Thursday, September 24, 2020

Film Review of Sarah Megan Thomas' A Call to Spy Coming to Theaters and Streaming: This Story Inspired by Female Spies Virginia Hall, Vera Atkins and Noor Khan is Engaging, Historical and Above All Inspiring

By Harry Sherer


Looking at the cinematic chronicle of historical drama, there’s many things to love about the genre. It’s a form of cinema that isn’t just about entertainment, it’s also about enlightenment. Historical dramas highlight important individuals from the past that most of the general public doesn’t know about, but deserve to. They teach lessons from our history in the hopes that we won’t make the same ones today. They shed new light on new puzzle pieces of history that can recontextualize how we think about the world. Above all, I think we love historical dramas because, more often than not, they tell a tried-and-true underdog story that we all know and love. Better yet, they’re true.


Sarah Megan Thomas' A Call to Spy could not have come at a better time. It tells the tale of three women employed by Allied intelligence to try and take down the Nazi regime from the inside. It’s a mesh of genres— WWII, spy, drama, thriller— that within the overall narrative hides a heartwarming (and equally heart-wrenching) story about disability, discrimination, and overcoming impossible odds. In the broader context of the horrors of WWII, A Call to Spy highlights the individual struggles of those brave enough to stand and fight. Such a story is beyond topical in a time like this, as the world battles an unprecedented pandemic but most individuals feel its effects on a personal and individual level. 


Directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher, A Call to Spy engages the audience on this kind of personal level from the very first scene. We’re not treated to the massacre of nameless soldiers on foreign battlegrounds, or the bombing of a vast European city, or the rounding up of hundreds of Jews by the Nazi regime, but instead the individual torture endured by our lead, American spy Virginia Hall, as she is interrogated by Nazi tormentors to give them the information they need to undermine the Allied intelligence operation.

A Case of Blue Film Starring Stephen Schnetzer and Annapurna Sriram to Screen at 2020 Virtual Imagine This International Women's Film Festival

Editorial Staff

A Case of Blue, a film by Dana Glazer is an official selection and will screen at the 2020 Imagine This International Women's Film Festival from September 24th-October 4th. There will be a  Live Director Q & A with Dana Glazer, who wrote and directed the film.There will also be a Q & A with the film's co-producers on September 30, 2020, Suzanne Ordas Curry and Dottie Fucito. Scott Rosenfelt (Home Alone, Mystic Pizza, Teen Wolf) is Executive Producer.

Forever and a Day is a New Scripted Soap Podcast filled with Intrigue, Romance & More: Founders Candice Mack and Casey Hutchinson Talk about Why they Started it and How They Got Beth Ehlers as Their Anchor

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

If you like drama or soaps and want to absorb them in the trendy way - a podcast,  then you'll want to tune in to the new soap  Forever and a Day, the brainchild of Candice Mack and Casey Hutchinson. Ironically, soaps first started on the radio, so almost a hundred years later they are back to their roots.... filled with all the intrigue, suspense, love and glamour that has made them surive for almost a century.

Candice and Casey are no strangers to the soap world, being well-known on social media platforms for their views and knowledge. Many soap actors have been on Candice's show, Soap Party 411. I interview both of them to find out what made then start this already successful scripted soap series.

I met you years back as I've had some of the people I work with on your on Soap Party. Tell me what that's been like, and what you have been doing since then.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Interview with Filmmaker Patrice Francios: Why She and her Mom Susie Started the Brooklyn-Based Imagine This International Women's Film Festival, What's on Tap for This Year and Why We Still Need A Festival Like This


By Suzanne Ordas Curry

This year's Imagine This International Women's Film Festival kicks off on September 24  and runs until October 4. 2020. Their mission - to  to amplify and empower women in filmmaking. Due to the pandemic, it's a virtual festival. But as film festival fans have found out, these virtual festivals offer a  convenient way to view films and even to network - the two things we love best about film festivals.  And you can watch the films at your leisure. We chat with Patrice Francois, who along with co-founder Susie Francios started up this meaningful  festival five years ago. Read on to fine out who the special guests are, about their 300 + film lineup and about everything else the festival will be having - including some free special events. 

