THE ANTENNA: Review

The Antenna Key Art

Director and Writer: Orçun Behram
Stars:   Ihsan Önal, Gül Arici, Levent Ünsal, Isil Zeynep, Murat Saglam, Elif Çakman, Mert Toprak Yadigar and Eda Öze
Genre:  Horror, Thriller
Language: Turkish with English subtitles

When a Government’s Line of Communications Becomes Deadly

Turkish writer and director Orcun Behram’s debut feature film “The Antenna”  tells the horrors of the slow but steady overreach of the government  in an unnamed Turkish city, where Mehmet (Ihsan Önal) is a building superintendent, overseeing the government’s installation of its new mandated communication system at his building.

Gloomy and bleak, the lives of the building’s residents are a stark reminder of what happens when a country’s government  goes in the wrong direction, similarly to what’s happening in Behram’s native Turkey under its current president, Tayyip Erdogan, who is jailing journalists and constantly eroding the freedom of the press and speech, only to replace them with authoritarian practices that puts him at odds with his other NATO members.

Antenna_still2

Cihan (Levent  Ünsal),Mehmet’s overbearing boss,  who is supportive of the government and obsessed with having a flawless antenna installation, is met with anything but  perfection when the first of many, tragedies occurs and the government’s installer falls from the roof, to his death. Most shocking was the total lack of interest and concern from the people who witnessed the installer's fatal accident.

The only person that possesses even a glimmer for something better is Yasemin (Gül Arici), who lives at home with her parents. Her hopes and ambitions are smothered by her controlling father, Firat (Enis Yildiz).

Lifeless and without joy, you realize there are not many children in the building. You do not hear their laughter or the sounds of them playing in or around the building. The families that did have children, showed just one child. It reminded me of China’s one child rule. When the government determines the number of children each family can have, this is a powerful way to control the citizens and the nation’s future population. They will not have to worry about an uncontrollable number of citizens who may one-day, rise -up against their government.

Antenna_still4

The score by Can Demirci adds the musical intensity needed in a horror film. Ismail Hakki Hafiz provides a good connection between the unnerving sounds one hears and the horrific occurrences inside the building. The editing by Burc Alatas could have been just a bit more, reducing the film’s runtime down from the 1 hour 55 minutes. Cinematographer Engin Özkaya brings the horrors to life in Mehmet’s building  and keeps the film’s grim scenes and mood going strong.

Orçun Behram does a good job of weaving strands of current repressive conditions that are steadily taking place in Turkey, into his debut film, The Antenna.  When you give serious consideration to a government overreach and abuse of power, in this day and time, it makes for a true horror film.

Run time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Distributor in North America: Dark Star Pictures
Stars: Ihsan Önal, Gül Arici, Levent Ünsal, Isil Zeynep, Murat Saglam, Elif Çakman, Mert Toprak Yadigar and Eda Öze
Director and Writer: Orçun Behram
Production Co: A Lucidlab Films, Solis Film Production,
Producer: Orcun Behram
Co-Producer: Mṻge Özen
Editor:  Burc Alatas
Camera (color): Engin Özkaya
Music Composer: Can Demirci
Sound:  Ismail Hakki Hafiz

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THE SWERVE Available NOW on VOD/Digital

THE SWERVE key art

Written and directed by: Dean Kapsalis
Starring: Azura Skye, Bryce Pinkham, Ashley Bell, and Zach Rand
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
Rating:  Not Yet Rated
Genre: Thriller

Holly seems to have it all: two kids, a nice house, a good job as a teacher, and a husband with his career on the way up. But there are troubling signs that all is not right in her world. The insomnia. The medication for the insomnia. The dreams from the medication for the insomnia. The arrival of her estranged sister and a mouse invading her home don’t help either. Add the weight of a dark secret, and her already delicate balance collapses, sending her spiraling out of control.

With her riveting and acclaimed performance as Holly, Azura Skye effortlessly crafts a portrait of a struggling mother on the edge. Writer/director Dean Kapsalis’s powerfully heart-wrenching feature debut explores a week in the life of a woman on the verge in this haunting meditation on mental illness.

