Around The Town

Soho International Film Festival

The SOHO International Film Festival opened on May 15th and will run through May 22nd and is celebrating their five year anniversary. The festival draws audiences to New York City, known for its artistic community and cultural sophistication. Full-length features, short films and documentaries are submitted from around the world from professionals and amateurs and the local community embraces the filmmakers, journalists and movie goers with open arms each year.


The SOHO International Film Festival opened on May 15th and will run through May 22nd and is celebrating their five year anniversary. The festival draws audiences to New York City, known for its artistic community and cultural sophistication. Full-length features, short films and documentaries are submitted from around the world from professionals and amateurs and the local community embraces the filmmakers, journalists and movie goers with open arms each year.


Opening night kicked off with the film "In Lieu of Flowers", written and directed by William Savage and stars Josh Pence (The Dark Knight Rises, Battleship, The Social Network), Spencer Grammer (Ironside, Greek, As The World Turns) and Nate Corddry (Mom, The Heat, TRON: Uprising). This is the New York premiere. Most love stories are about losing love or finding it; this is a story about what happens in between. After the screening there was a Q & A with the cast and crew.

The opening night film was preceded by a twelve minute short "Good Sister", written by Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Umakanth Thumrugoti. The short is a comedy/thriller that was directed by Umakanth Thumrugoti and stars Jessica Hecht (Breaking Bad, Sideways, Friends) and Grant Shaud (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Oliver Beene, Murphy Brown). The synopsis is that Helene is taking care of mother-even if it kills her.

There was a special screening of "The Historian" (US) directed and written by Miles Doleac and stars William Sadler (Hawaii Five-O, Homeland, Damages), Miles Doleac (Sleepy Hollow, Miami Magma), Colin Cunningham (Falling Skies, Flashpoint), John Cullum(The Middle, Law and Order SVU, Mad Men), Glynnis O’Connor(Law and Order, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble), Jillian Taylor, Leticia Jimenez, Tamarah Murley, Michael Emery, Vickie Hall and Lindsay Anne Williams.

"Down River" is the emotionally stirring story of three young women teetering on the edge between creative breakthroughs and personal breakdowns, and their connection with the older woman they rely on for guidance, support and inspiration. Inspired by Ben Ratner’s long-time comradeship with actress Babz Chula who passed away in 2010, this is a film about mentorship, friendship, living life to the fullest, and ultimately letting go.

It stars three Gemini award-winning actors Helen Shaver (The Color of Money, Poltergeist, The 4400), Gabrielle Miller (The Listener, Call Me Fitz, Corner Gas) and Colleen Rennison (Da Vinci’s City Hall, Poltergeist: The Legacy TV series, The Story of Us) as well as Ratner’s real-life wife, Leo award-nominated actor Jennifer Spence (Continuum, The Core, SGU Stargate Universe, The 4400) . Other actors joining this first-rate cast include Jay Brazeau, Ali Liebert, Brian Markinson and Teach Grant.

"Down River" is written and directed by multiple award-winning writer/director Ben Ratner (Moving Malcolm) and produced by James Brown. Executive Producer is Jack Ong. Husband and wife team: writer/director Ben Ratner and co-lead actor/associate producer Jennifer Spence will be present for a Q & A following the 6 pm screening of "Down River" on May 16th at Village East Cinemas.

"Growing Up & Other Lies" (US) is directed and written by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs and stars Adam Brody (The O.C., Mr. & Mrs. Smith, House of Lies), Wyatt Cenac (King of the Hill, DS with Jon Stewart), Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men, Django Unchained, 127 Hours), Danny Jacobs (Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation, Humboldt County) and Josh Lawson (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, House of Lies) After living for ten years as a struggling artist in New York City, Jake is calling it quits. But before he moves home to Ohio, he recruits his three oldest friends to help him retrace their greatest adventure: walking the entire, 260-block length of the island of Manhattan in one day. Following the screening, there will be a Q & A with cast and crew.

"KAYAN AHLA" (Myanmar) (US Premiere) directed by Aung Ko Latt and written by Hector Carosso and Aung Ko Latt (story). Starring Francis, Hin Mai and Khin Mar Win. Three women and a girl from a remote Kayan village in Myanmar go to a distant city to sell their crafts. In the city, the girl is kidnapped by human traffickers. Out of their element, the Kayan women are determined to find the girl.