We also find out about what Patrice thinks about the progress being made for females in the industry - or rather how they still have a long way to go. 

Tell me why you started this. Are you accomplishing what you set out to do?

 Patrice Francois: As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I understand the obstacles that exist for new and up-and-coming filmmakers. We decided it was important to help cultivate an appreciation for a wide range of unique and compelling stories, especially for womxn filmmakers who have been traditionally underrepresented in the film industry and film-festival world. I believe that we are accomplishing what we set out to do; over the years, we have screened over 300 films and held over 50 talkbacks and panels featuring womxn filmmakers and storytellers.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Movie Review of Taylor A. Purdee's Killian & The Comeback Kids- This Indie-Rock, Summer-Feeling Movie Within a Relevant Storyline is Coming to A Theater Near You - Yes During This Pandemic


By Harry Sherer

Recent college grads and those whose university days are winding down find themselves in a unique generational middle-ground. Not exactly old enough to identify with the MTV generation of the millennials, but too old to associate with Tik-Tok consumed Gen Xers. We’re a bit too hopeful to want desk jobs, and a bit too practical to pack up our cars and drive to Hollywood. This middle-of-the-road existential dread is what indie film Killian and the Comeback Kids (#KillianRoxMovie) tackles with more accuracy than I’ve seen out of many recent films.

The story follows recent college graduate and folk-rock musician Killian (played by Taylor A. Purdee, who also wrote and directed the film) as he and his former classmates form a band and attempt to perform at a local music festival. The unique perspective of those struggling in the digital generation adds an engaging flair to this tried-and-true plot. The backdrop of a middle class rural state only further adds to the theme of dreams and missed opportunities, as each character struggles with their own economic concerns in the former steel town. In the midst of a global recession, this film will hit home with those struggling with identity in a world where your spot in the workforce isn’t guaranteed.

Monday, September 14, 2020

New Indie Rock Film Killian & the Comeback Kids Begins in Theaters September 2020: Socially Relevant, Entertaining and Just What we Need Now - View Trailer



The indie-rock film Killian & the Comeback Kids is coming soon to a theater near you, as they used to say -yet this has so much more meaning now. If you're in an area where theaters are open, you may find Killian and the Comeback Kids making a stop at your local theater.

Killian & the Comeback kids is a feel good, summer breezin' musical movie about a multi-racial young man named Killian, who comes back to his depressed home town after college and tries to make something of himself, and do something for the town. Given what's going on in the world today, it's a relevant film touching on important issues many young people have to deal with. But it's easy to watch, and spoiler alert- it's got a  happy ending. And it's filmed in the beautiful countryside. When you see a shooting star go across the screen, realize it's a real shooting star. 

NYC MCC THEATER'S PRODUCTION OF MISCAST 2020: Delightfully Funny, Poignant and a Reminder of Why We Love Theater

 By Allyson Schiller

When you think of a musical theatre fundraising event, your first thought is not typically of a grown man (Joshua Henry) singing “Tomorrow” from Annie, or a young woman (Bernie Feldstein) singing Fiero’s “Dancing Through Life” from Wicked, featuring guest appearances from Kristin Chenoweth and her pug, but with Miscast 2020 at MCC Theatre, that is just what you’re going to get. The Youtube-based event held on September 13 2020, 7 months into the pandemic and reminded us of why we all love the NYC Theater world so much, and how we can't wait for it to come back. Which it will.

The event raised money for the MCC Theater's mission, it's youth Company and the Mental Health Coalition, founded by Kenneth Cole. Almost 60K was raised in one night with almost 70K viewers.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Twice Upon a Time: A Short Film by a 911 Widow With a Message For all who Experience Loss


Twice Upon a Time
is a short film written by Actress/writer Iliana Guibert.  Iliana stars in this short as a woman who lost her husband on 9-11 and is trying to cope with it. The film is based on her own personal experiences having lost her husband in the attack on the Twin Towers as well as from meeting many others who suffered losses from that devastating event. As one of the most tragic times in modern American history, this story is relatable to anyone who has suffered an unimaginable loss.  