THE SWERVE celebrated its world premiere at the 2019 Cinepocalypse Film Festival, and screened at the 2019 Panic Film Festival; winning both awards for Best Actress for Azura Skye. The film will be releasing on major VOD/Digital platforms beginning Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

“The Swerve is such a mesmerizing film from the perspective of someone we should call more often, Mom. A woman’s happiness is often an afterthought and it’s something so beautifully captured in this film.” - Yulissa Morales, Epic Pictures and Dread’s Director of Distribution

Facebook: facebook.com/TheSwerveMovie
Twitter: twitter.com/TheSwerveMovie
Instagram: instagram.com/TheSwerveMovie

THE SWERVE is written and directed by Dean Kapsalis. Produced by Tommy Minix, p.g.a. Cinematography by Daryl Pittman, and edited by Kapsalis and Alec Styborski. Casting by Adrienne Stern and music by Mark Korven. A Spark Chamber production.

THE SWERVE will be available on VOD/Digital Tuesday, September 22, 2020:
Indemand | Comcast | Spectrum | Charter | Dish | Sling TV | Vubiquity
iTunes | Google Play | Vudu | Xbox | YouTube | Amazon
Fandango Now | DirecTV | Breaker | Playstation | Redbox TVOD
iTunes Pre-order: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-swerve/id1528844280

About Epic Pictures

Since the foundation of the company in 2007, CEO Patrick Ewald has grown Epic Pictures into an independent content studio with the mission of delivering the best-in-class genre entertainment “for fans, by fans.” Epic Pictures produces, finances, and distributes approximately twenty-thirty independent genre films a year. In 2013, the company established Epic Pictures Releasing which is its US focused distribution division. In 2017, Epic Pictures acquired the world’s most popular horror website, Dread Central, and launched its unique horror label, Dread, followed by its AVOD channel, DreadTV. In 2019, Epic Pictures started the horror gaming site, DreadXP, with a focus on editorial, reviews, podcasts, and original streaming content. In 2020, DreadXP began a video game publishing division with the launch of The Dread X Collection, an anthology of horror games in collaboration with some of the most innovative developers in the independent gaming space. https://epic-pictures.com/

MY NAME IS PEDRO Opens in Los Angeles October 2 and Other Major Cities to Follow

(L-R) Student and Pedro Santana in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: New York Times/ Sweet 180)
SWeet 180 Logo

Director: Lillian La Salle
Genre:  Documentary
Stars 4.5 of 5
Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
Language: English

Award-winning documentary MY NAME IS PEDRO will open in virtual theaters in the following cities soon: LOS ANGELES on October 2 at Laemmle  with major cities to follow on October 9th in  San Francisco CinemaSF, Philadelphia Film Society, Minneapolis Parkway Theater,  Buffalo North Park, Baltimore Senator, The Charles, Vancouver Kiggins Theater,  Tucson Loft, Cleveland Cinemas, Phoenix Film Bar, Bellingham Pickford Center. Winston Salem Aperture Cinema, Tampa Theater and following open at the Toronto HotDocs on October 29th.

4) (L-R) Pedro Santana in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)

MY NAME IS PEDRO is a profound story of how one person actualizes learning and positive change in children, adults, environments and communities through an 'impact' ripple effect strategy that he has effortlessly perfected. The film is also an essential and timely reminder of the importance of great educators that exist within the infrastructure of our country's public education system.

Director Lillian LaSalle

LaSalle is the recipient of the 2016 Peabody "Futures of Media” Award for Producing the web-series, Halal In The Family, starring Aasif Mandvi, which garnered wide-spread media attention for taking on Islamophobia through the use of comedy and parody.

LaSalle is best known for her work as a talent manager representing actors, writers and directors as President of Sweet 180. https://www.mynameispedro.com .

LaSalle is the Producer of several feature films including, Loggerheads, which premiered in competition at The Sundance Film Festival and Sweet Land, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for writer/director, Ali Selim. LaSalle’s other notable feature Producing credits include: Today's Special, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and won the audience award at the Palm Springs Film Festival, Just Like the Son from director Morgan Freeman, Find Love, Heavy Petting, and Mentor, as well as Southern Belles and American Cannibal: The Road to Reality. 

