Friday, August 21, 2015

"Halina" at NewFilmmakers New York

Halina had its New York City debut this week at the historic Anthology Film Archives building as a part of NewFilmmakers New York. The screening went tremendously well...the audience seemed really into it and the reaction to the last line was priceless. I have to say that hearing the audience react to the last line of Halina is my absolute favorite part of any screening.

We had a few cast members in the house!

 Here's Patricia (Ms. Avery) with me.
 And here's the legend himself William Otterson (Thomas Crane) with me and Steve the composer!
 Halina screened amongst great company. The sci-fi shorts that ran that night were all very well-made and some of them brought some insanely original and intriguing ideas to life. I had a really good night.

Friday, August 07, 2015

New York City Premiere of "Halina" August 19th!

New York City! Halina is making its debut in the Big Apple on August 19th, 2015. This is part of the summer series from NewFilmmakers New York.

NewFilmmakers screens at Anthology Film Archives on the Lower East Side at 32 Second Avenue & 2nd Street. Tickets are $6 and are good for the whole night and go on sale at 5:30PM the night of performance at the Anthology Box Office. There are no advanced or online sales.

We'll be screening at 7:00pm along with a 12-minute short titled The Final Nights: The Proposition. you can visit the Halina profile page for the festival here.

I'll be there - come by and say hello!

Here's the entire program for the day:

6:00 PM Special Program

Stuart Langfield & Dylan Rekert ROAR (13 minutes, Canada)
A journalist travels deep into the north woods to investigate a mysterious government facility that's being built there.

Gavin Williams SLEEPWORKING (15 minutes, United Kingdom)
In the near future a young woman becomes a sleepworker: her body is programmed to do menial labour while she is asleep.

Federico Telerman ALBINO (14 minutes, Argentina)
In a society where albino people are persecuted because of the characteristics of their blood, a group of rebels will rise in arms.

Stephen Parkhurst FRONTIER (2014, 16 minutes)
A journalist travels deep into the north woods to investigate a mysterious government facility that's being built there. She interviews a local conspiracy theorist who's convinced the facility is a front for a sinister secret project. The man appears crazy, until some compelling evidence begins to surface.

7:00 PM Short Film Program

J.R. Howell THE FINAL NIGHTS: THE PROPOSITION
(2015, 12 minutes)
When young hedonistic attorney Kendal Edwards arrives at his mysterious friend's posh New Year's Eve party for a night of drugs, booze, and prostitutes, he discovers his friend's dark secret--a secret that will leave Kendal fighting for his life.

Ralph Suarez HALINA (2015, 32 minutes)
'Halina' is a science-fiction drama about a young woman hired by a reclusive billionaire to care for a mysterious and very lifelike humanoid robot.

8:15 PM Feature Presentation

Richard Cranor STAR LEAF (2015, 77 minutes)
Hikers find a secret grove of extra-terrestrial marijuana and must fight for their lives when they anger the other-worldly forces protecting the plants.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Read Pooya's Story on Living Trans at Advocate.com

On June 26, 2015 - the same day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages be treated as equal under law - my actor friend Pooya Mohseni made the difficult decision to come out as trans. I found out about it via her facebook post, but I didn't get the full story until a month later when I read this amazing piece at Advocate.com.

When I saw Pooya's original post, my first thoughts were "That's so cool!" and also "Look at all the support she's getting!" and also - I won't lie - a little bit of "Woohoo I had a transgender person in my film! I'm a progressive filmmaker!"

I was so proud of Pooya for her brave announcement, but I didn't even know what bravery was until I read the article on her and found out her life story. There's nothing I can say to do it justice, and I'll never be able to fully understand the hardships (and true life and death situations) Pooya had to face.

So I'm linking her article here because I think it's a great read, and also because I want to help Pooya get this out to as many people as possible. If you have a few minutes, give her story a read. And check her out in my upcoming short The Burden of Choice, when I get off my ass and finish editing it.

Friday, July 31, 2015

"Purgatory Comics" Comic Book Update

I love this: In one of the panels of the upcoming Purgatory Comics comic book, artist Rafael Rivera stuck in a cameo of the two of us. I don't currently own a blue button down with the Warm Milk logo on it . . . but now I kinda want one . . .

The flow we've gotten into is: Rafael finishes up a full page (which involved sketching, drawing, coloring, rendering backgrounds . . . a lot of work) and then when he's done, he sends it my way. At that point, I add the word bubbles and lettering which was scripted about a year ago.

Personally I think this is one of the funniest projects I've been a part of in a while. I actually think it's funnier than the movie (yeah, I'll say it). But that's because it veers in an absurdly different direction that simultaneously roasts and pays homage to everything I love about the comic books I collected in the 90s.

As of now the cover and a few pages are done. It's moving at a pretty steady pace - I don't want to promise a release date but I will say it's been worth the wait.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Set Photos from "The Burden of Choice"

We shot The Burden of Choice about a month ago, but for the last few weeks post-production had to be put on pause to do some festival Halina work. Today I wanted to post some of the behind-the-scenes pictures taken from our set photographer Vanessa from both days of the shoot.

We start with a pretty picture of Elisa in hair and make-up...
Here's Mara the Assistant Director and I.
 Cool camera shot.
 On set with Tarion and Elisa (and resisting the urge to eat the cookie props).
 Crew guys - the team behind the magic.
 Little man Dane in hair and make-up.
 Adorable picture of Dane and Jessica on the set.
 Our "band photo!"
 Pooya posing on the set during her scene with Elisa.
 Cramming a decent-sized crew into a tiny room.
 Jessica and Pooya give us their "tough girl" pose...
 ...then Elisa joins them for a superhero pose...
 ...then it goes full-on Charlie's Angels...
 ...and finally they're joined by some handsome guy.
Post-production will be resuming so check back for updates, clips, and maybe even some poster art in the near future!