For more on Iliana Guibert McGinnis:

https://www.facebook.com/ilianaGuibert.Actress/

Friday, September 4, 2020

Review of Documentary Class Action Park on HBO Max - You'll Only Believe it if You Were Actually There

 by Suzanne Ordas Curry

If you lived in NJ, or anywhere near in the 80's, you went to Action Park. Or as we called it in Jersey, Traction Park. 

You just went. it was cool to go. It was a rite of passage. Little did we know what was really going on behind the scenes. I mean, I got some stories from my cousin who was a lifeguard at the wave pool, but it was more about the cool jewelry she would find at the bottom. And everyone had their own stories as well. 

The last time I went I was in college, I went with my boyfriend now husband and three other friends. I remember coming off an attraction and seeing a line of blood down my thigh. I remember saying, "Something was scratching me me whole time." 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Katonah Classic Stage Film Festival Held as Drive-In: Filmmakers Young and Older From Around the World Present Different Views of our Changing World - Now Set for 8-31

The show must go on! The new local theater for classics Katonah Classic Stage in Katonah, NY (outside NYC ) is presenting its first Film Festival on Friday, August 28, at 8:00pm. This film festival will be shown in in a Drive-in set-up at the Bedford Playhouse in Bedford, NY at 8:30pm. Tickets are available on the website. UPDATE: Due to weather conditions, the festival will be held the same time but on August 31, 2020.

Though Katonah Classic Stage's mission is to present in-person productions of Shakespeare and other classics, because of the pandemic founder actor/director Trent Dawson and his team had to think out of the box. Hence, the KCS Film Festival was born.

Review of Uncut Gems on Netflix: Adam Sandler's Standout Performance Leads this Edge of Your Seat, Nail-biting Thriller.. and it's Better the Second Time Around

By Harry Sherer

With the Uncut Gems’ arrival to Netflix, movie-watchers everywhere will have a second (and third and fourth) chance to watch the Safdie brother’s explosive collaboration with Adam Sandler. One of Sandler’s best acting performances in a decade, Uncut Gems was one of the best films 2019 had to offer, as well as indie-darling A24 Studio’s most successful film in the box office, grossing over $50 million domestically. From the first month of the film’s December 2019 release into early 2020, it felt like Uncut Gems was the film everyone was talking about.

With Sandler’s killer performance, the world-class editing, Kevin Garnett’s surprisingly polished acting chops, the ending that left theatres shocked, and everything in between, the film is an undisputed accomplishment for the Safdies, Sandler, and everyone else involved. 

The film quickly arrived on Netflix only a month after theatrical release and hasn’t left the trending page since. Given the boom of popularity surrounding the film’s release and it’s easy binge-watching access, this isn’t a review of what it’s like to watch Uncut Gems. This is a review of what it’s like to watch Uncut Gems for the second time. If you keep reading I’ll explain why this doesn’t really matter, but for posterity’s sake, I’ll warn you once: spoilers abound.

Review of Netflix Series "Down To Earth" with Zac Efron: Zac Efron and Darien Olien Travel the World and Provide an Entertaining and Unique Glimpse into the Possibilities for a More Sustainable and Better World

By Julia Colucci

In his Netflix show Down to Earth, Zac Efron proves to be much more than Troy Bolton from High School Musical, or that hunky guy from Baywatch. Efron and his close friend Darin Olien (or as many people refer to him, the “Indiana Jones of Superfoods”), travel the world, learning how to live more sustainably. They tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental problems and share ways that different countries are combatting them effectively.

 Part of the show’s appeal is getting to know the entertaining and humorous duo of Efron and Olien. The team visits eight incredible locations on their inspirational journey, and the ones that stood out to me the most include Iceland, France, Sardinia, and London.