LaSalle is currently Executive Producing the feature length animated feature, The Night Diary, based on the award-winning book by Veera Hiranandani alongside Aasif Mandvi’s Fat Mama Productions, animator/writer Gitanjali Rao (Bombay Rose, Tribeca Film Festival) and writer/director, Sabrina Dahwan, (Monsoon Wedding) with Hyde Park Entertainment. LaSalle will also produce the feature film, Our Lady Of The Snow, from award winning writer/director, Tom Gilroy (Spring Forward, The Cold Lands) alongside Luca Borghese and Ben Howe’s (Diane) Ag-X Films.

(L-R) Pedro Santana and students  in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: New York Times/ Sweet 180)

OFFICIAL SELECTION AND AWARDS:

Winner: Best Documentary, Golden Door International Film Festival Winner: Spotlight on Documentary Award,St. Louis International Film Festival Winner: Audience Award, Chicago Latino International Film Festival Winner: Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival Winner: Award of Merit, Impact Docs Winner: Honorable Mention, Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection: Women’s Filmmaker Showcase, BAFF
Official Selection: San Diego Latino International Film Festival

MY NAME IS PEDRO- Connect on Social Media: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mynameispedrodoc/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyNameisPedrodoc/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PedroSantanaDoc

Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
Distributor: Sweet 180
Initial release: 2017
Executive Producer: Mike Fowler
Producers: Lillian LaSalle, Jonathan Clasberry
Co-producer: Monica Cohen
Production Co: Sweet 180
Cast: Pedro Santana
Director: Lillian LaSalle
Editor: Mary Manhardt, Mark Demol
Composer: Nix Nought Nothing
Camera: Christian Campbell

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THE ANTENNA Trailer

DARK STAR PICTURES  THE ANTENNA            Opens in Virtual Cinemas October 2nd

TheAntenna_Still11

Director and Writer: Orçun Behram
Cast: Ihsan Önal, Gül Arici, Levent Ünsal, Isil Zeynep, Murat Saglam, Elif Çakman, Mert Toprak Yadigar and Eda Öze.

THE ANTENNA  opens in virtual theaters on October 2nd in Los Angeles (Laemmle), New York and major cities (Museum Of The Moving Image (MOMI), Alamo On Demand) and Philadelphia (Film Society). And on VOD in the US and Canada on October 20th.  Including on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Fantasia International Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival and many more.

 

Antenna_still2

In a dystopian Turkey, the Government installs new networks throughout the country to monitor information.

The installation goes wrong in a crumbling apartment complex and Mehmet (Ihsan Önal), the building intendant, will have to confront the evil entity behind the inexplicable transmissions that threaten the residents.

DIRECTOR AND WRITTER: ORÇUN BEHRAM

Born in 1987, filmmaker Orçun Behram graduated from Columbia College, Chicago majoring film in 2011. Establishing himself in Istanbul, he has worked on variety of projects from music videos and short films to documentaries. The Antenna (2019) is the director’s first feature.

DARK STAR PICTURES

Dark Star Pictures is a new-age North American distribution company, focused on bringing unique and targeted content to audiences across the country. The company is committed to releasing auteur-driven, original cinema in the theatrical, digital and home video space. Dark Star’s goal is to create original marketing campaigns directly catered to audiences who will embrace our brand of thought-provoking cinema. The company also services distribution companies and producers in the theatrical, digital, and festival space.

Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
Genre: Horror
Rating: Not Rated
Language: Turkish with English subtitles
Distributed in North America by: Dark Star Pictures

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18 TO PARTY New Trailer

FINAL 18 TO PARTY POSTER

Opens in Virtual Cinemas on November 6
In Los Angeles at Laemmle and New York and major cities on Alamo On Demand, with a VOD release to follow on all major platforms in the US and Canada on December 1st.

AN ASTERION PICTURES PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAHILL BROS.

It’s 1984 and outside a small-town nightclub, a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. 18 TO PARTY spans a single evening in the lives of these kids, but manages to transport us fully to a time when waiting for something to happen felt just as significant as the thing itself.

Gorgeously atmospheric, with a pulsating sense of anticipation that steadily builds, the film pulls us into the fears, wounds, and desires of each character, ultimately revealing that hope may arrive from the last place we expect.

The meticulously authentic production design, killer soundtrack, and universally excellent performances recall the spirit of classic 80s teen movies like Stand By Me and The Breakfast Club. 18 TO PARTY is a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship.

An Official Selection at Woodstock Film Festival, Florida Film Festival (Winner! Special Jury Award/ Ensemble Cast), Big Apple Film Festival, Liverpool Film Festival and more.

FILMMAKER JEFF RODA
Jeff Roda has written screenplays for DreamWorks, Universal, Paramount Pictures, New Regency, TriStar, and television pilots for HBO, CBS, and Warner Bros. Additionally, he was a producer on the Sony Pictures Classics feature, Love Liza, starring Academy Award winning actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates. 18 TO PARTY marks his directorial debut. Roda is a local resident of Woodstock area and the film is set in Upstate New York.

Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes
Director and Writer: Jeff Roda
Cast: Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, James Freedson-Jackson, Oliver Gifford, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson and Erich Schuett
Producers: Nikola Duravcevic, Emily Ziff Griffin, Andrew Cahill, Stephanie Marin
Music by: The Alarm, Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones, The Velvet Underground and many more

VIEW TRAILER BELOW

URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN On VOD and DVD September 29th

Including iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo

URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD INTO HER OWN

AN ICARUS FILMS RELEASE / ITINERANT PICTURES PRESENTS URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN

Runtime: 57 minutes
Director:  Daniel Traub (The Barefoot Artist, Xu Bing: Phoenix)
2019

URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN is an artistic biography of one of the few women in the world working in monumental sculpture. Von Rydingsvard’s work has been featured in the Venice Biennale and is held in the collections of some of the world’s great museums, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. But she may be best-known for her staggering, triumphant body of work in public spaces – imposing pieces painstakingly crafted with complex surfaces including: a series of early installations reminiscent of wings in what became New York’s Battery Park; a monumental yet inviting piece outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the stunning “Scientia” at M.I.T. which evokes the power of nature and the firing of brain synapses.

In Daniel Traub’s intimate documentary, we go behind the scenes with von Rydingsvard, as she and her collaborators – cutters, metal-smiths, and others – produce new work, including challenging commissions in copper and bronze. The film also delves into the artist’s personal life, and how it has shaped her work. Born in Poland during the Second World War, she was partly raised in a displaced persons camp and came to the US as a refugee with her nine-person family. Brought up in a blue-collar environment, she became a teacher and then, as a single mother, moved to New York in the 1970s to take up her artistic practice full-time.

Interviews with curators, patrons, family, fellow artists (including luminaries such as artist Sarah Sze and museum director Adam Weinberg), as well as the artist herself, are intertwined with studio visits and behind-the-scenes footage of her mammoth creations being installed. All combine to show how, through sheer talent and determination (and countless planks of cedar), she has become one of the world’s greatest artists (and one of a very few women) working in monumental sculpture.

DANIEL TRAUB is a New York-based filmmaker and photographer. He lived in China from 1998 to 2007, working as cinematographer on documentary films for various networks and production companies, including PBS, German television ZDF and Arte. More recently, Traub directed the feature-length Barefoot Artist about Lily Yeh and her collaborative artworks in war-torn communities and Xu Bing: Phoenix about the condition of Chinese migrant laborers.

Traub’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Slought Foundation in Philadelphia and the Lianzhou Foto Festival in China. His work can be found in public and private collections, such as The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Production Company: Itinerant Pictures
Run time: 57 minutes
Director: Daniel Traub
Producers: Daniel Traub, Ken Kobland, Simon Taufique
Executive Producer: Morning Slayter
Editors: Ken Kobland, Melody London
Cinematographer: Daniel Traub
Composer: Simon Taufique

ICARUS FILMS
Since 1978, Icarus Films has been a leading distributor of documentary films in North America. Icarus Films meets the needs of activists, educators and service providers, challenging audiences with original creative works.

CONNECT
http://icarusfilms.com
https://www.facebook.com/IcarusFilms/
https://twitter.com/IcarusFilms
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18 TO PARTY Opens November 6th

(L-R) Alivia Clark and Tanner Flood in Jeff Roda’s 18 TO PARTY 
(Photo Credit: Asterion Pictures)

Giants Pictures, An Asterion Pictures Production in Association with Cahill Bros Film To Party opens in Virtual Theaters on November 6th in New York and major cities – Alamo on Demand and Los Angeles – Laemmle with a VOD Release to follow and all major platforms.

It’s 1984 and outside a small-town nightclub, a group of 8th graders gather, grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. 18 TO PARTY spans a single evening in the lives of these kids, but manages to transport us fully to a time when waiting for something to happen felt just as significant as the thing itself.

Gorgeously atmospheric, with a pulsating sense of anticipation that steadily builds, the film pulls us into the fears, wounds, and desires of each character, ultimately revealing that hope may arrive from the last place we expect.

The meticulously authentic production design, killer soundtrack, and universally excellent performances recall the spirit of classic 80s teen movies like Stand By Me and The Breakfast Club. 18 TO PARTY is a spot-on love letter to Gen X, awkward teenagers, and the transcendent power of friendship.

(L-R) Oliver Gifford, Tanner Flood, Taylor Richardson and Nolan Lyons in Jeff Roda’s 18 TO PARTY 
(Photo Credit: Asterion Pictures)

About  Jeff Roda

Jeff Roda has written screenplays for DreamWorks, Universal, Paramount Pictures, New Regency, TriStar, and television pilots for HBO, CBS, and Warner Bros. Additionally, he was a producer on the Sony Pictures Classics feature, Love Liza, starring Academy Award winning actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates. 18 TO PARTY marks his directorial debut. Roda is a local resident of Woodstock area and the film is set in Upstate New York.

An official selection at Woodstock Film Festival, Florida Film Festival (Winner! Special Jury Award/ Ensemble Cast), Big Apple Film Festival, Liverpool Film Festival and more.

Runtime: 1 hour 20 minutes
Country: US
Genre: Comedy
Initial Release: 2019
Director and Writer: Jeff Roda
Star cast: Alivia Clark, Tanner Flood, James Freedson-Jackson, Oliver Gifford, Nolan Lyons, Sam McCarthy, Ivy Miller, Taylor Richardson and Erich Schuett
Producers: Nikola Duravcevic, Emily Ziff Griffin, Andrew Cahill, Stephanie Marin
Music By: The Alarm, Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones, The Velvet Underground and many more
Cinematographer: Gris Jordana
Costume Designer: Eva Lopez
Production Designer: Sam Bader
Editor: Kate Williams

MY NAME IS PEDRO OPENS TODAY

School children in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)
School children in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)
School children in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO (Photo Credit: Sweet 180)

Directed by: Lillian La Salle
Documentary
Runtime: 127 Minutes

Award-winning documentary MY NAME IS PEDRO opened today in virtual theaters In NYC on September 17 (Maysles Cinema) and will open in the following cities soon:
LOS ANGELES on October 2 (Laemmle) with major cities to follow (on October 9) including: Philadelphia (Film Society), Minneapolis (Parkway Theater),  Buffalo (North Park), Baltimore (Senator, The Charles), Vancouver (Kiggins Theater), Tucson (Loft), Cleveland (Cleveland Cinemas), Phoenix (Film Bar), Bellingham (Pickford Center). Winston Salem (Aperture Cinema), Tampa (Tampa Theater) and more.

Lillian LaSalle's award-winning, powerful documentary MY NAME IS PEDRO explores what public education meant to South Bronx Latino maverick educator, Pedro Santana, and what he, in turn, meant to public education. The film is also especially timely in this moment of national reckoning since the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests.

Infectious in his optimism, Santana becomes one of the most influential public-school teachers and then administrators in the New York public school system after turning his troubled Bronx middle school, MS 391, around. He is unapologetic in his commitment to create change for kids, no matter the odds. When a glowing front-page New York Times article catapults him into the spotlight, he is recruited and then accepts a promotion to use his famed 'out of the box' and transformative practices to save a corrupt and divided suburban school district. But the political challenges there may simply be too great, even for the infallible Santana.

