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Wow, October and November flew by in what seemed like the blink of an eye. We’re going to try to get new interviews and movie spotlights up as we head into the new year.

A couple months ago we had the pleasure of connecting with Mara Lesemann, the writer and producer of the independent film Detours. She shares with us details on how the film came together, the awesome cast, and the real road trip that they needed to take to bring the movie together.

Who?
I wrote and produced the road trip comedy Detours, which is my 2nd feature. Robert McCaskill directed, and Christopher Eadicicco was our director of photography. I knew from the beginning that I wanted Tara Westwood (The Grudge, Triggered) to play the daughter who’s moving to Florida and convinces her depressed, widowed dad (Carlo Fiorletta, Available) to drive south from NJ with her. Tara had a major supporting role in my first feature, Surviving Family, and I loved working with her. She traveled with me on several festival road trips for that movie, and after brainstorming with her for days, I asked her to also come on board as a producer. That turned out to be the smartest thing I could have done. Tara and our casting director, Caroline Sinclair, put together an amazing cast for a low-budget indie movie. It includes the amazing Richard Kind; the late great Paul Sorvino; multiple TONY award winner Michael Cerveris; Deirdre O’Connell, who won the 2022 TONY for Best Actress; NY stage and indie film standout Debargo Sanyal; and Vanessa Aspilla (Only Murders in the Building). We worked with indie musicians to create a fantastic soundtrack, including the closing credits song “Down the Road” by country music singer/songwriter Lane Turner.

What?
Detours travels from New York City to Saint Petersburg, Florida with Jennifer Giraldi, a NY-based actress whose marriage has just ended and who has vowed to build a new life and a new career in Florida. It’s been two years since her mom- a successful writer- died suddenly and her dad is struggling with depression. Dan still has his late wife’s ashes in a coffee can in his kitchen because he can’t decide what to do with them. The father and daughter re-discover their shared joys while they examine their very different perspectives on the late mom (played in flashbacks by Kim Director). They both also dip their toes back into the dating pool, with humorous but sometimes contentious results.

Where?
We shot all the indoor scenes in New York City and New Jersey. Then we hit the road with a skeleton crew and shot the actual drive that Jennifer and Dan take in the movie. We went south on Route 95, cut east over to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, then continued south to Saint Petersburg, Florida. Our camera team did an amazing job. Most of the movie was shot on an Arri Alexa, but the road trip incorporates some scenes shot with a Go Pro from a moving car.

When?
Detours takes place in the present, except for a few flashbacks to Jennifer’s childhood. We shot the movie in late summer and early fall of 2014, and it premiered at the 2016 Sunscreen Film Festival in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Introducing our movie in the city where the action hits a climax- a scene shot on a boat on Tampa Bay with help from Eckerd College’s student Search & Rescue Team- was great. I’ve worked with FilmHub to get the movie out to a range of streaming services, and that’s been a very good experience.

Why?
I love telling stories about families- the good, the bad, and the lies. My first feature was about alcoholism, mental illness, and suicide, so I wanted to look at the lighter but still very imperfect things that we all go through. Having full control of my projects is a joy, even though that comes with a (very!) tight budget.

How?
Detours is currently streaming on Tubi, The Roku Channel, Plex, and Freevee.

Watch Online for Free:

Learn more about the movie on its official website!

The Stay is an independent thriller directed by Scott Hamm. The movie focuses on two couples that “rent a secluded house for a weekend getaway, and encounter an odd caretaker while facing a dangerous secret.” We talked to producer/star Kipp Tribble about the film, you can check out our spotlight post here and you can watch for free on Tubi TV.

The Stay stars Kipp Tribble, Nija Okoro, Rob Mayes, Scott Hamm, and Michele Martin. It was produced by Tribble, Hamm, and Charles Huddleston.

Posted on September 4th, 2022 by MHD | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Entertainment

Hello everyone! We are back from our summer break with a look at a fantastic indie drama, Six Years Gone, by writer/director Warren Dudley. Dudley previously directed the indie sports comedy Prankz, and horror flicks Cage and The Cutting Room.

Who?
I am a filmmaker and screenwriter from Brighton in the UK. Six Years Gone is the fourth low budget movie I have written and directed. Another project, The Bromley Boys (with a more sensible budget!), I was very proud to have written the screenplay for. I have produced this movie with my wonderful executive producer David Fearn.

The cast and crew, led by the amazing Veronica Jean Trickettt, were largely found within a few miles of my home town. Six Years Gone has a truly low budget ethos. It’s been amazing to see the film, and Vee in particular, garnering some very kind reviews and continued festival success. The cast and crew worked so hard and I hope seeing all the love makes it feel worth it.

The film is being distributed by Indie Rights.

What?
Six Years Gone follows single mum Carrie Dawson who is living a very comfortable life with her eleven-year-old daughter Lolly… until the worst happens and Lolly does not return from school.

We then join Carrie six years later to find that her life has fallen apart. She has been left to look after her mum and now works as a cleaner at a local social club – her past life a distant memory. However as some clues come to light about the abduction, a desperate search for answers, and eventually her daughter, begins.

We aimed for Six Years Gone to be a gritty and powerful look at tragedy, love, and desperation, that will touch a nerve with all parents. Now it’s up to audiences to decide if we succeeded!

Where?
We made the film in and around Brighton, on the UK’s south coast. The film is set in the same area. We were very fortunate to find four or five amazing (and importantly, free!) locations.

We shot the movie in eleven days – not something I would recommend! This was largely made possible by the fact we used long single takes on many scenes. This means we only had to do one camera, sound and lighting set up on location for what could often end up being 4 minutes of screen time.

Saying all that, my amazing DOP Richard Osborne would, I’m sure, have liked a few more days.

When?
The film was written, produced, cast, crewed, shot and edited during 2021. I started with a blank word doc on January 1st and we’d finished by Christmas.

We then set about submitting the film to festivals, and have done better than we could have imagined. We have had wins in London (where we World Premiered), New York, Paris and many more. It’s been an incredible ride. After the festival run ended we released the film in May 2022.

Why?
I’ve spent the last ten years flitting between football-based comedy and the horror/thriller genres. It’s been a privilege to work on these projects with some brilliant, talented people. However, it’s been gnawing away at me that I have yet to make anything ‘real’. Something gritty and heartfelt that packs an emotional punch.

The idea for Six Years Gone had been floating around my head for a while. As the parent of a now thirteen-year-old daughter, news reports about missing children have always left me with chills, and I felt those feelings could be mined for a script. About two years ago I saw a Belgian film called The Unknown Girl, and it immediately made me think that a similar way of shooting could bring my new idea to life. I loved the ultra-real performances and greyness of the film. I aimed to get close to this with Six Years Gone.

How?
Six Years Gone can be seen on the streaming platforms Tubi TV, Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies and Google Play.

Watch Online for Free:

Purchase Online:

Stay up to date with all of the ways to watch on the official website.

Yesterday I asked indie filmmakers on Twitter to share their movies that are currently available to watch on Tubi TV for free! As I hoped for, we got a really diverse mix of independent films that really showcases that there is something available for everyone. Here are 5 indie flicks that you can watch tonight…

The Inevitable Death of the Crab
Director: Ahcitz Azcona
Starring: Costanza Andrade, Ahcitz Azcona, Ricardo Niño, Jesus Hernandez, and Yuriria Munguia. 
Description: An anonymous death threat to entrepreneur Carlos against his family in Mexico leads to the discovery of a high-level political corruption racket. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Wheat Soup
Directors: Gerald Saul & Brian Stockton
Starring: Shaf Hussein, Sandi Happy, Gord Wilson, Leonard Cyrman, Mike Benny, and Bob Campbell.

Description: In a post-apocalyptic future, a wheat farmer embarks upon a journey and encounters a variety of unusual characters, while traveling across the land.
 (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

Noah’s Shark
Director: Mark Polonia
Starring: Jeff Kirkendall, Tim Hatch, Jamie Morgan, Samantha Coolidge, and Ryan Dalton.
Description: A televangelist and his team set out to find the fabled Noah’s Ark, but discover it is guarded by an ancient curse and a deadly great white shark. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

The Mix
Director: Chris Mollica & Greg Townsend
Starring: Chris Mollica, Brian Silliman, and Cyrina Fiallo.
Description: Would you kidnap a man for stealing your cookies? Sal, the hapless owner of a home grown cookie company places his hopes for financial and personal success in the hands of the enigmatic Joshua Vandersteem. After the deal goes bad, Sal is forced into desperate action. Relationships are tested, feelings are hurt and ultimately blood is drawn. Can Sal redeem his misdeeds or will this be the way the cookie crumbles? (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

My Best Friend’s Famous
Directors: Kevin Ignatius
Starring: Nick Psinakis, Mindy Sterling, Ryan O’Neal, Anne Akhila, and Darryl Gudmundson.
Description: An insecure New Yorker moves to Los Angeles and grapples with jealousy when his less-talented best friend becomes a star on a hit television show. (Source: Tubi)
Click here to watch on Tubi TV

What recent indies have you watched on Tubi TV? What is your favorite platform to watch indies on?

We recently connected with indie film producer Mark Stolaroff, who also happens to be the founder of No Budget Film School. He chatted with us about his latest flick, The Last Days of Capitalism.

Who?
The Last Days of Capitalism was written and directed by Adam Mervis, the screenwriter of 21 Bridges (which was produced by the Russo Brothers and starred Chadwick Boseman), and National Champions (starring J.K. Simmons, Uzo Aduba, Timothy Olyphant, and many others). Unlike those studio films, Last Days was made on a micro-budget ($40k) and produced by long-time indie producer Mark Stolaroff (the founder of No Budget Film School) and Kenny Harrison, who was a classmate of Adam’s at Florida State University. The cast of two is comprised of veteran actor Mike Faiola (Awkward) and newcomer Sarah Harper. It was shot by AFI grad Bethany Michalski and edited by filmmaker David Au. The music was scored and collected by Alexander Burke, co-founder of the band Magnolia Memoir. This was Adam’s feature directorial debut. It was released by Indie Rights Movies. 