 

In the pilot episode, Efron, Olien, and the crew explore the natural beauties of Iceland, a country that specializes in renewable energy. They tour a powerplant and learn that 100% of Iceland’s electricity is generated from natural, renewable resources such as volcanic activity underground and their 10,000 extraordinary waterfalls.

 

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Reel Woman's Network: Crystal Chappell's New Platform Showcases Work by Females including Beacon Hill, Tainted Dreams, Venice the Series and more Original Works by Women

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

In a world where there are new streaming services popping up almost monthy- though I think 2020 has been espcially busy with the advent of Peacock and Disney and more, there are also other platforms being started by entreprenuers to serve specific audiences. The Reel Women's Network is one of them.

Started by Crystal Chappell of Open Books Productions in partnershsip with Jessica and Linda Hill of Bella Productions. the streaming network is dedicated to content created by women. There is free content on it but it is a subscription service and you can also buy just specific shows.

Crystal Chapell is well-known in the soap industry, and for her roles in front of and behind the scenes peromoting  and creating conent for women. She states, "Women filmmakers have been woefully under-represented in all aspects of the industry. We hope to change that. We're looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the world of streaming and to advance the unique work of women filmmakers to viewers worldwide."

Monday, August 10, 2020

Review of Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere with Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon: This Twisted Tale of Two Families Is Addictive Yet Heavy so Take Your Time Binging It


By Julia Colucci

Someone set fire to the house of a wealthy, prominent family in the small town of Shaker Heights, Ohio.

So begins the first scene of this Hulu original, which presents itself as a mystery, but quickly takes you back to the previous year, when everything started. With only one season and eight incredible, action-packed episodes, Little Fires Everywhere is easy to blow through in a week of binging. However, the content is very heavy and intense, so instead of watching it all at once, you might want to spread it out. I compare it to a rich slice of chocolate cake—it’s delicious but best in small amounts.

Little Fires Everywhere follows two families—one being your typical upper-class, nuclear family, and the other being an underprivileged, single-parent family. The show never portrays one family-type as better than the other, but rather highlights the beauty and struggles that can come with both. The families are shown in their most vulnerable states, so over the course of the show you see how their conditions and experiences shape them as people. This is one of the reasons I found the show so interesting; it gives a very intimate view of lifestyles that are so different from my own.

 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Our Roundup: What Females in Entertainment are Doing in 2020

#FEMALESINENTERTAINMENT
#MARYRICHARDSLIVES

Here's our roundup of just some of what the #femalesinentertainment are doing this year.

Editor' Note: This roundup used to appear on our sidebar, and will now appear as a clickable article on the sidebar. Updated regularly. 

Current: Harriet the Spy coming as an animated series on Apple with the voices of Beanie Feldman and Jane Lynch....Sarah Cooper, who did a bang up job hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live, is getting her own Netflix Comedy special....Jessica Holscott named Head of Finance at Warner Brothers Media..... The Friends Reunion delayed again due to the pandemic.... A League of their Own series in the works for Amazon by Abbi Jacobsne and Will Graham...Nia DiCosta to direct Captain Marvel 2.... Alyssa Milano to team up again with Tony Danza for a Who's The Boss reboot.. hoping the prolific and very busy Judith Light will return as well...

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Shockfest Film Festival - Host Actress Grace Juliana aka Vampire Princess Selena Explains what this Year's Horror Fest Has In Store for Fans

If you've never heard of Shockfest, or if you're already a fan, get ready for the festivities for
this "horrific" festival this year. This year's host, Actress Grace Juliana known this year only as Princess Selena, gives us the scoop on all the fun and fright of the festival.


So tell me Princess Selena, what is Shockfest?

Princess Selena: Shockfest is pretty cool. It's the "most CONTROVERSIAL ultimate underground film festival experience, designed to break every convention in the book of the festival circuit and provide the highest value of entertainment, engagement and interactivity for both the filmmaker and the audience member." It's live and and interactive events in three major cities (NY, LA and LV) and designed to highlight and showcase the works of those submit their films and sceenplays even before receive the official selection notice for our main event at the end of the year, SHOCKFEST FILM FESTIVAL. But tune in for our next event on Zoom on July 27th, that I'll be hosting.

