American Night, the first feature from writer-director Alessio Della Valle, has just premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. A neo-noir thriller simmering then exploding within a corrupt New York art milieu, it stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emile Hirsch, Paz Vega, and Jeremy Piven. Notably, American Night also represents the feature debut of actress Alba Amira, with whom it was my pleasure to speak prior to the premiere.

Alba Amira in Venice for the premiere of AMERICAN NIGHT

As the film features an infamous pink original Warhol, I attempt to warm us up by congratulating Ms. Amira on co-starring with “Marilyn Monroe,” an overture she fields courteously. …


There’s a new love story in town, and it will move you. From writer-director Angel Kristi Williams and writer Felicia Pride, financed and co-produced by MACRO (Fences), comes Really Love, an apparently simple film about the vast complexities of the heart, and soul. Featuring breakout performances by Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing (Hunter Street), and Kofi Siriboe (Queen Sugar), plus strong support from actor (and musician) Tristan Mack Wilds (The Wire), Really Love delves into the society and issues of gentrifying Washington, D.C. (mainly), yet in both cultivating and examining the relationship of a passionate painter and an ambitious attorney, its keen and…


Making its world premiere this Sunday as part of the Outfest 2021 Film Festival in Los Angeles (and online, details below), Homebody mixes supernatural surprise with personal reflection to deliver unusual comedic portraiture. Defined as a genderqueer body-transfer fantasy, it concerns a nine-year-old boy (Tre Ryder) who’s so obsessed with his babysitter (Colby Minifie) that, for one increasingly frantic day, he becomes her.


To delve into difficult subject matter with grace and tenacity is not the only way to approach the arts, however it often yields the most fortifying results. Such is the case with The Rest of Us, the quietly impactful new feature film directed by heretofore documentarian — and wearer of many other hats — Linda G. Mills (Auf Wiedersehen: ’Til We Meet Again; Of Many [exec produced by Chelsea Clinton — plus its Then and Now expansion]; Better to Live). While this time approaching fiction (screenplay by Laura Moss and Ricardo Pérez González), The Rest of Us, set on a…


“It’s about family, and that’s what’s so powerful about it,” spake an erstwhile actress better known for her wit than her poignancy, of a spaceship series that had seen much better days; a recent yet already iconic quote, but whereas Hollywood’s fictions sometimes bellyflop, documentaries may zero in on heart and soul. Case in point: You Are Not a Soldier, a truly powerful cinematic document that’s light on stars but heavy on wars — real wars — and what they can really do to human lives, psyches, and indeed families.

André Liohn at work

Presently making its debut as part of Hot Docs —…


Film festivals abound, and bringing artists together is always a good thing, but nothing compares to the HollyShorts Film Festival: based right in the middle of Hollywood, it’s Oscars-adjacent and Oscar-qualifying, its alums often proceeding to increasing renown. Plus it’s inspiring and fun: I’ve been fortunate to attend many HollyShorts screenings, panels, and parties, and a more diverse, driven, and delightful lot of cineastes you’d search long and hard to find.

Indeed, why scour the planet? The whole world comes to HollyShorts! Easily one of the world’s most influential shorts festivals, HollyShorts’ 2020 edition showcased 428 short films, featuring 128…


Imagine an exotic beauty cream smeared among Hollywood’s vain semi-elite, promising miracles but bringing disaster. But hey, you don’t have to imagine it, as filmmakers Chris W. Freeman and Spain Willingham explore this ripe context for you in their new monster mash-up, Beast Mode, which is available digitally on multiple platforms including Fandango, Google Play, iTunes, MovieSpree, PrimeVideo, Redbox TVOD, and Vudu. Other press outlets not unreasonably cite other influences, but from this perspective, Beast Mode feels like the Farrelly brothers paying homage to Robert Altman’s The Player, Frank Oz’ Bowfinger, and the poster for Philippe Mora’s The Beast Within


If you dig ideological intensity coming at you from all sides, check out Paradise City, the third feature film from writer-director John Marco Lopez. This complex, layered work feels like a full, old-school TV season’s worth of characters and conflicts, yet is every frame a feature film boasting tableaux that — to quote the project’s own website — “harken back to the glory days of NY’s gritty, textured, irreverent ’70s cinema.” Indeed, that. …


A young engineer in France is beginning fertility treatments with his partner when he sees — or seems to see — his missing and presumed-dead sister in a televised news bulletin from Syria. Choosing against accepted fact and common sense to investigate, he delves into No Man’s Land: both a war-torn milieu populated by complicated factions of soldiers, mercenaries, spies, refugees, and especially female Kurdish fighters (apt title), and a new miniseries dropping November 18th on Hulu.

Maria Feldman, Producer and Co-Creator of NO MAN’S LAND

Just as No Man’s Land is a truly international production — combining talents from Belgium, France, Israel, and the U.S. (with production in…


Chances are, unless you’ve actually met Tonya Williams, you’ve never met anyone quite like Tonya Williams. Most widely known for her Daytime Emmy-nominated role on The Young and the Restless, this truly global citizen is presently celebrating the 20th anniversary of Canada’s Reelworld Film Festival, which she founded. The virtual 2020 festival launched on 14 October, and carries on until the 19th.

Tonya Williams

Meanwhile, already wheels-up at full velocity is Williams’ corresponding website Access Reelworld: Canada’s largest national database dedicated to helping diverse professionals in screen-based industries get hired for diverse projects. Both above and below the line, Canadian talent and…

Gregory Weinkauf

Writer-director-producer Gregory earned a Cinema degree from USC SCA, worked many industry jobs, and won L.A. Press Club’s top Entertainment Journalism award.

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