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Candy Factory Films

SAVING BANKSY is a Riveting Look at the Artists Iconic Work on DVD

banksy dvd

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming this week to DVD from director Colin Day and Candy Factory Films is an incredible journey to save a rat with SAVING BANKSY.

In San Francisco in 2010, the graffiti artist known as Banksy made his way through the town leaving works in the most spectacular places. The problem became that the city did not see his works as art but instead enforced the graffiti laws. Where ever the art popped up, the city would demand that the building owner have it removed.

One man, Brian Greif, took it upon himself to try and save what became known as the Haight Street Rat on the side of the Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast by spending time and money to have it removed from the side of older San Francisco building. His goal was to be relatively simple, save the rat and donate it to a museum where everyone could enjoy it.

What should have been relatively simple project turned into a struggle by those who don’t see it as art, by those who want to make money off Banksy’s work by taking it without asking and how to get it out of Greif’s apartment! Offered large sums of money, Grief has maintained that it’s about the art, much to the dismay of collectors.

Streets artists such as Ben Eine, Risk, Evok, Niels Meulman, Blek Le Rat, Anthony Lister, Doze Green, Hera and Glen E. Friedman speak about how their art is seen and the struggle to be accept as artists.

This is the story of one man’s journey to save a rat!

SAVING BANKSY is an amazing piece of documentary filmmaking that takes the viewer on a journey that needed to be taken. It is fascinating and equally sad to think that the “art world” doesn’t see the contribution of street art. Banksy has brought mystery to his work to be sure but it is the messages to the work that have brought understanding and conversation – which is what I thought art was suppose to do.

I have been following the artist Banksy for so many years because his work is different, controversial, hilarious and endearing. This documentary is truly a must-see for those are curious about Banksy, want to see his work and understand the treatment of street artists, then SAVING BANKSY gives it all.

Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly company dedicated to producing unique and compelling films. Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard reaching distinct audiences. With award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, Candy Factory is committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.candyfactoryfilms.com.

The DVD also includes an exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Featurette which goes deeper into the story of the Haight Street Rat and offers up additional in-depth interviews not seen in the theatrical cut of SAVING BANKSY. It also includes art collector Brian Greif and British street artist Ben Eine who goes into detail about his relationship with Banksy.

Please take a moment to watch and then share about the art you may have not realized comes from the mysterious yet riveting artist known as BANKSY. Yes, I said art because no one will ever convince me that his work is anything less than that. I do hope that in the years to come that Banksy feels there is a time he can come forward and put the art establishment in its place.

I also hope that someday while strolling down a street that I discover a Banksy that I can touch, smile and keep on walking. That’s how it should be.

In the end – I guess it’s not art unless you sell it for a lot of money!

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AMERICANA Brings Intensity to a Superb Thriller!

Americana cover

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD, Video on Demand, Digital HD as well as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu is the intense thriller from writer/director Zachary Shedd and Candy Factory Films with AMERICANA.

Avery Wells (David Call) is a young man who experiences a horrific act when his sister Kate (Kelli Garner) is brutally murdered in front of him. Turning to the bottle and filled with anxiety, he is approached by the film’s producer Calib Andrews (Jack Davenport). Andrews wants the film finished and asks Avery to continue the film that his sister was starring in at the time of her death.

Trying to keep it together to do the work, Avery is plagued by phone calls from a stranger who threatens to reveal something terrible. Not sure what to make of it, he searches for answers but it all begins to look like a conspiracy.

He turns to Claire (Jennifer Stuckert) and brother-in-law Josh McAllister (Frank Mosley) to begin piecing together if this has something to do with Kate. Avery even turns to his lawyer Ben (Peter Coyote) but all of this brings more questions than answers!

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The frustration leads him to even reach out to the killers Aunt Nora Taylor (Sayra Player) to discover what is motivating everything happening around him. When everything falls into place, Avery must decide how to handle it and what will happen next.

But secrets have a way of revealing all!

Call as Avery is a man possessed by every inch of his life. Dealing with his drinking, a song that doesn’t know his father, a murdered sister and a secret that holds the key to everything – it all can’t help but come crashing down. Call gives this character the grease that glides him along the edge of insanity. His performance is riveting!

Davenport as Calib managed to make me not trust him the moment he was on the screen. Viewing Avery’s reaction to him just gave me the jitters and without giving anything away, his performance keeps the tension high.

Mosley as Josh just wants Avery to get his act together and to not let Kate be used after her death. He wants the truth but it doesn’t rule his life like it does with Avery. Mosley gives a dark performance that it based on pure excellence – well done!

