“Overrun” is Overdone and Underwhelming”

By Mike Szymanski Take every gangland cliche and put them together into one big jumble and that’s what you’ll find with “Overrun.” That includes the exploding briefcase, the Russian bad guys, a pair of inept goofballs, an innocent kidnapped sister, brutal torture, lots of gunfire, and mix in corrupt cops, bounty hunters, car chases, ex-military…

The Need to Grow A Life Transforming Film

By Vernon Nickerson Sometimes the best independent films are life-transforming. Other times watching and listening to an exceptionally well-told story makes the heart sing. From the collaborative team of Rob Herring (Writer-Director) and Ryan Wirick (Director), The Need to Grow is that film. The subtitle, “Save the SOIL, Save the WORLD,” summarizes an intimate journey…

SEE “SUMMER Of SOUL” AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE

By Vernon Nickerson Where were you in summer 1969? Can’t remember? Not born yet? That’s okay. I have the perfect film for where you needed to be in 1969 on the day man walked on the moon. GO SEE SUMMER SOUL AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE! A Questlove Jam: “Summer of Soul”, Or, when the…

A Summer Blockbuster in Independent Film: “Skin Deep: Formulating a Legacy” Is A Serious Piece Of 2021 Summertime Fun!

By Vernon Nickerson In the new film, “Skin Deep: Formulating a Legacy”, we are reminded that while “Jersey Shore” was becoming a cultural phenomenon, an actual phenomenally talented entrepreneur and cosmetic chemistry genius was working against relentless odds and a jaw-dropping series of unfortunate events. Thanks to the star and Executive Producer Vince Spinnato, a…

“SOFTIE”: For God, for Kenya, and for Family- Boniface Mwangi’s story aims for NO ONE Left Behind

By Vernon Nickerson From writer/director Sam Soko comes a powerful documentary of an underdog/longshot Kenyan political candidate that is anything but soft. The hero of “Softie”, photojournalist-cum-candidate for prime minister Boniface Mwangi may be soft-spoken, but his actions are bold, loud, and in-your-face. In a nation-state that has known continuous internal conflict since the fifth…

“GNT” A Short Film About Female Self Validation

By Joanna Panayi Directed by Sara Hirner and Rosemary Vasquez Brown, “GNT” is an edgy animated short created by and for women. Honest conversations between young females inspire this short film to expose the repeated cycle that is self-validation. We see the female characters Glenn, Nikki, and Tammy’s contradictory friendship as it often relies upon…

Film review of Critically Acclaimed “Cut Throat City”

By Vernon Nickerson What would happen if a diverse POC cast made a 21st century redux of Les Miserables? It would be “Cut Throat City”. From director RZA and writer P.G. Cuschieri comes the explosive “Cut Throat City”, the story of four boyhood friends from New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward who return after Hurricane Katrina…

Mother’s Day Memories- A Film by Bill Hoversten

By Vernon Nickerson The power of film to illuminate and educate the audience shines throughout “Mother’s Day Memories”, a short feature film currently selected for eight international film festivals. The tight ensemble cast hits all the right notes to convey the slow erasure of the multiple lives impacted when a parent is losing their memories…

“Softie” Film Review

By Liisa Cohen “Softie”, a film by Sam Soko is a perfectly paced, gut wrenching account of Boniface Mwangi as we follow this photojournalist turned political activist turned MP candidate on his personal journey. Boniface “Softie” Mwangi has long fought injustices in his country as a political activist. Now he’s taking the next step by…

“FINDING YINGYING” Movie Review

By Liisa Cohen Director Jiayan “Jenny” Shitakes takes us on a gripping and intimate journey of devastating loss and the struggle of a grieving family to exist. Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese student, comes to the U.S. to study. In her detailed and beautiful diaries, the aspiring young scientist and teacher is full of optimism,…

“NASRIN” Movie Review

By Liisa Cohen The opening frames had my heart pounding, the ending frames had me in tears. NASRIN is a deeply moving, heart breaking and all too real story of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an attorney, human rights activist and political prisoner in Iran. With the back drop of modern day Iran, director/ writer/producer Jeff Kaufman and…