & NY MARCH 29, 

OPENING NATIONWIDE APRIL 5

A 1920s English seaside town bears witness to a farcical and occasionally sinister scandal in this riotous mystery comedy. Based on a stranger than fiction true story, WICKED LITTLE LETTERS follows two neighbours: deeply conservative local Edith Swan (Olivia Colman) and rowdy Irish migrant Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley). When Edith and fellow residents begin to receive wicked letters full of unintentionally hilarious profanities, foul-mouthed Rose is charged with the crime. The anonymous letters prompt a national uproar, and a trial ensues. However, as the town’s women — led by Police Officer Gladys Moss (Anjana Vasan) — begin to investigate the crime themselves, they suspect that something is amiss, and Rose may not be the culprit after all.

 

DIRECTED BY Thea Sharrock

WRITTEN BY Jonny Sweet

STARRING

Olivia Colman

Jessie Buckley

Timothy Spall

Anjana Vasan

Wicked Little Letters (2023) Olivia Colman

LOS ANGELES OPENING DAY THEATERS

AMC CENTURY CITY 15

189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA

AMC THE GROVE 14

10250 Santa Monica Blvd, 2000, Los Angeles, CA

NEW YORK OPENING DAY THEATERS

AMC LINCOLN SQUARE 13

1998 Broadway, New York, NY

CINEMA 123 BY ANGELIKA

1001 Third Ave, New York, NY

REGAL UNION SQUARE

850 Broadway, New York, NY

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


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‘LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL’ (2024) Ratings from hell.

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Late Night With The Devil

Late Night With The Devil IFC Films Shudder

After the passing of his wife and in danger of losing his live late-night hosting gig, Jack Delroy’s plan for ratings goes horribly wrong. LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL unfolds like an “E True Hollywood” exposé, playing the infamous 1977 studio tape of his talk show Night Owls’ Halloween episode. Jack is about to be famous, whether he likes it or not.

The tension increases with each volatile guest, culminating with the young subject of a controversial book. Jack requests a conversation with the entity possessing her, live on air, and “Mr. Wriggles” is more than happy to comply.

Late Night With The Devil IFC Films Shudder still 1Everything from the lighting, the lens, costumes, set design, the score, hair and makeup, and the jokes nail the era. Along with the live tape, black and white behind-the-scenes footage shows us what the at-home audience missed.

Laura Gordon plays Dr. June Ross-Mitchell, parapsychologist, author, and Lilly’s guardian. Her motherly energy and protective nature pour off the screen. She has magnetic chemistry with the rest of the cast.

Ingrid Torelli gives Lilly a shocking presence. Her overconfident air suggests an otherworldly maturity. It is startling, reminiscent of a young Drew Barrymore after E.T. fame. Torelli breaks the fourth wall by constantly gazing into the camera. It is one hell of a turn.

Late Night with the Devil (2023)David Dastmalchian owns every frame as Jack Delroy. A delicious mix of genuine and fame-hungry, his effortless performance is mesmerizing. He has the audience in the palm of his hand. You cannot take your eyes off of him.

Once Mr. Wriggles made their appearance, my heart was in my throat. I left fingernail impressions in my palm. From that moment on, the film leads up to a climax so unreal, I’ve never yelled “Oh F*CK!” so many times in one sitting. With a captivating balance of dazzling production design, jarring visuals FX, and a phenomenally demented screenplay from directors Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes, LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL is damn near perfect.


In Theaters on March 22, 2024

Written & Directed by 

Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes

Starring 

David Dastmalchian, Laura Gordon, Ian Bliss, Ingrid Torelli, Fayssal Bazzi, Rhys Auteri 

ABOUT IFC FILMS

IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film, owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. Its most recent releases include BLACKBERRY directed by Matt Johnson, BIOSPHERE with Mark Duplass and Sterling K. Brown, and the documentary LAKOTA NATION VS THE UNITED STATES directed by Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli and executive produced by Sarah Eagle Heart and Mark Ruffalo. Forthcoming titles include Amy Redford’s WHAT COMES AROUND and the recently announced documentary THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SHERE HITE from Nicole Newnham and Cannes Award-winner POT AU FEU from Trần Anh Hùng. Some of the company’s successes over the years include BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, CARLOS, BAD AXE and CORSAGE, among others.

