Quick Movie Review – Soulmate and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

There are hundreds of great movies released every year that the average person hasn’t heard of. A great way to check out small independent movies is to attend local film festivals. So far this year, I have attended two great local festivals: Etheria Film Night and Sundance Next.

Etheria Film Night screened the haunting Soulmate by Axelle Carolyn. Soulmate hearkens back to classic Gothic romance films such as Rebecca, The Others and Jane Eyre. Anna Walton is an ethereal presence as Audrey a young woman who is struggling to deal with the recent death of her husband. She retreats to the Welsh countryside to begin again. To say more than that would give away to much of the plot. Because of the beautiful cinematography, the country home in Wales becomes a side character itself. Tom Wisdom, Tanya Myers and Nick Brimble round out the cast of this lovely film. The film doesn’t have U.S. distribution yet but it has been released in the United Kingdom. Keep an eye out at your local film festivals for your chance to catch this lush movie.

The last night of Sundance Next, I caught the amazing A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. This utterly original film was written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. This is no ordinary vampire film; it’s an Iranian vampire love story set in the Iranian town of Bad City. We meet a group of seemingly unrelated people who appear to be drifting through life. The city has become a hunting ground for vampire but the citizens are unaware of that fact. The style is almost Neo-Noir but with original elements sprinkled in. A Girl… domestic distribution so hopefully it will be in a theater near you soon.

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5 Questions: Etheria Film Night

On July 12, the Egyptian Theatre presents Etheria Film Night which showcases films directed by women focusing on horror, science fiction, fantasy and action genres. I had the opportunity to interview Heidi Honeycutt, Director of Programming, about the upcoming event.

1. What inspired you to start Etheria Film Night?

Stacy and I used to be a part of a horror film festival for women directors called Viscera. During submissions, I’d watch so many amazing movies that were *just not horror enough* for Viscera. Perhaps they’d be sci-fi-tinged, or more of a fantasy, or a straight thriller, but we’d have to turn them down because the genre wasn’t right. Etheria initially came about as a way to involve those fantastic films from other genres in a festival setting.

It’s important, I think, to show really talented and capable women directors making genre films. Hollywood tends not to hire women for most of these types of theatrical movies, so if we specifically show them how great these emerging women directors are at horror, sci-fi, action, fantasy, etc., they can’t claim that there’s a shortage of women they can hire.

2. What can a first time attendee expect at this year’s Etheria?

They can expect 7 of the best short genre films they have ever seen. They can also expect to see a fabulous feature film (Axelle Carolyn’s “Soulmate”) directed by a woman. The event is only one evening, so they get it all at once. They can meet the filmmakers and enjoy themselves during the red carpet cocktail party, and they can hopefully be inspired by what they see onscreen.

3. There is a film tour planned as well. Is this the first year that there has been Etheria screenings around the world?

Etheria screenings have been happening since 2012. But this is the first time that the horror and action films will be playing alongside the fantasy and science fiction films.

4. We seemed to have entered a golden age in terms of the popularity of genre films. Has this led to more opportunities for women directors?

More films being made, and better technology (just look at the boom in filmmaking since 2000 because of digital technology), have led to more opportunities. The fewer people that control what can be made, how it can be made, and where it will be seen, the more opportunities there are for women directors and, frankly, any minority in film.

5. Your organization is sponsoring an on-site charity drive for Reel Girls. Can you expand upon your involvement with Reel Girls?

We felt that it was important to make a statement that we value the charity work other groups are doing to try to bring more women into film. It’s one thing to throw a big party and pat ourselves on the back for making good films and clapping when a film screens; it’s another altogether to put your money where your mouth is and actually do something that helps someone else, not yourself, because you believe in what they are doing. Reel Grrls is a way to do that. We want everyone to know that it’s awesome to have them support the idea of women directing more movies, especially in areas where they don’t generally find themselves hired a great deal, but they would be even more awesome to support a charity like Reel Grrls that makes a genuine difference in the lives of young girls.

I’ll be there supporting new voices and I hope to see you there too.

Learn more about

Etheria Film Night here

Egyptian Theatre/American Cinematheque here