Cinequest 2016 Red Carpet Highlights & Interviews – Watch Actors and Filmmakers Tell You About Their Movies at the 26th Annual Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA.
Tickets are still available for many showings and the Closing Night Party on Sunday, March 13, 2016. Check out over a dozen interviews on the red carpet below.
“Friends Effing Friends Effing Friends” – Interview with Graham Skipper, Vanessa DuBasso, Jillian Leigh, Quincy Rose, Christina Gooding, Tyler Dawson
What is L.A.’s trump card for finding love? Screw your friends.
In a city where getting laid is as easy as dialing Uber and most twenty-somethings are dating themselves, four friends blur the line between friendship and sex to explore the “high” of recklessly bedding one another. Selfish Jacob physically explores his feelings toward two beautiful girls while his “friend” Steve tells the world what Jacob is up to. Steve’s big mouth just digs the hole deeper in his relationship with Laura, who considers Jacob a close friend—but she doesn’t approve of his extracurricular activities. Friends Effing Friends Effing Friends is a fun, hilarious look at a friends-with-benefits relationship…and the benefit of having friends. – Jane Henning
“The Great Sasuke” – Interview with Mikiko Sasaki – Cinequest 2016
He’ll keep fighting with all of his heart.
As with any professional athlete, there comes a time when glory fades. The body can’t keep up. Newer and younger pros take the stage. But Japanese wrestler The Great Sasuke refuses defeat. Despite his failing health and a dwindling audience, he’ll do everything in his power to continue the dream. After all, wrestling is his “tenshoku,” a lifework assigned by God. Wrestling and fame have gotten him far, even won him a seat as an assembly legislator in his hometown, and he can’t give up now just because the going is getting a little tough. Through sweat and determination, he’ll inspire a nation—and he’ll do it all with his mask on. The Great Sasuke is a compelling story of victory and the will to keep fighting…in any of life’s arenas. – Cassia Homann
“My Feral Heart” – Interview with Jane Gull, Steven Brandon, Pixie Le Knot & James Rumsey – Cinequest 2016
The only difference between you and others is the size of your heart.
It’s not exactly prison, but the care home might as well be—and Luke wants out. A young man with Down’s syndrome, he’s too independent to waste his time chatting with drab housemates and following strict rules, so he breaks them, sneaks out, and discovers a life-changing friendship. Director Jane Gull delicately captures the innocence of youth mixed with a bit of fantasy. The result is a heartwarming and captivating story that asks the question: how much of what we do is based on the limits we put on ourselves? – Alexandra Avila
“Temps” – Interview with Grant Rosenmeyer, Lindsey Shaw, Reid Ewing, Avital Ash, Megan Hensley – Cinequest 2016
Grant Rosenmeyer (The Royal Tenenbaums) and Lindsey Shaw (Pretty Little Liars) hilariously reveal that when life gets hard, you have to grow up.
Do you ever feel like running back to your dad’s houseboat and eating beef jerky until your life straightens out? Then Jefferson understands you. When goalless slacker Jefferson (Rosenmeyer) meets fellow temp worker and go-getter Stephanie (Shaw), he begins to fall for her. Despite her strict no-flirting policy, Stephanie and Jefferson find themselves on amorous trips to the supply closet at work on a daily basis. But soon, secret sex in the bathroom starts losing its luster, and Jefferson begins to wonder if his 7-Eleven-shopping, ramen-eating days are over. From director Ryan Sage (A Big Love Story, Cinequest 2012), Temps gives light to the impact of a quarter-life crisis and how a little prodding can give us the push we need. – Alexis Costanza
“How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town” – Interview with Jeremy LaLonde – Cinequest 2016
Sex, rivalry, and a chance for revenge…it’s all in good fun.
High school drama seeps into adult life in Jeremy LaLonde’s raunchy comedy. When “town slut” Cassie returns to wholesome Beaver’s Ridge, she comes face-to-face with the same people who ran her out of town years ago. She’ll finally have her chance for revenge when her high school nemesis decides to plan a town orgy. Who better to organize it than sex-writer Cassie? Determined to have the last laugh, Cassie ensures thoroughly embarrassing and gut-busting activities for the big night—perfect material for her next book. This clever mash-up of sex, laughs, and lessons learned is a must-see. – Alexandra Avila
“Josephine Doe” – Interview with Ryan Michael & Erin Cipolletti – Cinequest 2016
“We’re all mad.”
Claire tells the police officer, “It was all Jo’s idea.” But who’s Jo? Jo is the bright spark in Claire’s recently darkened reality; a new friend in an otherwise isolated world. The two young women hit the town to let off some steam-and find themselves in trouble with local law enforcement. In the blink of an eye, Claire discovers that Jo is not what she seems-not at all-and her easy friendship with the lighthearted, young woman splits open to reveal the truth. Luminously shot in black and white, Josephine Doe is a raw exploration of family trauma and mental health that shows the thin line between our realities. – Pia Chamberlain
“The Other Kids” – Interview with Chris Brown – Cinequest 2016
It’s up to them to find a way to save themselves—and one another.
Director Chris Brown creates a bold hybrid of fiction and non-fiction in which he collaborates with real high school seniors to tell their personal stories. The result is a phenomenal portrait of six teens on the threshold of adulthood and how each is dealing with his or her impending future. Each struggles with the harsh realities of being different in the all-too-real world of life—where “fair play” is only fair if you are one of the privileged few. For our outsiders, navigating one’s life takes more than a little mettle, and they must learn that a life worth living, fired in the kiln of one’s heart, is far better than any lucky strike. – Jane Henning
“The Promised Band” – Interview with Jen Heck, Ian Reinhard & Lina Qadri – Cinequest 2016
They needed an excuse to cross the border—so they created a rock band.
This band isn’t about music—they’re not even that good. It’s about breaking down walls and crossing boundaries. It’s about Israeli and Palestinian women determined to end apartheid in a region consumed by tension and hatred. They’re willing to risk their lives to repeatedly—and often illegally—cross the Israeli border for the sake of friendship and peace. Guided by an ambitious TV producer and a rabbi who wants to be a rock star, their music will unite hearts and join hands. Together, they’ll make a difference in the spirit of song. – Cassia Homann
“Dependent’s Day” – Interview with Michael David Lynch & Lisa Ann Walter – Cinequest 2016
Cam can cook bacon, but he can’t seem to bring any home.
A comedy about measuring up, Dependent’s Day stands tall in portraying the millennial midlife crisis. An aspiring actor and part-time babysitter, Cam feels the pressure to provide from everyone around him: his successful fashion designer girlfriend, her friends, her parents, even his own friends. Can Cam be independent? That’s the question. His lazy attempts at finding a job are his stabs at an answer. Though we all aspire for instant success and independence, it takes more than high hopes. Sometimes you need a little nudge. – Jade Estrada
“Love Is All You Need?” – Interview with K. Rocco Shields, Blake Cooper Griffin, Ava Allan,
Katherine LaNasa, Jacob Rodier, & Mike C. Manning, Briana Evigan
“How would YOU live if you couldn’t love?”
In many eyes, homosexuality is still viewed as a mortal sin. But, what if heterosexual couples were the ones fighting for their right to love? What if the tables were turned? Writer-director K. Rocco Shields does just that, asserting that love, no matter how expressed, remains the ultimate answer to healing and truth. Based on the viral short film of the same name, Shields’ powerful story explores what happens when a small town’s star quarterback is outed for being “hetero”—a discovery that ignites fire in the residents and begins this tale of intolerance, bullying, prejudices…yet is ultimately about our human right to love whomever we want. – Kadie Sutherland
“Buddy Solitaire” – Interview with Brandon J. Sornberger, Dominique Razon, Matt Steele, P.J. Ochlan, Shaun Clay, Kuang Lee, Leann Lei
A lesson in life and comedy.
Struggling standup comedian Buddy Solitaire has a new audience. Hypochondriacs, nervous wrecks, and bipolar adults fill the seats—and Buddy is their teacher. It’s a tough crowd from the get go, and no one believes Buddy is the right man for the job. As one man puts it, “I’ve seen suicide bombers that are funnier than you.” But, maybe this is Buddy’s chance to discover who he really is…that is, if he doesn’t succumb to his own anxieties first. Director Kuang Lee’s Buddy Solitaire is heartfelt, funny, and resonant—all while offering a poignant observation on the healing power of laughter. – Cassia Homann
“ToY” – Interview with Kerry Norton, Briana Evigan & Patrick Chapman- Cinequest 2016
Be thankful for scars; it means you lived through it.
Layered with emotional resonance and featuring incredible lead performances by Briana Evigan and Kerry Norton, ToY beautifully captures the story of two lost souls finding love and each other. Chloe (Evigan) inherited her late mother’s wealth, as well as the demons she desperately tries to keep hidden. Her newest work leads her to Kat (Norton), a beautiful but aging call girl who doesn’t have a clue how to navigate her future. They seemingly find one another at a time when they need to connect most. But, can they save each other before their pasts destroy them? Director Patrick Chapman weaves a powerful tale of unrealized dreams, the disappointment of failure, and coming to terms with the desires of our hearts… – Michael Rabehl
“Heaven’s Floor” – Interview with Lori Stoll, Justin Ford & Chase Brosamle – Cinequest 2016
One woman’s rescue changes her life, and the life of her savior…but which one needs the most saving?
Our most flippant choices sometimes have the largest impact. What begins as a spur-of-the-moment adventure in the Canadian Arctic turns into sudden disaster, forcing young photographer Julia to abandon all hope. Just when Julia believes all is lost, along comes Malaya, an eleven-year-old girl who takes Julia back to her Inuit community. There the situation flips, and it’s Julie’s turn to do the rescuing. She sees Malaya’s troubled childhood as a mirror of her own and refuses to stand by and do nothing. Starring Clea DuVall (Argo, American Horror Story) and newcomer Katie May Dunford, whose dynamic chemistry is palpable, director Lori Stoll’s Heaven’s Floor reveals the profound effect two people can have on each other and the beauty of finding a savior when you need one most. – Cassia Homann
“Lost Solace” – Interview with Chris Scheuerman & Charlie Kerr – Cinequest 2016
A maddeningly “trippy” ride down the rabbit hole when a psychopath feels for the first time
Spence Cutler is a psychopath. He’s never felt emotions, even empathy and guilt. However, a fateful encounter with a new drug is about to give him a dose of too much reality, and he takes a mind-bending trip down the psychedelic highway of consciousness to come face to face with his own morality and his own twisted soul. But, will Spence like the “new him” or not? A fast-paced thriller, brilliantly directed by Chris Scheuerman, who co-wrote with lead actor Andrew Jenkins (Once Upon a Time),Lost Solace asks the question: sometimes, do our wrong choices lead us to the right places? – Jane Henning
“A Beginners Guide To Snuff” – Interview with Mitch Altieri & Luke Edwards – Cinequest 2016
Sometimes filmmaking is murder…literally.
Mitchell Altieri (The Hamiltons, Cinequest 2006) channels the filmmakers of the ’70s and ’80s in this homage to splatter exploitation films. Two brothers, desperate to break into the world of television and film, decide to enter a horror movie contest. And what could be more horrifying than the elusive snuff film? Of course, they won’t actually kill someone on camera—all they’re going to do is kidnap an actress, torture her, and make her think she’s going to die. What could possibly go wrong? Charming, witty, and chilling, A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff is sure to entertain lovers of black comedy and horror alike. – Amelia Masters
“I Love You Both” – Interview with Kristin Archibald & Doug Archibald at Cinequest 2016
Krystal and her twin brother confront 28 years of codependency when they start dating the same guy.
Twins, Krystal and Donny, have been codependent their entire lives, still living together in their late twenties in a converted one bedroom house. When they both meet and start dating the same guy, they remain in denial about the fact that they’re both dating him until he picks only one of them, forcing them to confront that they can no longer live the same life. With nowhere to turn for advice except each other and their only two friends-Linda, a former middle-school Tae Bo teacher, and their mother-the twins are finally forced to look for answers from within.
“The Phoenix Incident” – Interview with Keith Arem – Cinequest 2016
Four men go missing after the largest UFO sighting in US history.
Missing persons—or military cover-up? Few know what really happened to the victims of the strange events in Phoenix, Arizona—until now. One moment it’s a quiet, peaceful night. Then strange lights appear in the sky, heralding something ominous, something wrong. But the mind doesn’t want to believe it. Maybe it’s military. Maybe it’s the government. An exhale of relief as rationalization replaces fear. That’s when they strike. Terrifying, vicious, alien, these extraterrestrials wreak havoc…and it’s all caught on camera. Director Keith Arem, a leading producer in the game industry, cleverly blurs the line between fact and fiction in a suspenseful tale of invaders from another world. – Jade Estrada