 

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 originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit www.shudder.com.


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‘EXHUMA’ (2024) Let the dead stay buried.

well go usa logoEXHUMA

Exhuma-Poster-WellGoUSA-1382x2048 An ancient evil affects the firstborn children of a wealthy family with uncontrollable wailing in their dreams. Eager to cash in, a team of macabre experts takes on this new client. As they dig deeper into this unique case, the usually confident group discovers they are in over their heads. In EXHUMA, that’s only the beginning of this horrifying tale.

Exhuma-KHorror-WellGoUSA-1340x754-5Performances are magnificent across the board. This spectacular multi-generational ensemble cast delivers engrossing mystery and terror. The script unfolds in chapters, like a how-to guide dealing with the underworld. Descriptions of rituals and occupational titles come in narration from the team. This creative storytelling immerses the audience in what feels like an inevitable tragedy. Complicating things further are the secrets our wealthy family hides. Genre fans will have a field day with horror canon balanced with the slightest touch of humor and serious gore. It is beyond compelling.

Exhuma Well Go UsaMixing tradition and superstition combined with an ominous score makes the hairs on your arms stick straight up. It’s a multi-sensory watch. EXHUMA deserves your full attention from the very first frame. There is so much meat on the bone. Expanding this world almost certainly feels possible and welcome. At its current runtime of two-plus hours, viewers would eat up more stories from this team. Their chemistry is magic, and a franchise would delight fans. The twists and turns keep coming. EXHUMA is undeniably one of the most intriguing cinematic experiences of the year.


EXHUMA 

Opening in Los Angeles March 15 | In Theaters Across North America March 22

For more reviews of Well Go USA films, click here!

 

All things Horror, we’ve got you covered!


Exhuma-KHorror-WellGoUSA-1340x754-2 Visit the official film page: https://wellgousa.com/films/exhuma

When a renowned shaman (KIM Go-Eun) and her protégé (Lee Do-hyun) are hired by a wealthy, enigmatic family, they begin investigating the cause of a disturbing supernatural illness that affects only the first-born children of each generation. With the help of a knowledgeable mortician (YOO Hai-jin) and the country’s most revered geomancer (CHOI Min-sik), they soon trace the affliction’s origin to a long-hidden family grave located on sacred ground. Sensing an ominous aura surrounding the burial site, the team opts to exhume and relocate the ancestral remains immediately. But as something much darker emerges, they soon discover what befalls those who dare to mess with the wrong grave.

Directed by: Jang Jae-Hyun

Cast: Choi Min-Sik, Kim Go-Eun, Yoo Hai-Jin, and Lee Do-Hyun


Watch more Well Go USA films online: https://bit.ly/WellGoFilmsOnline

ABOUT WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT:

Well Go USA, the studio behind TRIPLE THREAT, TRAIN TO BUSAN, and the IP MAN franchise, brings the best in martial arts, action, genre, and independent films from the U.S. and around the world to North America.

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‘KNOX GOES AWAY’ (2024) Michael Keaton wows on both sides of the camera

KNOX GOES AWAY

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Michael Keaton plays Knox, an assassin who just received a brutal diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. With only weeks left before he loses his memory entirely and after a botched job is baring down on his unanimity, his estranged son shows up at his doorstep asking for a favor only he can grant.

Knox Goes Away (2024) still 1Knox takes notes in a small notebook, a less invasive version of MOMENTO. Knowing his limited time, he manipulates the evidence of a murder. We are always one step behind him. Screenwriter Gregory Poirier dazzles with this script.

Knox Goes Away (2024) Al PacinoSuzy Nakamura provides levity as Detective Emily Ikari. Joanna Kulig plays Annie, Knox’s Thursday date for the past four years. Marcia Gay Harden gives us a lovely scene as Knox’s ex-wife, Ruby. Al Pacino is a dear friend and associate, Xavier, who plays the point person assisting Knox in his plan to protect his son. He elevates the story with his effortless snark and caring nature.

James Marsden is Miles, Knox’s estranged son. He is spectacular, simmering in rage, grief, and guilt. Marsden deserves more credit in his career for his eclectic choices of roles. Keaton is an icon. He delivers a perfect balance of badassery and vulnerability. His gentleness takes you by surprise. This brilliant choice upends any genre’s expectations.

Knox Goes Away (2024) Michael Keaton still 2With a beautiful noir score, a highly effective sound mix, and slick editing, Keaton proves his legacy on both sides of the camera. The script drops clues but never explicitly lays out Knox’s plans. The audience makes assumptions and theories swirl, making the film emotionally immersive. The entire last act is an intoxicating catharsis. The pensive last shot is breathtaking. KNOX GOES AWAY will sweep you off your feet.

US Release Date: February 16, 2024

Directed by Michael Keaton

Starring Michael Keaton (Spotlight, Beetlejuice), James Marsden (“Westworld,” “Dead To Me”),
Suzy Nakamura (“Avenue 5”, “Snowfall”), John Hoogenakker (“Dopesick,” Teacher), Joanna Kulig (Hanna, Cold War), Ray Mckinnon (“Dopesick,” Chaos Walking) and Lela Loren (“American Gods,” Bruised) with Marcia Gay Harden (“So Help Me Todd,” “The Morning Show”and Al Pacino (House of Gucci, The Irishman)

Academy Award® nominee Michael Keaton directs and stars in this unpredictable thriller as John Knox, a hit man attempting to make amends before his recently discovered dementia takes over. Aided by a trusted friend (Academy Award® winner Al Pacino) with his own shady past, Knox races against the police — and his own rapidly deteriorating mind — to save his estranged son (James Marsden) from a vengeance-fueled mistake and “cash out” before it’s too late. Also starring Oscar® winners Ray McKinnon and Marcia Gay Harden.

For more films in the crime genre, click here!


 

‘HUNTING DAZE’ (SXSW 2024) and its slow simmering rage

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HUNTING DAZE

Hunting Daze SXSW 2024Annick Blanc gives SXSW 2024 audiences something to chew on with HUNTING DAZE, a genre-defying tale of isolation, pack mentality, and self-preservation. Exotic dancer Nina finds herself stuck and calls upon a former client for roadside assistance. Without transport, he brings her back to an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Upon discovering it is a bachelor party, the eclectic group of men agrees to let her stay the weekend if, and only if, she can abide by an “all for one’ mentality.

Beautiful drone shots and an enveloping score draw you in immediately. Slow-motion dynamics and natural lighting have an immersive effect on the audience. The dialogue brilliantly hovers between misogynist and welcoming. Scenarios range from the absurd to fraught with danger. Blanc understands the constant din of fear a woman feels surrounded by exclusively male energy. It’s a volatility forced upon us and a visceral buzzing from head to toe.

Nina experiences ominous visions during the film, allowing Blanc to introduce magical realism into the script. These moments are some of the most extraordinary cinematically, taking us inside Nina’s subconscious.

Nahéma Ricci is a badass as Nina. She is magnetic, holding the audience in the palm of her hand. Blanc gives her one hell of an arc, and Ricci delivers. She is a star.

Each character is fully fleshed out, with their distinct quirks and personalities making for an unpredictable momentum. Blanc leans into the pack mentality quite literally with appearances by wolves. HUNTING DAZE is a spectacular metaphor for patriarchal power. My way or the highway structure assumes a male authority, especially if a woman attempts to rock the boat. This overarching sense of superiority we face from microaggressions to murder, HUNTING DAZE is a film of simmering feminist rage.


Film Screenings

Mar 9, 2024
10:00pm11:19pm
 
Mar 11, 2024
7:00pm8:19pm
 
Mar 14, 2024
9:00pm10:19pm
 
Mar 14, 2024
9:30pm10:49pm

 

Credits

Director:

Annick Blanc

Producer:

Maria Gracia Turgeon, Annick Blanc

Screenwriter:

Annick Blanc

Cinematographer:

Vincent Gonneville

Editor:

Amélie Labrèche

Music:

Peter Venne

Principal Cast:

Nahéma Ricci, Bruno Marcil, Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi, Marc Beaupré, Alexandre Landry, Maxime Genois, Noubi Ndiaye

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