Thanks to Charles Judson for alerting me to this project.
It's a feature-length film titled Noah from Waltham, Massachusetts-based Identical Films, a production company founded by Anthony and James Deveney, and co-producer Andrew Johnson.
The film is set in an alternate present-day America in which slavery was never abolished. The story follows an escaped slave named Noah, as he tries to flee the country and reach a rumored freedom refuge in Canada.
Needless to say the idea immediately intrigued me, and so I emailed the filmmakers (Anthony is listed as director) for further details about the project, and here's what I was told:
First, post-production was completed just last week, so the film is done.
Second, a private screening of it was held on January 5th for cast, close friends and family.
They are submitting it to as many film festivals as they can, though no word on where it's been accepted yet (I'm sure we'll find out as the year progresses; it's still early, and they only just wrapped).
It's a drama/thriller.
Their inspiration for the film came from their desire to make a film about slavery, but given how expensive a period piece would be (they work with low budgets, and shoot guerilla-style), they instead chose to set the story in the present-day, sine it would be cheaper to make.
"We wanted the film to be seen as a parallel of our world in which discrimination is still so common. Also, this was a chance to show the horrors of our country's history. Most important to us, was crafting a story that would stay with a viewer after leaving the theater," Anthony added.
This is their very first feature film, which was shot from July through to August of 2011, digitally with the Canon 5D camera, and edited on a Macbook Pro.
They financed it mostly themselves with donations from friends and family.
The cast comprised of more than 50 actors; the lead actor is Andy Jasmin, an MA native, currently living in LA pursuing acting.
That's about it! But that should be enough… for now anyway.
As already noted, the film is headed to film festivals first, but we'll have to wait and see where it'll be accepted; and as I learn of its travels, I'll share here.
I'm certainly curious; I'm not really sure what to expect, but the subject matter is intriguing, and inline with many discussions we've had on S&A about taking chances with storytelling.
We lament what seems like a revived interest in so-called slavery-themed movies & TV shows by Hollywood, and here's one that takes a different approach to that particular narrative; so let's see how this goes…
In the meantime, check out the teaser trailer below for a look at what you can expect from Noah (full poster underneath):