The creators are Guil Claveria and Matthew Rosvalley (in character as Jeffrey Macabe)

Tell me about all about your vampire background.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Review of Movie Feral - Annapurna Sriram's Role as A Homeless Women is Deflty Acted As we Root for her Survival on the Streets and Tunnels of NYC

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

The film by Andrew Wonder, Feral (2019 now on Amazon Prime), is aptly named. Simply put, Feral is the story of a young homeless woman in New York City. We see Yazmine (played superbly and adeptly by Annapurna Sriram), slinking around the subterranean world of New York City that she inhabits, climbing on piles of rocks with ease, slinking through the tunnels and foraging for food... just as a cat would.

At the beginning of the movie we get a hint as to why she is homeless, but later on we get a hint that that that assumption may not be the correct one. I say this is important, because when we see homeless people, often our thoughts are "why?" This movie delves into the subjects of homelessness, despair, hope and acceptance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Review of Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods On Netflix: Lee's Mastery of the Medium, Multiple Genres and Storytelling Presents a Complex and Compelling Need for Change

by Ashton Samson

Editor's Note: Ashton is not just an avid film fan but is also a high school student. His review provides hope that change will come from the young people.

“We’ve been dying for this country from the very get, hoping one day, they’ll give us their rightful place. All they give us is a foot up our black asses.”
-Stormin’ Norman

Ever since he thundered onto the scene in 1986 with his controversial debut about a woman who dates three men at once, called She’s Gotta Have It, Spike Lee has been one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation. At 63, Lee has accomplished a great deal, directing over thirty projects, including documentaries, TV shows and most importantly, twenty-seven feature films; among the most noteworthy, Do the Right Thing, Blackkklansman and Malcolm X

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Review of The Award-Winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime - Clever, Colorful and a Fascinating Look into the Beginning of the Modern Career Woman

By Julia Colucci

As the pandemic continues into the summer and television continues to be an important part of my life, I can confidently say that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is one of the highest-quality shows that I have seen in the dramedy genre. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show is three seasons in, with its fourth season release date set for December 2020 (though the pandemic may affect this date).


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes place in 1958 in New York City. The main character is Midge (superbly acted by Rachel Brosnahan), a Jewish woman in her late twenties. She lives on the Upper West Side in a beautiful apartment with her husband Joel (Michael Zegan) and their two young children. The series starts with the couple living a content, typical life, where Joel fulfills his husbandly duties by going to work at his office job during the day, then comes home to his loving wife Midge who has just prepared a hot dinner waiting on the table.

However, Midge’s life soon takes a dramatic turn, and she finds herself pursuing a profession that she never thought she would—comedy.

Interview: Brandon Barash of Days and General Hospital Stars in New Short Film on the Reel Woman's Network; Why He Took the Role and How it's so Different from his "Day" Job

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Fan fave Brandon Barash is a busy man. First, in typical but still much beloved Days of our Lives style he returned to Days even though he was killed off (and his heart given to someone else.) That just shows how much the fans wanted him back. In addition to this day job, this single dad is  busy with a multitude of other projects including a role as a handsome young husband in the short film The Mourning Hour, of which he is also a producer. Written by Shevaun Kastl and also starring Shevaun and Robert Knepper, you can see this film now streaming on The Reel Woman's Network. Read on to find out why he took this part, and what he's doing now in his downtime.

Brandon, how did you get this role? Did you know Shevaun?

BRANDON BARASH: Shevaun and I met through a mutual friend. From what I can remember (this was about 10 years ago), she emailed me that she had a script that she had written and wanted me to play one of the parts. At the time I was playing Johnny Zacchara on General Hospital -- the shooting schedule was grueling, so my immediate reaction was to say no.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Review: Andy Samberg and Christin Milioti in Hulu's Palm Springs Movie: Pure Escapism makes it a Perfect Summer Comedy

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I am a big fan of romcoms and comedies. I was excited to be able to see Palm Springs on Hulu the first night it was available, without paying a premium. (So I am waiting to see King of Staten Island until the price comes down). That gives you an idea of what I will accept in a comedy.

