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The 8th annual Big Apple Film Festival kicked off on November 1 in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood. The six day event will showcase nearly 200 independent films from up and coming filmmakers and star both new and well recognized actors. The Big Apple Film Festival celebrates the art of filmmaking, hosted at TriBeCa Cinemas.
At opening night of the film festival on Tuesday November 1, TriBeCa Cinemas showcased short films as well as full length feature films. The Fields was a popular choice for movie goers. Set in rural Pennsylvania, The Fields is based on a 1970’s true story of how a young boy and his grandparents were terrorized by a mysterious being in their backyard cornfield.
Directed by Tom Mattera and Dave Mazzoni, this psychological thriller showcased famous actresses such as Tara Reid and Academy Award Winner Cloris Leachman. The blond, curly haired young boy, Steven, was played by a promising young actor named Joshua Ormond.
Steven’s parents have an abusive relationship and is sent to live with his grandparents while his mother and father sort out their relationship. Steven is continuously interested in the cornfields, often times exploring its mysteries, even against the wishes of his grandparents. With his debut in a feature film, Ormand stole the show with his realistic depiction of a curious and often frightened boy.
The Fields incorporated elements of the real life horror events that occurred surrounding Charles Manson. Characters in the film were seen watching the brutal case on television, while an eerily similar farmhand named Eugene portrayed a deranged man similar to that of Manson.
Striking similarities to the Manson case were also seen through a group of female hippies who were squatters within the cornfield. Their peculiar behavior was reminiscent of the famous girls that followed all of Manson’s orders. After a series of terrorizing nights at the farm, the horror comes to an end with Eugene’s suicide.
There was buzz in the movie theater that American Pie actress Tara Reid would be appearing at the premiere of The Fields, but in the end was not able to attend. Many cast members of the film were in attendance and held a small question and answer session at the end of the movie.
Actor and producer Faust Checho, who played Steven’s father, stood as the main speaker on behalf of the cast. He spoke of the inspirational true story and how it was imperative to get Cloris Leachman to sign on as the role of Gladys, Steven’s no nonsense, foul mouthed grandmother.
Leachman was one of the highlights of the movie and often served as comic relief for an otherwise serious film. “She had us cracking up every time,” Checho said about co-star Leachman. “Everyday we were laughing.” Leachman was 85 years old at the time of filming and spent 12 days on set to film her scenes.
Joshua Ormond spoke briefly of his experience working on his first feature film. Still a young star new to the fame, Ormand was happy to be part of the film. “It was definitely like a roller coaster.” He also had a lot to stay about working with Leachman. “Cloris was fun to work with, she was a very good actress. It was great meeting such a great actress.”
Plans for the future of The Fields is currently up in the air, but Checho explained that they would most likely go forward with a VOD deal or self distribution by January 2012.