What?
Last Days is about a wealthy man who has been holed up high above Las Vegas in a penthouse hotel room for nearly a month, clearly suffering from some unnamed trauma. His night with a mysterious young woman turns into several nights, as he discovers that she is more than a match for him intellectually. She, too, is intrigued and while she initially stays because he is paying her, the two begin a complex relationship that could turn into something more than just lustful desire. But both have secrets, and getting to the bottom of those—without the inevitability of money getting in the way—will be a challenge. Despite the title, Last Days is NOT a political film. 

Where?
Last Days was shot in 10 days in Las Vegas, entirely in a penthouse hotel room high above the city. We had no permits to shoot in the room, and somehow managed to sneak all our equipment up the elevator without anyone asking any questions. I mean, it’s Vegas, and a lot of crazy stuff happens there, so I don’t think anyone cared. The cast and crew drove up from Los Angeles, where everyone is based. We loaded Adam’s brother’s Suburban up with gear and caravanned to Vegas. 

When?
The film is set in the present and was shot in September 2019. It was completed in March 2020 and premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival, right before COVID shut everything down. It ended up playing a number of film festivals—virtually—winning several awards. It was released by Indie Rights Movies in November 2021. It is currently 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Why?
Director Adam Mervis got what he likes to call “The Typical Hollywood Screenwriter Treatment” on 21 Bridges, where the writer (and original creator) of the film has no control over the project. He wanted to make something that was entirely his own, so he adapted a play he’d written for the screen, something that could be made on a small enough budget that he wouldn’t get stopped from making it. 

How?
The Last Days of Capitalism can currently be seen on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and YouTube.  

Watch Online:

Purchase Links:

Official Sites:

Friend of My Hollywood Dream, writer, mental heath advocate, and independent filmmaker David Creighton is working on a new short animated film with a very deep and meaningful message and is looking for help via Kickstarter to get the film seen.

Summer Turns to Fall is a very personal animated film dedicated to suicide prevention. Based on a poem originally published in Creighton’s anthology Mania, Mirth, Melancholy, the film “weaves a story of heartache, captured with haunting sound and animation. Its stark black and white animation shows the heartache of the survivor, while the narrator’s monologue captures the lasting pain he lives with.”

Why did I donate? And why should you consider donating? I’ve known David for a long time, you may remember his weekly wrestling recaps, or his views on movies. He is one heck of a writer, and has used his disability, and his mental health struggles to not only become stronger, but to be an advocate for others and to use his stories, and more recently short movies, to express express these struggles.

I’ll also let David tell you in his own words why you should consider donating; “Like many, I have lost too many friends to suicide. I have been suicidal during my own life. I know how hard it is. I know deeply depressed people think the world will be better off without them. I hope this short film can shine some light on the pain suicide leaves behind. If this film can change one person’s mind, it will be more than worth making, crowdfunding or no.”

The short film itself is almost complete, but getting it seen can be a difficult uphill battle. Per the Kickstarter page, funds raised from the campaign will go towards film festival entry fees and associated costs. A few good festivals could get the message of the movie out far and wide. To make a donation towards Summer Turns to Fall, head over here.

In the past couple months there has been an extraordinary boom of independent films available to watch on YouTube for free. These flicks are AVOD (ad supported video on demand), so the filmmakers are still getting paid- please do not watch or support bootlegs! Here are 5 indie films that are available to watch right now on YouTube.

Evil at the Door
Director: Kipp Tribble
Starring: Andrea Sweeney Blanco, Bruce Davison, Sunny Doench, Robert Felsted Jr, Scot Hamm, and John James.
Description: One night every year, there is a drastic rise in violent home invasions. This is no coincidence. (Source: Terror Films)
Click here to watch on YouTube

Killer Concept
Director: Glenn Payne
Starring: Cody Bishop, Coley Bryant, Casey Dillard, Caleb Hall, and Maddie Ludt.
Description: Three creatives team up to write a screenplay chronicling a string of murders in their town, but one of the three may be closer to the story than the others realize. (Source: V Movies)
Click here to watch on YouTube

The Misguided
Director: Shannon Alexander
Starring: Katherine Langford, Caleb Galati, Steven J. Mihaljevich, and Jasmine Nibali.
Description: After planning to leave the city with his girlfriend, a young man must first betray her in order to save his brother from a deadly situation. (Source: Indie Rights Movies)
Click here to watch on YouTube

The Eve
Director: Ritchie Filippi
Starring: María DiDomenico, Al Thompson, Evan Bass, Miranda Noelle Wilson, and Rick Estabrook.
Description: Friends head off to the remote island of Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate New Year’s Eve and reconnect. As tensions rise, an unforeseen presence halts celebrations and instead turns their holiday into a fight to live through to the new year. (Source: MYT Horror)
Click here to watch on YouTube

Trap
Director: J Horton
Starring: Allen Perada, Alonzo F Jones, and Ashton Blanchard.
Description: A brutal abduction goes from bad to worse when one of the kidnappers falls in love with the victim. (Source: J Horton)
Click here to watch on YouTube

What movies are you watching on YouTube? Leave us a comment to let us know!

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