(L-R) Pedro Santana in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)
(L-R) Pedro Santana in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO (Photo Credit: Sweet 180)

In order to continue his life's mission that 'every kid can learn', (he himself was labeled 'special ed' as a child), he realizes that he must venture beyond not only the restrictive 'four walls' of the public education system, but also his own neighborhood, city and even his own country.

MY NAME IS PEDRO is a profound story of how one person actualizes learning and positive change in children, adults, environments and communities through an 'impact' ripple effect strategy that he has effortlessly perfected. The film is also an essential and timely reminder of the importance of great educators that exist within the infrastructure of our country's public education system.

Lillian LaSalle, Director

MY NAME IS PEDRO is a 7 year-long filmmaking journey, marking Lillian LaSalle’s directorial debut.

LaSalle is the recipient of the 2016 Peabody "Futures of Media” Award for Producing the web-series, Halal In The Family, starring Aasif Mandvi, which garnered wide-spread media attention for taking on Islamophobia through the use of comedy and parody.

LaSalle is the Producer of several feature films including, Loggerheads, which premiered in competition at The Sundance Film Festival and Sweet Land, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for writer/director, Ali Selim. LaSalle’s other notable feature Producing credits include: Today's Special, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and won the audience award at the Palm Springs Film Festival, Just Like the Son from director Morgan Freeman, Find Love, Heavy Petting, and Mentor, as well as Southern Belles and American Cannibal: The Road to Reality. 

LaSalle is currently Executive Producing the feature length animated feature, The Night Diary, based on the award-winning book, alongside animator/writer Gitanjali Rao (Bombay Rose, Tribeca Film Festival) and writer/director, Sabrina Dahwan, (Monsoon Wedding) with Hyde Park Entertainment. LaSalle will also produce the feature film, Our Lady Of The Snow , from award winning writer/director, Tom Gilroy (Spring Forward, The Cold Lands) .

SWEET 180

Sweet 180 is a New York based talent management and production company. In business for over 20 years, they represent award-winning talent across all platforms – film, television and theater.
Website: https://sweet180.com

 OFFICIAL SELECTION AND AWARDS:

Winner: Best Documentary, Golden Door International Film Festival
Winner: Spotlight on Documentary Award, St. Louis International Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award, Chicago Latino International Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival
Winner: Award of Merit, Impact Docs
Winner: Honorable Mention, Woodstock Film Festival

 MY NAME IS PEDRO- Connect on Social Media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mynameispedrodoc/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyNameisPedrodoc/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PedroSantanaDoc

MY NAME IS PEDRO Film Review

School children in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)

Director: Lillian La Salle
Genre:  Documentary
Stars 4.5
Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
Language: English

The Value of Meeting Students Where They Are

Lillian LaSalle’s directorial debut, MY NAME IS PEDRO, a compelling story of a truly dedicated educator, Pedro Santana, who’s commitment to students helps them defies all odds as he turns them and their underperforming schools around.

As a young boy, Pedro was labeled a special-ed student. Eventually, he had a teacher who appreciated how hard he worked academically and saw his promise. She recognized the challenges he faced with the traditional learning style and met him where he was and encouraged him to use an out the box approach that gave him an opportunity to achieve academically. He went on to obtain a master’s degree from Teachers College at Columbia University.

(L-R) Students and Pedro Santana in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)

Taking the lessons he learned as a special-ed student, he applied them in his work as a teacher with astonishing results and turned the school around and put on a positive track.  He met his students at the South Bronx School MS 391, where they are and taught them from that point.

Pedro saw himself in his student. After hearing his sisters talk about how difficult he was to live with as a child, it became evident when a black female student spoke on his behalf at a suburban School Board meeting, and spoke about how loud, unruly and out of control they were before he came to their school and how he was able to make positive changes in their life.

Eventually becoming a household name, he was recruited to become When you compare the students’ academic success to before and after the arrival of Pedro, as Assistant Superintendent,  the South Bronx school MS 391,that his approach to education and interacting with not just the students, but their family too, was a far superior way of reaching and educating inner city students.

