Feature Films: Artistic Cinematic Creations For Your Entertainment

Written as a press release for the 2012 Litchfield Hills Film Festival. Originally published in the Litchfield County Times.


Feature films are the heart and core of film festivals. The 2012 Litchfield Hills Film Festival will screen twelve original, creative, and theatrical feature length films on June 28 to July 1 in Torrington, CT. This year’s selection is comprised of a diversity of genres including drama, action, comedy, animation, and horror; moviegoers will have plenty of choices to match their cinematic preferences.

This year’s selection boasts a variety of honors, features distinguished actors and filmmakers, and is collected from all over the world. The following are highlights:

Below Zero is a gripping thriller about a screenwriter locked in a meat freezer forced to complete a script in order to save his career. However, as the words of his script begin to blend with reality, Jack (Edward Furlong, American History X) realizes that it may be much more than his career that’s at stake. Also featured is horror-legend Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest). During production, screenwriter Signe Olynyk actually wrote while locked in a meat freezer to produce an authentic result.

Born & Raised is LA based director Joshua Dragge’s debut feature film. Filmed and set in Florida, Born & Raised tells the story of a young man conflicted with leaving his tight-knit, community-based town. But don’t let the placid synopsis fool you—this raw and gritty drama is anything but mild. Featuring a standout performance by up-and-coming actor Nick Loritsch, Born & Raised is taking the American film festival circuit by storm.

Coming over from Canada is Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy, an unorthodox romance story infected by the drug of love. Inspired by the same author who wrote Trainspotting, director Rob Heydon explores both the euphoria and melancholy associated with drug culture.

Speaking of melancholy, A.D. Calvo’s The Melancholy Fantastic fuses terror and love in a bizzaro holiday horror. Through crafted cinematography, Calvo’s scare-flick is aesthetically superior to the some of the genre’s biggest contemporary titles.

On Falling—the second Californian production in the collection—is Peter McEvilley’s coming-of-age chronicle of vigorous youths on the coast of The Golden State. Not only did McEvilley write and direct this tale of self-discovery, but he also arranged the score. Featuring a cast of talented young actors, On Falling embodies the spirit of American youth.

An “action film about writing a play” seems like a contradiction, but Broadway’s Finest proves otherwise. In order to complete a screenplay, Stephen Marro’s characters research their roles by living the life of their play—a drug-busting crime-drama. With a collection of seasoned actors including Robert Clohessy (The Avengers, Oz) and David Lansbury (Law & Order, Michael Clayton), Broadway’s Finest is not only a refreshingly original story, but also one that is exceptionally executed.

Company Retreat is directed by widely accomplished actor and filmmaker Campbell Scott. Scott has enjoyed an extensive career with acting roles in Roger Dodger and Music and Lyrics (to name a few) and with directional efforts including Big Night and Off the Map. In Company Retreat, Scott extends his legacy by example of original screenwriting and skillful directing.

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