I also do not want to know much about a movie before I watch it. I want to be surprised. I also do not read the reviews. I may watch a few minutes of the trailer and then stop it because in these days of instant gratification, most trailers give way to much away.

So did I like it? Well, it was no Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day had purposeful meaning and could be watched by the family. This was certainly not a family movie. But, it kept me engrossed to see how it would turn out and had some very LOL moments. As far as physical comedy and laughs to make you forget about what is happening outside the room you're watching it in, it did the job as providing comedy to the pandemic-drained population.

And speaking of the pandemic, as much as I know life on Planet Earth will return to some kind of normal, a movie that centers around a wedding with a whole bunch of people drinking, dancing and standing close to each other without masks on was just bittersweet. So call this movie pure escapism.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Females in Entertainment: From HR to Hollywood: Rutgers Alum Beverly Aisenbrey is Now Producing Movies and Helping to Produce Bright Minds with a Scholarship for Rutgers Fashion Program

Jamie Lee Curtis with Beverly Aisenbrey on-set of An Acceptable Loss
By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I don't think that when starting a career in business many years ago Beverly Aisenbrey thought she woud be hanging with Jamie Lee Curtis on a movie set. But, you never know where life will take you when you just keep persisting and work hard.

As most people know, making contacts and keeping those contacts can open doors. Little did Beverly know that through a female investment banker friend she would one day be hob-nobbing with celebrities and attending film festivals as a producer on independent films with major stars in them. But Beverly is a woman of many talents and is very hard-working. She spent most of her career helping to build a company and now she is giving back to her alma mater, Rutgers University in New Jersey. After years of serving on a Rutgers Board, she has now started a Fellowship (scholarship) for students in the new Rutgers Master of Science in the Business of Fashion. Read on to see how this unfolded and how to apply for the Fellowship.  

Monday, June 29, 2020

New Streaming Platform Herflix Offers Free Movies: This Changes Everything, Nora Ephron, The Girls in the Band and More

Looking for something new and different? The new online movie theater for women, Herflix, is announcing a  line-up of movies just in time for the summer which can be streamed for free. Herflix is all about content for and about women. The movies that are available to stream for free are This Changes Everything, The Girls in the Band, Chavela, Sand Dollars, Nora Ephron (documentary) and Gemma Bovary.

These movies are sponsored by Martha Stewart Perfectly Roasted Coffee by Barrie House. They can be viewed for free at anytime at www.Herflix.com using the links listed below. No membership is required. Just sign in for free to access the site.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A New NO! An OLD Way to Watch Movies is Back, and There's Nothing Like a Drive-In.

A Case of  Blue Film premiered at a  Drive-in Film Festival
Photo courtesy Dana Glazer
By Ashton Samson

Against the backdrop of the current state of the world, how can we retain our connection with one another, all while keeping our safety? That’s the question that everyone is pondering and I have the answer: Drive-ins. You might have heard this phrase from one of your grandparents as they reminisced about a Friday night hangout from the days of yesteryear. Come on this journey to learn about the time of its apex at a much more simplistic moment in history, its decline at the commencement of a much more technologically complex era and intertwined with it all through the ages, the power of cinema. It will help you to understand why we could really have the potential to return to the good old days of our parents and grandparent’s youth, so I entreat you to dream with me of the past, present and future.

Movie Review of The Help: It will Make You Laugh and Make you Cry, But Above All it is Movie To Help you Understand


By Julia Colucci

Since the recent protests around the world, Netflix and other streaming services have been showcasing more films on systematic racism to help people better understand the issues. The movie The Help is a 2011 film directed by Tate Taylor and based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett. It’s rated #7 in Netflix movies today, because not only is the cast phenomenal, but the story is an honest representation of the tragic racial injustices that were so prevalent in the past and still linger today.

The movie is about an aspiring writer named Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, living in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. It was a time when being a black woman meant that your only future was being a maid to white families and raising their babies. Growing up, Skeeter was very close with her maid, Constantine, who was a much more loving and present figure to her than her own mother. This is one of the reasons she is so dismayed by the way the black community is treated by her friends, neighbors and white people across the country.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Females in Entertainment: Interview with Writer/Actor/Coach Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl - All about Her Film The Mourning Hour Now on The Reel Women's Network, Her Past Films and Her Quarantine Projects

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl has always been keeping herself busy in the film world as an actor, director, filmmaker, writer, dancer and teacher. And during the pandemic, she's used the time to create even more.

I got a chance to talk to her about her short film, The Mourning Hour, which she stars in alongside Brandon Barash (General Hospital, Days of our Lives), that is now streaming on the new The Reel Woman's Network.

 The Mourning Hour is about a 1950's suburban housewife whose husband was killed in a train accident. The film is unique is that it tells the story in an unusual way, seeing the women "travel" through two periods of time, her present life as well as when she was an aspiring cellist at 19.

Shevaun is also busy with her acting school, which she says has been quite a challege during the pandemic (she is in hard-hit NJ) and looking towards the future of coaching as well as making more films. Read on to find out what inspires this young woman to keep working in a very hard business.

What inspired you to make The Mourning Hour?

Shevaun C. Kastl: Wow! BIG question. So many things! I had just finished my first short as a Writer/Producer/Actor and was on this crazy high after the Premiere. I couldn’t wait to write something else. I was like a cinematic junkie. And I love a good challenge, so I wanted to write a period piece. And right away I thought of adapting a short story I had read in High School called “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. I always loved the author (who also wrote The Awakening) and this particular story of love and loss and reawakening really resonated with me, even at an early age.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Brad Forenza's "Squeaky" to Stream Live July 5th at 2020 Hollywood Fringe Festival: A New Take on Manson Cult Leader Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme Delivered in a New Kind of Theater Environment

(Staff) The Fourth of July is a celebration of our Independence and the radical proclivities of our founding fathers. However, in Brad Forenza’s Squeaky, the day after Independence Day may paint a less liberated picture.

This Fifth of July, Forenza’s Squeaky (an examination of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme) will receive her own show, as presented by the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Squeaky will be accessible to all through the rapidly expanding “streamed theater” experience. It stars Sara Eklund, Rosie Gunther, Brooke Hoover, and Roberta Lipp, as different dimensions of the titular character, as she opines about the current state of affairs and the unavailable men in her life (Tom Pryor and Forenza also appear).

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Review of Netflix Series Hollywood: Hooray for this Series About Glitz, Glamour and Getting a Seat at the Table


By  Beth Abramson Brier

Hooray for Hollywood! I’m talking, of course, about the seven episode series Hollywood  by Ryan Murphy released by Netflix in May.

Set in post WWII Tinsel town, it is coincidentally (no, strike that) - it is eerily part of our current national conversation. And it is a “must see” for so many reasons. Trust me when I tell you this because in the last three months I’ve had the attention span of a carrot. Just when I thought I just didn’t have it in me to watch anything along comes Hollywood. Finally- a reason to bunker* down and binge watch through the night.


Hollywood had me at “hello” - in this case the dramatic introduction which I never once opted to skip when given the choice. Ambitious hopefuls ascend the landmark Hollywood sign: would-be stars and starlets, aspiring writers, budding directors - all willing to climb a little bit higher, leap without a net, take a chance.

It’s the golden age of studios and film. Big production numbers featuring staircases, swimming pools, and a hundred extras. Glamorous leading ladies (I’m talking opera gloves, evening gowns, feather boas). Swoon-worthy male stars in hats and suits instead of hoodies and shorts. It’s Hollywood at its best. Only better. It’s Hollywood reimagined.