Cinefugitivo’s award winning Indie feature "Tiger Lily Road" will make its New York premiere on Saturday, May 17th. Writer/director, Michael Medeiros pursued this female driven dark comedy in light of the large, under-served market for women’s stories on the screen. "The women are right here," says Medeiros, in response to Linda Holmes benchmark article, "At The Movies The Women Are Gone". (NPR – Monkey See June 14, 2013). "If the studios aren’t green lighting these films then it’s up to us and maybe that’s a good thing."

The film contrasts two women who deal in opposite ways in their relationships with men. "Tiger Lily Road" is a modern fairytale, a dark comedy about the relationship dilemmas of best friends, Annie and Louise who are about to step through the looking glass into middle-age. Annie and Louise share a secluded cottage in the woods with Annie’s semi-invalid mother. Annie, a small town vet is also a compulsive empathizer, according to Louise. That’s why the casualty rat on her relationships has been so high. But Louise, the "class slut", hasn’t done any better. After a demeaning encounter with Annie’s old boyfriend, Annie and Louise drink tequila and swear a blood oath to give up men for a year. Later that night, as heavy snow begins to fall, a young man breaks into their house trying to escape the snowstorm and the law. Then the phones go out. Annie is convinced she can help him understand the forces that rule his life. But can she understand her own?

Tom Pelphrey (two time Emmy Winner for Guiding Light, Junction, Excuse Me For Living) sparks the screen with NY stage talents, Ilvi Dulack (Brilliant Mistakes, Solomon’s Child) and Karen Chamberlain (Inside Amy Schumer, Coffee & Pie, Billie) giving them more than ample challenge in this un-romantic, modern fairytale. Golden Globe nominee, Tom Nardini (Cat Ballou, The Devil’s 8, T.J. Hooker), NY theater legend, Rita Gardner (P.S. I Love You, the original girl in The Fantastiks), and veteran, William Hill round out the main cast. There will be a post-screening Q&A with the director and cast.

"Ink & Steel" (US) makes its World Premiere directed by Jonathan Ehlers and Patrick Ward-Perkins and written by Jonathan Ehlers, Jason Radspinner and Patrick Ward-Perkins. It stars Richard Fiske, Molly Ryman, Jack Millard and Tyler Noble.

The New York Premiere of "Night Has Settled" (US) is written and directed by Steve Clark (The Last International Playboy). This coming of age film takes a thirteen year old Oliver Nicholas, played by Spencer List (Bringing Up Bobby, Bereavement), ready to dive into what most boys rite of passage first experiences, when he finds himself traumatized by the stroke of his housekeeper who has been the only true maternal figure he has known. He struggles to maintain his role as "man of the house" living in a house of women with their own emotional baggage. His friends are there for him with their own unique situations as Oliver experiences first love, betrayal, drunkenness, virginity and hoping to survive this uniquely New York baptism by fire.
Other cast members include Pilar Lopez de Ayala (Mad Love, Sidewalls) and Adriana Barrasa (Thor, Academy Award Nominee for Babel) After the screening there will be a Q & A with the cast and crew.

The New York Premiere of "The Algerian" (Algeria/US) is directed by Giovanni Zelko, written by Giovanni Zelko (Screenplay/Story) and Ben Youcef (Story) and stars Ben Youcef (Homeland Security, Munich), Candice Coke (Touch, Bones, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor) and Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, 24, Ray, The Matrix Revolutions, The Black List). Josh Pence is also in this movie. The Algerian is an international political thriller about the colliding worlds of the Middle East and America. It follows Ali (Ben Youcef), a Muslim sleeper cell from Algeria who is part of a plot to harm America. Hiding in Los Angeles as a university student, his life spins out of control as he becomes involved with the very people he was sent to destroy. The film races across the globe from Algeria to New York, to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, culminating in a surprise ending that will have audiences buzzing.

The World Premiere of "A New York Love Story" (US) is written and directed by Apolla Echino and stars Richard Short, Apolla Echino, Siobhan Flynn, Courtney Reed and Miguel Pinzon. A beautiful dancer living in New York City, Delphine has just ended a long-term monogamous relationship and is interested in keeping her options open for a while. Despite her best intentions to keep things light, Delphine falls hard for THE PAINTER, whose lies she believes again and again…

The New York Premiere of "Perfect 46" (US) is written and directed by Brett Ryan Bonowicz and stars Whit Hertford, James Kyson and Don McManus. A geneticist creates a website that pairs an individual with their ideal genetic partner for children.

"In Vino Veritas" (US) is directed by Sarah Knight, written by David MacGregor and stars Carrie Preston, Bernard White, Brian Hutchinson and Heather Raffo. This comedy takes its title from the Latin proverb, which literally translated: "in wine, the truth," suggests that people reveal their truest feelings under the influence of alcohol.

The US Premiere of "Kaptn Oskar" (Germany) is written and directed by Tom Lass and stars Amelie Kiefer, Tom Lass and Martina Schone-Radunski. The turbulent relationship between Oskar and Alex ends with his flat burned to the ground. Masha might be the right girl for him, if it wasn’t for their no sex deal. When Alex continues to terrorize them, a sunken boat begins to rise…

The New York Premiere of "La Redempcio dels Peixos" (Italy) is written and directed by Jordi Torrent and stars Miguel Quer, Lluis Soler and Manuella Massimi. A trip to Venice is the dream of thousands but for Marc, his journey is no vacation. Instead, his quest is to meet the father he never knew, a rite of passage for a young man seeking to make sense of his own life story. In the process he discovers his father’s murky past as he enters into the age-old labyrinth of Venice: with its temptations and its delusions, its beauties and its deceits… What will he bring away?

The New York Premiere of "15 North" (US) is written and directed by Aaron Fradkin and stars Ben Faigus, Alex Schemmer, Peter Paull, Michelle Page, Nikki Breanne Wells and K. Harrison Sweeney. Ben, a 25 year-old with anxiety and OCD, still living with his Mom, is forced to embark on a road trip with his only friend Richardson, an unambitious model. They are asked to drive to Salt Lake City to help Ben’s angry great uncle move out of a retirement community and into his own home. In this take on modern young adulthood, we follow Ben and Richardson over the course of their enlightening three day road-trip that results in a series of fascinating encounters and the sort of banter that only occurs between two mismatched friends.

The New York Premiere of "Coffee, Kill Boss" (US) is directed by Nathan Marshall, written by Sigurd Ueland and stars Eddie Jemison, Noureen DeWulf and Peter Breitmayer. When ten executives secretly meet to sell off their company, they’re murdered one by one in this darkly comedic romp through the halls of corporate America.

The venue this year is being held be at Village East Cinema, 189 2nd Avenue (12th Street), New York. The Opening Night films was screened in Auditorium 1and starts promptly at 5:30 PM.

Festival passes and tickets are now available for purchase by visiting Please visit the website to view additional films and programming.

Some of the celebrity guests that are slated to appear during the festival are Spencer Grammer, Josh Pence, Bonnie Swencionis, Tom Bloom, Jay Russell, Andrea Barnes, Sondra James, Brian Avers, William Savage, Jessica Hecht, Grant Shaud, Sean Young, Adam Brody, Tom Pelphrey, Karen Chamberlain, Ilvi Dulack, Rita Gardner, Tom Nardini and possibly Sarah Shaefer ,Candice Coke, Harry Lennix (The Blacklist, Man of Steel, 24, ER, The Client), Courtney Reed (Jasmine in Aladdin on Broadway, Submissions) and Bradley Stryker (SGU Stargate Universe, Smallville, The O.C.). A tip sheet is to follow.

The SOHO International Film Festival was founded by Jorge Ballos in 2010. The festival receives submissions from around the world from countries such as Canada, Germany, Philippines, UK, Thailand, Australia, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Israel, Turkey, Colombia, Spain, Italy, France, Japan, Bangladesh, Ireland, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Korea, Brazil and of course, the United States. Greece, Algeria, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and Mayanmar join the group this year. This rapidly growing film festival is attended by thousands of local and international patrons and filmmakers. The screening and judging committee is headed by Carlos Santiago.

This year celebrates their fifth edition with the launch of their new branding, along with a SOHO Featurette to officially open the Festival. This project is spearheaded by Todd Bellanca as Creative Director and produced by Sibyl Santiago with Sitting Cat Productions in partnership with Handlheld Films, Brooklyn Fire Proof Stages, Hit & Run Productions and dpost. Other partners include mongomedia, priv, Pvblic, Domaines Barons de Rothchild’s Los Vascos Wines, with after parties organized by NiteTables.

"We are excited to celebrate our fifth year with an amazing lineup and we look forward to share this with the audience as the festival steadily grows every year. We boast a large selection of women and young filmmakers compared to other film festivals", states Sibyl Santiago, Executive Director and Head of Programming for the festival. "We are very proud of the program and the hard work of our very dedicated screening committee".

Festival passes and tickets are now available for purchase by visiting Please visit the website to view additional films and programming.