Rhona Mitra (Commander Kiva in “Subversion“) co-stars with Theo James and Stacy Martin in ARCHIVE, a film set in 2038 in a remote and secret research facility where scientist George Almore (James) has been trying to produce a human-like machine intelligence. What George isn’t telling anyone is that his true purpose is to bring back his wife (who died years previously in a car accident) using her digitized consciousness and a lifelike robot. The robot, it seems, has some objections to his plans. A trailer is available on YouTube. ARCHIVE will be released digitally in the US on 10 July.
Mitra is also Martha in the surrealistic mystery THE OTHER ME. Jim Sturgess stars as Irakli, a young architect diagnosed with a debilitating eye disease which distorts his vision and eventually causes him to believe that he can see other people’s true motives. He meets Nino (Andreja Pejic), an artist who lives alone in the forest. She becomes his artistic muse and their relationship quickly develops into love. Meanwhile Irakli’s wife Nutsa (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), who works three jobs, begins a relationship with her new boss, a socialite from America who is also trapped in an unsatisfying marriage. THE OTHER ME was written and directed by Giga Agladze, and filmed in Tiblisi, Georgia. No release date has been announced.
Reiko Aylesworth (Sharon Walker in “Pathogen“) is Louie’s unassertive mother Marie in LOULOU. Louie (Kevin Curtis) is a teenage boy struggling with his secret desire to live as a woman while being raised by a strictly conservative family. He copes by developing a relationship with a homophobic bully (Tony, played by Spencer Belko), who encourages Louie to rebel against his daily routine and his family. Aylesworth’s character is described as a caring, middle-aged woman who grew up in a strict, repressive family that stifled her efforts at self-expression. She understands the conflict between her child and her husband Arthur (Desean Terry), but she remains silent, hoping to help heal the rift between them without being confrontational. Written and directed by Noëlle Soulier, LOULOU was filmed last November in California. No release date has been announced.
Victor Garber (Ambassador Orvida in “Seizure“) will be Harper’s conservative father Ted in Clea DuVall‘s romantic comedy HAPPIEST SEASON. Kristin Stewart stars as Abby, a young woman who plans to propose to her girlfriend Harper (MacKenzie Davis) at her family’s annual holiday party, but discovers (much to her surprise) that Harper has not yet come out to her parents. Dan Levy (SCHITT’S CREEK) is also in the cast. Filmed in Pittsburgh, HAPPIEST SEASON will be released in the US on 25 November.
Garber also has an as yet unspecified role in KILL THE POET, a film set in New York and Reykjavik during World War II Based on true events, it is the story of a poor (and gifted) young poet and his love affair with a wealthy female painter, at a time when many artists were being blacklisted by anti-Communist witch-hunters. Director Friðrik Þór Friðriksson told Annika Pham of Nordisk Film and TV Fond: “I used to run a gallery and I was a big fan of Icelandic abstract expressionist painters Nína Tryggvadóttir and Louisa Matthíasdóttir. I’m a true admirer as well of the great poet Steinn Steinarr. He was an eternal loner, a rebel and activist…He was among the first Icelandic intellectuals to protest against Hitler and published a celebrated anti-Hitler satire illustrated by Nína. He didn’t care about people’s opinions. Love was his true inspiration. When he stopped seeing Louisa, he literally stopped writing poetry.” Production has not yet begun.
Josh Blacker (Marine Sgt. Spencer in “Air“) is part of the cast of CORONA, which might be the first movie set in the COVID-19 era. Director Mostafa Keshvari told Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter: “The idea came to me when I was in an elevator reading news about Chinese tourists being attacked, and I thought: ‘I’m going to make a movie in an elevator.'” The film is about six unlikely neighbours stranded in their building’s lift during the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. When a Chinese newcomer (played by Traei Tsai) boards the elevator, she is immediately suspected of having the virus. As others enter, including a pregnant woman and a wheelchair-bound Nazi with a swastika tattooed on his forehead, panic begins to spread. CORONA was shot handheld and all in one take, requiring more than seventy attempts to complete. Andrea Stefancikova (M.J. in BELOW HER MOUTH) is also in the cast. CORONA was filmed in Vancouver last winter, and will be released in Canada and the US in July. A trailer is available on YouTube.
Helen Shaver, the only woman to direct an episode of STARGATE UNIVERSE (“Seizure“), directs HAPPY PLACE, a film adaptation of Pamela Mala Sinha’s play of the same name. (Sinha also wrote the screenplay and appears in the film as Rosemary.) It is the story of Samira (Clark Backo), a woman who enters a private mental health clinic after a suicide attempt. At the start, she is resistant to her treatment, but eventually begins to bond with her fellow patients whose lives have been derailed by past trauma. (The film explores the lives of seven women at the facility, aged 23 to 60.) HAPPY PLACE was filmed last year in Parry Sound, Ontario. There is no word yet on a release date.