Stuckert as Claire tries to be patient with Avery but there is only so much a person can take and it is becoming clear that he has taken enough. Player as Nora gives a quick performance but its enough to add even more mystery to the story. It was great to see Coyote as Ben and I loved that I was never clear where this character stood with Avery.

A shout out to Lily Luong as Terri because even though her character has a brief appearance, when she says “we are both good people” it was from the heart and got an instant reaction out of me.

Other cast include Vincent Chan, James Zeiss, James Brickhouse, Sayra Player, Josh Schell, and John Elefantis.

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Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly company dedicated to producing unique and compelling films. Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard reaching distinct audiences. With award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, Candy Factory is committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.candyfactoryfilms.com.

AMERICANA definitely leads with twists and turns from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until minutes before the end. It is a story of the mistakes we make, protecting those we love, experiencing the worst of each other and the suspicions that can eat every moment of ones life.

This cast brings an ensemble performance that is riveting from start to finish. To remove even one cast member, the ensemble would crumble. That is what makes this film because every time I thought I had pieced it together, like the windy roads of San Francisco, I was taken on a ride.

AMERICANA was nominated for New American Cinema at the 2016 Seattle International film Festival and won Best Feature Film at the 2016 Lower East Side Film Festival. Kudos and congratulations – a well deserved win.

In the end – there are always consequences.

SPLIT Blurs Fantasy and Reality on DVD

split

 

Jeri Jacquin

On DVD from director/writer Deborah Kampmeier and Candy Factory Films is a look at the life of a young woman trying to mend from the SPLIT.

Inanna (Amy Ferguson) is a young girl living the life of a dancer at night and a performance artist in the day. She finds herself infatuated with Derek (Morgan Spector) a man who doesn’t realize she is a dancer in the club he visits.

Seeing Derek at rehearsal for a play by Athena (Joan MacIntosh), she realizes that he is making the masks for the show. Taking the opportunity to get to know him, it is instantaneous that he asks her to marry him.

Aware that Derek is an artist it is also clear he has serious insecurity issues wanting Inanna to stop being in the play. Believing that love should keep them together, Inanna allows herself to be disrespected at every turn. Even her friend Anja knows what is happening and tries to make Inanna aware of it.

But she has come to slowly realize that this play is something that is about to change her life but she must have the courage to embrace it.

Love starts with ones self!

Ferguson as Inanna is certainly a young woman who is trying to grow but her life is running in so many different directions. This actress shows every bit of the confusion on her face and eyes which is spectacular. I so appreciate her performance and as she awakens during the play, it is done elegantly and with heart.

Spector as Derek is an artist who has a clear vision of his work just not a clear vision about life, love and respect. I have to admit that if I knew someone like Derek I’d probably lose my mind. In his own swirl of darkness he seems complacent about what is happening to Inanna because to think he didn’t care would be almost cruel.

MacIntosh as Athena is a woman knowing that Inanna has the ability to bring ever bit of herself to a role that bares everything – literally. Her belief in this young girl grows with every moment of rehearsal until the opening night performance that is just amazing.

Mouglalis as Anja  knows that the life Inanna is a part of is not one she should be. Sharing her fears about Derek is absolutely what a friend would and should do and I applauded her doing just that.

Other cast include Fredric Lehne as Dave, Raina von Waldenburg as Iris, Antonia Hughes as Shelley, Jennifer Onvie as Lil, Sophia Oppenheim as Sonia, Rutanya Alda as Melissa, Samia Akudo as Mariama, Jason Alazraki as John and Richard Aldis as Gerard.

Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly company dedicated to producing unique and compelling films. Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard reaching distinct audiences. With award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, Candy Factory is committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.candyfactoryfilms.com.

SPLIT is so many things in one film. It is the story of a young woman trying to discover her own potential, self worth and limits. Mixed in between that is that same journey of all the women of the show Inanna is in.

Take that harshness and wrap it up in the raw fear, frustration and longing of a theatre performance that brings all of these women together. With the music that is ethereal and moving, this film brings together every emotion that women try to hide.

Although there is nudity of the women performing, it becomes buried down the line of what the film is trying to convey. It is important to be aware of the nudity but do not let it sway you from experiencing the film. There is intergenerational and multiracial women of all different body types to be sure and that is absolutely worthy of kudos.