 

(L-R) Pedro Santana in Lillian LaSalle's MY NAME IS PEDRO 
(Photo Credit: Sweet 180)

There are thousands of students who fall through the cracks because of educator, like those on the School Board, who opposed Pedro and seemed to want all student to be taught inside the box of standard of education and the one size fits all approach.

The dynamics between Pedro and his son Hudson, reached a point that seemed insurmountable, yet the love and commitment Pedro had for Hudson, allowed him to overlook the false allegations, meet him where he was and responded with love not hate.

Keeping Pedro Santana’s legacy and his unique take on educational instructions   alive and not writing kids off and make a commitment to uplifting them and their families is vitally important.

Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
Distributor: Sweet 180
Initial release: 2017
Executive Producer: Mike Fowler
Producers: Lillian LaSalle, Jonathan Clasberry
Co-producers: Monica Cohen, Marc Demolar
Production Co: Sweet 180
Cast: Pedro Santana
Director: Lillian LaSalle
Editors: Mary Manhardt, Mark Demolar
Composer: Nix Nought Nothing
Animator: Anthony Barkworth-Knight

THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW Trailer

Screening in Limited Theater - Friday, October 2, 2020

Available on VOD + Digital - Tuesday, October 6, 2020

THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW Key Art

Writer and Directed: Thomas Robert Lee
Starring: Catherine Walker, Jared Abrahamson, Hannah Emily Anderson,   O’Rawe, Don McKellar, Sean McGinley, and introducing Jessica Reynolds as Audrey Earnshaw
Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Genre: Horror
Country: Canada

Set against the autumnal palette of harvest season in 1973, THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW explores the disturbed bond between Audrey, an enigmatic young woman, and Agatha, her domineering ‘mother’, who live secretly as occultists on the outskirts of a remote Protestant village. As the community is besieged by a pestilence of unknown origin: children, fields, and livestock begin to die — yet the Earnshaw farm remains strangely unaffected. As mass hysteria sets in the village, the townsfolk commence accusations against Audrey and Agatha of witchcraft.

The Curse Pic

Capturing a perfect mixture of religious paranoia and folklore horror, Thomas Robert Lee’s THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW is a haunting and unflinching tale of vengeance.

THE CURSE OF AUDREY EARNSHAW celebrated its world premiere at Fantasia Fest 2020, coming out with raving reviews. The film will be releasing in limited theaters on Friday, October 2, 2020 and will be available on major VOD/Digital platforms beginning Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

"I wanted to tell a story about legacy, and to specifically explore it within the context of a folk horror narrative,” says writer/director Thomas Robert Lee. “The community grows increasingly desperate as their given circumstances grow dire. In reality, the pandemic appears to have amplified hatred and xenophobia, or at least the voices of those spewing hate speech. Obviously there is a world of difference between my screenplay and the very real ramifications of the pandemic, but the similarities, however surface-level they may be, have certainly been on my mind these past months.”

About Epic Pictures

Since the foundation of the company in 2007, CEO Patrick Ewald has grown Epic Pictures into an independent content studio with the mission of delivering the best-in-class genre entertainment “for fans, by fans.” Epic Pictures produces, finances, and distributes approximately twenty-thirty independent genre films a year. In 2013, the company established Epic Pictures Releasing which is its US focused distribution division. In 2017, Epic Pictures acquired the world’s most popular horror website, Dread Central, and launched its unique horror label, Dread, followed by its AVOD channel, DreadTV. In 2019, Epic Pictures started the horror gaming site, DreadXP, with a focus on editorial, reviews, podcasts, and original streaming content. In 2020, DreadXP began a video game publishing division with the launch of The Dread X Collection, an anthology of horror games in collaboration with some of the most innovative developers in the independent gaming space. https://epic-pictures.com/

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Writer and directed: Thomas Robert Lee
Producer: Gianna Isabella
Executive producer:  Lee, Marie-Claude Poulin, James Mahoney, Bill Marks, Divya Shahani, George Mihalka, Susan Curran, Patrick Ewald, and Shaked Berenson. Cinematographer: Nick Thomas
Editor: Ben Lee Allen.
Music: Thilo Schaller and Bryan Buss
Production Company: A Gate 67 Films Production