by Suzanne Ordas Curry
By Suzanne Ordas Curry
Olivia D'Abo is known to many for being Kevin Arnold's big sis Karen on the popular sitcom The Wonder Years (which by the way is getting a reboot). But Olivia D'Abo is so much more than just a sitcom icon, she's an accomplished film actress, singer/songwriter, voice-over talent (she's the voice of Luminara of Star Wars: Clone Wars) and podcaster.
The daughter of a rock start (Mike D'Abo of Manfred Mann) and a model (Maggie London) who grew up in England, she's lead a very interesting public and private life and has many projects in the works.
Most recently she stars as the mother of Angie, in Angie: Lost Girls, a narrative feature by Julia Verdin and Artists for Change. It's a powerful, thoughtful and difficult story about a typical suburban teenager who gets trafficked. Randall Batinkoff plays her husband, and together they to get their daughter back from some very dangerous and evil people. The movie is streaming now and you can find where here:
We had the chance to sit down and talk to Olivia. Here's the full interview:
This year the the festival is honoring industry people for different efforts. Those being honored are: Arianna Bocco (IFC Films), Daniel Baldwin (Actor), Ming Chen and A Shared Universe PodcaSTudio, Declan O'Scanlon Jr. (State Senator), Christian Barber (actor), Chris Dudick (producer), Drew Henriksen (screenwriter) and ROB THORP (screenwriter).
The Garden State Film Festival was started to help support the works of independent filmmakers, in NJ and beyond, as well as pay homage to the state where many of the aspects of film as we know it were born. As stated on their website, it was in Menlo Park where Thomas Edison invented the first film cameras and projects and Fort Lee, which is where the first movie studios were located. (Note: Due to better weather and personal issues with some of the owners, they moved on over to Hollywood.)
This ground-breaking series features films by early women filmmakers: Grace Cunard, Alice Guy-Blaché, Angela Murray Gibson and Lois Weber will be featured. You can also watch a special Trailblazers Q&A moderated by WFPF’s Founder Barbara Moss with guest panelists Kim Tomadjoglou and Buckey Grimm.
To view the programs, register and stream for free at HERFLIX.com.
Trailblazers of Early Cinema:
Trailblazers of Early Cinema Q&A Panel:
To Watch the Show:
These three ladies will talk about what is was like to create this film which is meant to spread awareness about the plague and devastation of child trafficking. In the story, which is narrative fiction but based on research, a young, normal, suburban teen played by Jane Widdop (YellowJackets) gets seduced into the dark work of sex trafficking by a young man she meets at the park, played by Dylan Sprayberry (CW's Teen Wolf). Olivia D'Abo is her mother and Randall Batinkoff the father who try any means possible to find her and get her back. Also starring in this film is Anthony Montgomery (General Hospital, Star Trek), MC Lyte, Amin Joseph and Cherie Jimenez.
The movie is available on demand almost everywhere, and is also available for group screenings with a Panel discussion. Please see the website for details:
By Ashton Samson
When anyone in society is called upon to adapt to a new way of life, it can prove difficult. While simple changes, like purchasing a new car, can cause momentary angst, monumental changes like moving, attending a new school or adapting to conditions of a pandemic, can be the most challenging for some to endure. Either way transitions are not easy, but this can be especially so if the people involved are immigrants, thrust into a completely different culture, language and way of life.Director Lee Isaac Chung took this concept, along with his own childhood memories, and crafted Minari, a compelling, melancholic, and heartfelt ode to the resilience of immigrants in wanting to retain a sense of the culture that makes them who they are all while taking a stab at the American Dream. The film is my new favorite of 2020 and if people continue giving it the love it clearly deserves, it could become the second year in a row that a Korean film wins an Academy Award. The film is just that impressive: with haunting, soul-stirring music, breathtaking cinematography, excellent performances across the board and a wonderfully-realized message that is, at its core, metaphorically related to the title itself.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Soul, Possessor, Sound of Metal - all of these films have something in common.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us. Silver linings were few and far between, if not completely absent. However, one universal we were all presented with was time. In an instant, the hustle and bustle of our daily lives slowed down. Of course, that means something different for everyone. But regardless of circumstances, we were all called at some point during the year to stop and think about what kinds of people we are. And the cinema of 2020 reflected that.
Identity. Purpose. Motivation. These are heavy, heady and difficult subjects to address without being preachy or melodramatic. The films mentioned above manage to flawlessly walk the fine line between the kitsch and the superficial to create meaningful, authentic stories. And each in their own, unique way. However, no film in 2020 did it better than Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round.
By Ashton Samson
At this time in our lives, cinemas are in dire need of help. Film fans are worried about the effect that Covid-19 has had on the industry. While some theaters are open, not enough people are attending. Even the most avid film fans won’t take the risk of walking through the doors of a cinema. This loss in customers is leading to a lack of business, which causes the owners and supporters of movie theaters to lose hope for future generations of moviegoers.
There are several celebrities, most noteworthy of the group being Steven Spielberg, my favorite director, who share the same sentiment I do: watching a film in a cinema is one of the greatest expressions of joy and unity in one’s life. Due to the isolation that some may feel at the moment, the sense of togetherness and unity that comes alive when sharing the experience of watching moving images flash across the screen is much needed. It is for this reason why we believe that cinemas will survive. (Editor's note: Expect changes within the industry, some of which are happening now (like virtual cinema and day and date and are here to stay.) However, until then, one positive effect that the coronavirus has had on the film world is that for the first time, people all across the world were able to virtually watch films from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Here are the three films from the festival that I was fortunate enough to view, and each was unique, albeit in very different ways.
The Ridgewood Guild International Festival is presenting a dozen interviews, 2 free "classes" and 3 events. The festival runs February 27th-March 3rd, 2021. You can find how to access these specials on the website: www.RidgewoodGuildFilmFest.com . (Be patient as the site will be updated closer to the date.) These free specials will give the viewer a chance to experience some of what the festival has to offer and to gain insight and knowledge about the films, filmmakers and the industry in general. You can access them anytime during the festival (and some may remain on Youtube even after the festival).
TO VIEW THE FREE SPECIALS AND THE FILMS VISIT:
Catherine Eaton is a filmmaker, writer, actress, professor and also a director. The latter came to her in a most unusual fashion, which she explains in this interview. (You just never know who is around to lend a helping hand, or even point your life in a totally different direction.)
SBTS: I watched this movie with my husband. There are very few movies we both agree on...and we watched it to the end because it’s the kind of movie you have to watch to the end! So tell me how all this will be got started. I know there’s a fascinating story behind it.
Pooling to Paradise under their tent with heat lamps on February 11, 2021. A socially-distant, pre fixe 3 course meal will be served for $45. Reservations are required. Start time is 6:30pm. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/137798305441
“If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.” - Bob Marley
Dorothy Papadakos is setting out to make a difference. And she is doing it by reaching children. Her novel, The Kingdom of Winter, has not only become beloved by those children (and adults) that are reading it but has also become invaluable as a teaching tool in several districts, and with good reason. The book is all about our planet, our physical world and it's changes and what we must be doing to preserve it, It's quite the heavy and overwhelming subject but through her writing and plot devices she manages to make it engaging and adventurous. Read on to find out more about this book and what other projects she is taking on. And oh.. find out about just how much she admires Greta Thunberg.
Heroic knights, starry dogs... tell me what The Kingdom of Winteris about.
By Beth Brier Abramson
Stephen Schnetzer delivers an award winning performance as Richard Flicker, a recently retired accountant. To fill his newly free days Richard pursues an old passion and takes up drawing classes. It is there he encounters Amelia played by Annapurna Sriram (Feral, The Blacklist) the granddaughter and striking imagine of his first love, Marci. Neither Richard’s wife, Ellie (Tracy Shane), nor his best friend, Kenny (Ken Baltin) seems surprised by this improbable but not impossible coincidence. Nuanced symbolism blurs where the past and the present intersect. Pause. Go back. Look carefully. Now go back to the beginning. Watch it again. You will need more popcorn.