SPLIT is part of Kampmeier trilogy including HOUNDDOG in 2007 and VIRGIN in 2003. She is an award winning filmmaker and theatre director and has written/directed short films. For more of the work Kampmeier continues to do please visit www.fullmoonfilmsny.com.

In the end – she must claim herself!

THE BABYMOONERS May Feel Life Familiar!

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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD this January 2017 from director/writers Shaina Feinberg, Chris Manley and Candy Factory Films is a life of life and reproduction as THE BABYMOONERS.

Shaina is about to have her first baby with hubby Chris! Before this event changes their lives she decides to create a video letter to the little boy waiting to be born. She begins telling the story of her life working with a radio show and accidentally meeting Chris.

Spending the day walking her dog, they end up becoming closer instantly. Sharing the same whacky sense of humor and outlook on life they are content. The next step for them is preparing for the new arrival.

Shaina puts Chris through the ringer of pregnancy and she seeks out the help of a therapist to get past her “birthing parents” issues. That’s not all as she has an opinion about daytime television, no ‘good cop-bad cop’ parenting and a quirky time in a friend’s cabin in the woods.

Their babymoon is not exactly the vacation they were hoping for!

Shaina Feinberg is hilarious! She actually reminds me a little of my own daughter who went through a similar experience having her first baby. There are so many questions and once you think they are answered – along comes a whole new set of questions. Shaina’s outlook on it all makes perfect sense in her world.

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Chris Manley is just this laid back guy who doesn’t seem to be motivated much. That is until he meets Shaina and everything kicks into hyper drive! He is supportive, loving, funny and even when he’s having moments of doubt; Chris finds a way to deal with it in his own unique way. Basically Shaina and Chris are perfect for each other.

Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly company dedicated to producing unique and compelling films. Candy Factory is at the forefront of a new vanguard reaching distinct audiences. With award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre, Candy Factory is committed to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.candyfactoryfilms.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE BABYMOONERS four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is such an enjoyable film because it is humorously easy going. It almost felt a tad intrusive, as if I was listening in on their life like a fly on the wall and being totally entertained by it.

I loved Shaina’s shrink being in the middle of his own craziness and the parents are supportive. It is easy to see how Shaina came to be Shaina because I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t pretend to be birthed by my daughter.

There are just moments in the film that crack me up specifically because they are a bit off and a tad uncomfortable. Why? Because life is absolutely a bit off at times and a tad uncomfortable a lot of the time – Shaina and Chris don’t hide that fact in the slightest.

THE BABYMOONERS is the winner of the Audience Award at the 2016 Lower East Side Film Festival.

In the end – they found each other and created something beautiful!

 

 

CLANDESTINE Brings the Headlines to DVD

clandestine

 

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to DVD from director David LaRosa and Candy Factory Films is a look at a small town and the war on drugs that is CLANDESTINE.

Officer Charles Cooper (Nick DeMatteo) and his wife teacher Olivia (Jeanine Bartel) are raising a family in a small Long Island town. Sgt. Ed Billman (Chris Ryan) is his partner and they are in the middle of a drug bust arresting Nikki Hernandez (Alex Alonso).

After a raid on the Hernandez home they find a woman named Julia (Kate A. McGrath) hiding from the officers. Not cooperative in the slightest, the officers have no choice but to search her car. Beating them to it is Special Agent Margaret Scott (Janine Laino) who believes Julia can lead them to more.

So both side of law enforcement decide to let her loose to see where she goes next. The next step is for Agent Scott and Sgt. Billman to broker a meeting with Assemblyman Dean Bada (Tom Sizemore). At a town hall meeting, law enforcement asks for the help of its citizens.

Cooper wants to help those affected by drugs in the town but it seems not everyone believes it is a big problem. In the meantime Sgt. Billman discovers that Julia is meeting up with Nikki once again and the stake out is more important than ever. Inside the home is Lucas (Daniel Cousins) who warns Julia to be more careful around the cops.

With a listening device they discover that the house is being used to manufacture meth for selling. Now Julia wants to help so that she can be a good mother to her very young son. Now the officers are running through the streets of the small town to stop those who are destroying lives.

They are stunned when they discover who is responsible for it all!

DeMatteo as Cooper believes in what he is doing and helping the DEA rid their town of drug criminals. DeMatteo is clearly moved but the troubles of those involved but isn’t about to let it sway him from what must be done.

Ryan as Billman is a man on a missing. As part of the DEA he doesn’t like to coddle anyone and wants everything clearly done by the book. Laino as Agent Scott is much like Billman in that she is well informed and knows exactly how to end it.

Sizemore as Bada is a foul mouthed Assemblyman who uses his own insecurities to try and control Agent Scott. I have to say I loved her attitude when those two have a verbal showdown.

Other cast includes Jack Moran Jr. as Lt. Jason Lidener, Leslie Coplin as Mrs. Hernandez, Judy Stadt as Mrs. Goodhill, Christian Chase as Officer Christopher Hodges, Stephanie Klein as DEA Agent Jane Kaminsky, Shari Buchwald as Tina Billman and Richard Brundage as Chip.

CLANDESTINE actually digs down into how drugs can literally be found anywhere. Watching these two officers put themselves in the line of fire is a little scary, especially when coming face to face with a criminal who seems to be unstoppable.

Taking the story out of urban areas and straight into the manicured row of houses in the suburb, the law enforcement on the case have no idea what they are dealing with. It is quite clear that dealers, cooks and sellers are becoming more and more creative.

It is also about officers who live double lives – being an officer who wants to help people and sacrificing time and being in danger from family. Cooper comes face to face with that struggle and this character knows how close to home it all can come.

In the end – it is your family, your town and our problem!

SOLEDAD is a Driver I’d Hire!

soledad

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to VOD as well as iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu from writer/directors Eduardo Maytorena and Wayne Mitchell as well as Candy Factory Films is SOLEDAD.

Raquel (Montanna Gillis) is an excited young girl about to go to prom. Going with boyfriend Preston (Chase Austin) she is believing this is a night to remember. A limo with driver Victor (Jesse Celedon) begins the drive to their high school.

On the way Preston begins kissing and caressing Raquel under the watchful eye of Victor. When the young man gets forceful with the young girl, she tells him repeatedly to stop. Finally the driver has had enough, and does a discipline number on Preston leaving him on the street.

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That doesn’t sit well with older brother James (Matthew Keeler) who wants Victor’s head on a platter and Raquel’s parents have called the police believing the driver has taken their daughter. Well, trouble isn’t anything new for Victor but he isn’t about to leave Raquel on her own.

Together, Raquel and Victor have their own adventure through the streets of Los Angeles making this a different kind of prom night!

Gillis as Raquel is a young girl who clearly has an image of what her prom night should be. Excited to be sharing the night with Preston, it all turns sour in the worst way. It would be an unlikely pair that creates the best night and Gillis’ portrays her character in a daring way. I appreciated that about her performance.

Austin as Preston clearly portrays him as a young man with 1) no manners, 2) a sense of entitlement and 3) a parent’s worst nightmare! What happens to this character (and no I’m not going to give it away) is richly deserved and very satisfying for me as a parent. I know that means I took a certain scene personal but when you see it – you will too! Keeler as brother James lets it be known that douchebaggyness doesn’t fall far from the family tree.

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The winner is clearly Celedon as Victor. This character knows where he has been and where he doesn’t want to be again. That being said Celedon gives this character care, concern and compassion all wrapped up in a nice limo drivers suit. I really enjoyed not only how he handled the little upstart (because I’d have done worse) but how he took the young girl under his wing – that doesn’t happen anymore.

Other cast include Roseny Carrero as Consuela, Hal Dion as Anton, Natassia Halabi as Lindsey, Sean MacCuish as Sean, Marcela Macia as Rosa Linda, Magen Mattox as Monica, and Eduardo Maytorena as Ernesto.

Candy Factory Films is a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly multimedia company dedicated to producing and distributing high impact, unique and compelling films. Their own media library include award-winning and acclaimed films across every genre with a commitment to creating and fostering communities around independent and progressive cinema.

SOLEDAD is the kind of film that is filled with surprises. This is an original story that doesn’t hesitate to call it everything like it is. There isn’t any sugar coating of the characters nor their reaction to what is a night of craziness.

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The film also isn’t in a hurry to tell the story of Raquel and Victor which I appreciated. I wanted to see what else they would do and how they would handle it completely and not a hap hazard outcome. The ending is perfection and had it been any other way I might have had to find my own awesome badass limo driver (just kidding) to make it right.

This film won the Grand Jury Award with Honorable Mention for Eduardo Maytorena and Wayne Mitchen from Dances with Films. Also, Official Selection from the 31st Chicago Latino Film Festival, San Francisco Latino Film Festival, St. Lawrence International Film Festival, 200 Festival Internacional De Cine De Puerto Madryn, New Filmmakers Los Angeles and the 29th Wine Country Film Festival.

In the end – there’s right, there’s wrong, and there’s tonight!

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