Sorting through the list of features scheduled to screen at the upcoming 19th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, which is set to run from September 23-27, 2015…
Lanre Olabisi’s second feature film, titled “Somewhere in the Middle” (his debut was 2007’s “August The First,” also highlighted on this blog – on the old S&A site- which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, and was nominated for a Gotham Award that year), is described as follows: “Four lovers collide into each others’ lives as one marriage morphs into several intertwining affairs. Sofia tries to leave her romantic failures behind by embarking on a new relationship with Kofi, who she meets in a chance encounter. Kofi, however, has other things on his mind; namely his crumbling marriage to his wife, Billie. Unfortunately for him, Billie finds herself struggling with a new-found attraction for her female co-worker, Alex. Secrets and lies surface as lovers change hearts, and layer after layer of a love quadrangle slowly peels away. Moments that seemed true are revisited, turning them upside down and revealing that when stories intersect, the truth lies somewhere in the middle; orbited by four characters learning to cope with the ripple effects of love, obsession, sexuality and ultimately self-discovery. SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE was born out of a year long improvisational process in which the actors and director mutually crafted an ensemble drama. Structured like a jigsaw puzzle, no character fully grasps their current dilemma as interwoven stories are retold from varying viewpoints.”
As noted above, the film is based on improv work by and with the New York Independent Film Collective, a multicultural consortium of both emerging and seasoned professional artists – filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and producers – dedicated to the task of creating at least one new film per year. As the collective states Films produced under the banner “will be built through a collaborative, improvisational process between actors and writer or the writer/director, which is essentially the process via which ‘Somewhere In The Middle’ was made.”
Think of a filmmaker like Mike Leigh who is known for his lengthy improvisation and rehearsal techniques with actors, who contribute to the building of the characters they play, as well to the overall narratives for his films.
“Somewhere in the Middle” stars Cassandra Freeman, Charles Miller, Louisa Ward, Marisol Miranda, D. Rubin Green, and Aristotle Stamat.
Watch the film’s first trailer below: