Category: Gravitas Ventures
Five small-town school friends celebrate Halloween with an overnight adventure into the legendary “haunted” Jarvis Mine. Local legend tells of the angry spirits that have occupied the mine since a family was murdered for still mysterious reasons exactly 100 years ago. But that doesn’t stop these young adrenaline junkies from exploring the unknown – and bringing mini-cameras to capture their every move.
Yet once deep into the mine their best-laid Halloween plans go awry, leaving the adventurers trapped without escape. Are their misfortunes purely accidental or is the legend true and something more lurks in the darkness? Nothing is what it truly seems as the past and present collide in this psychological thriller written and directed by Jeff Chamberlain and starring Alexa Vega (Spy Kids, Machete Kills), Reiley McClendon, Saige Thompson, Adam Hendershott, Charan Probhakar, Cody Walker, and Valerie C. Walker.
Abandoned Mine is a 2013 horror film written and directed by Jeff Chamberlain. The film was originally titled The Mine, before the title was changed to Abandoned Mine. Filming occurred in Utah and California. The first clips from the film were revealed on August 7, 2013.
The first poster was revealed on June 18, 2013. The film distributed by Gravitas Entertainment. The trailer was released on June 17, 2013, along with information about the release date. The film will have a simultaneous theatrical and video on demand release. It will be released theatrically in fifteen cities.
Directed by: Jeff Chamberlain
Starring: Alexa Vega, Reiley McClendon, Saige Thompson, Charan Prabhakar, Adam Hendershott
Screenplay by: Jeff Chamberlain, Scott Woldman
Production Design by: Adam Henderson
Cinematography by: Brian Sullivan
Film Editing by: Michael R. Fox, Steve Haugen
Costume Design by: Shantell Guy-Bailey, Amy Jean Roberts
Music by: Russ Howard
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and some scary images.
Studio: Gravitas Ventures
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Apartment 1303 3D is an horror film directed by Michael Taverna. The US-Canadian co-production is the English-language remake of the Japanese film of the same name. It is an adaptation of Japanese author Kei Ôishi’s novel. The film stars Mischa Barton, Rebecca De Mornay and Julianne Michelle. The film officially went into production in Montreal in early November 2011. The film was released theatrically in Russia on December 6, 2012. In the United States, the film will be released on the VOD platform on June 17, 2013 followed by a theatrical release on July 25, 2013.
Following a family dispute, Janet moves out of the home she shares with her older sister, Lara and their single mother, Maddie. She moves into apartment 1303 on the thirteenth floor of a downtown Detroit apartment building. A nine year old neighbor, Emily, explains to Janet that a previous occupant of her new apartment killed herself. Strange things begin to occur in the apartment and when Janet appears bruised at work, she rebuffs concerns that her boyfriend, Mark, is abusing her and blames the marks on sleepwalking.
Janet is shaken by the strange events that are happening preferring to stay late at the office rather than return to apartment 1303. She calls her sister, Lara, to ask if she can return home but Lara informs her this would be a bad idea as their mother is having another “drunk psycho rant”. Janet suggests going to a hotel but this is quickly dismissed as Lara is not able to pay for it.
Janet then calls Mark who is back in town and he agrees to call round. Later that night, Janet is awoken by supernatural elements in the apartment but unfortunately Mark is no longer around. A supernatural force takes hold of Janet’s body leading to her suicide. Her sister, Lara, later arrives to gather Janet’s belongings and begins to experience the same terrors.
A detective that was on the case talks to Lara and she believes Janet was murdered. He agrees since he’s been investigating unknown suicides with other tenants. Lara discovers the name of the first tenant from 20 years back, Jennifer Logan. The detective tells Lara the sad story of what happened to Jennifer. At the age of 12, she moved in to apartment 1303 with her mother, Mary, a respectable school teacher and recently divorced. For the first few years in the apartment, they lived in peace and Mary was a loving mother to Jennifer. However, the peace was shattered when Mary lost her job as a teacher during a dispute with a parent in a parent-teacher conference.
She found work as a prostitute to pay for the apartment, became an alcoholic and brutally abused Jennifer. This leads to Jennifer murdering Mary and burying her in a built in closet. A few years later, neighbors complained about the smell of the apartment, causing the police and the health department to investigate. By the time they got to the apartment to confront Jennifer, she had already committed suicide by jumping out the window and the police found the decomposed body of Mary. In the years that followed more tenants was thought to have committed suicide with Janet being the recent one.
While taking a bath, Lara gets a cryptic warning from Janet to leave the apartment and never come back. However, another dispute with Maddie has Lara to moving in the same apartment and unintentionally ignoring Janet’s warning. Jennifer soon arrives and kills Mark by throwing him out the window. Horrified, Lara tries to escape the apartment complex to avoid Jennifer trying to kill her and permanently stay away from the complex for good.
However, she catches Emily and the landlord, O’Neill in front of her. O’Neill reveals that he and his daughter, Emily, were previously killed by Jennifer during their first year in apartment 1303. Since then, they and Janet had been warning others to never move in to apartment 1303 to no avail. As Maddie tries to talk some sense to Lara, Jennifer pushes her towards the knife and kills her. Just before she can finish the job to kill Lara, the police arrive and Jennifer disappears. Lara is arrested for both Maddie and Mark’s murder and is taken away to be booked. Jennifer is last seen sitting on the same spot where she committed suicide: an unseen warning of what happens when anyone moves into apartment 1303.
Apartment 1303 3D
Directed by: Michele Taverna
Starring: Mischa Barton, Rebecca De Mornay, Julianne Michelle, Corey Sevier, John Diehl, Grace Savage, Katherine Cleland
Screenplay by: Michele Taverna, Kei Ôishi
Production Design by: Louis-René Landry
Cinematography by: Paul M. Sommers
Film Editing by: Edward Brizio, Roberto Silvi
Costume Design by: Suzana Fischer
Set Decoration by: Muriel Espic
Music by: Davy Bernagoult, Yoann Bernagoult
MPAA Rating: R for language, some violent content and brief sexuality.
Studio: Gravitas Ventures
Release Date: July 25, 2013
Taglines: Two girls, a ’76 AMC Pacer, the open road and an impending nuclear apocalypse.
Best Friends Forever is a clever dark comedy and heartfelt road trip buddy film wrapped in an apocalyptic disaster story, with two badass girls. Harriet (Brea Grant), a perpetually optimistic comic-book artist, dreams of escaping her past in Los Angeles and hits the road for a new life in Austin, Texas. She drags Reba (Vera Miao), her seemingly devil-may-care BFF, along for the ride. In the hush period following mysterious nuclear explosions, the girls are forced to ask: When faced with the end of the world – what is most important to you?
Best Friends Forever is an American dark comedy film written by Brea Grant, Vera Miao, and directed by Brea Grant. The film stars Brea Grant, Vera Miao, Sean Maher, Glen Powell, Constance Wu. The film began a limited theatrical release in the United States on July 1, 2013.
It takes a real set of balls to make a movie about the apocalypse without actually showing the apocalypse. It’s ironic that Brea Grant is the person who has those balls. She wrote, directed, and stars in the alternately quirky and morose Best Friends Forever. The film tells the story of two young women who embark on a road trip and end up at the beginning of the end of the world.
Harriet (Grant) is a comic book artist who has recently been released from psychiatric supervision. She’s planning on a fresh start in graduate school in Austin, Texas. Harriet plans a road trip from Los Angeles to the Texas capitol with her best friend Reba (Vera Miao), including some out-of-the-way stops along the way. However, once on the road, the duo enters the isolated desert without the knowledge that a nuclear bomb detonated in L.A., essentially wiping the entire city off the map.
As Harriet and Reba learn the fate of the City of Angels (including that of Reba’s family, who live there), they have chance encounters with symbols of apocalyptic dangers. One comes in the form of a hipster band whose scarves and dark-rimmed glasses mask their true form of bandits on the road. Another comes in the form of a religious nutjob who picks up the girls hitchhiking and begins a blame-fueled sermon. Other dangers include abuse of authority, anarchy, and general mistrust of friends leading to feral behavior.
This entire journey becomes not simply about survival but about the bond these women share. While the world crumbles around them, the story is less about the millions that die and more about how these two hold themselves together.
There are several impressive elements to Best Friends Forever, not the least of which is the restrained presentation of a nuclear apocalypse. This is where the heart of the independent film lies. There’s no big budget for a blockbuster-sized destruction of a city. Almost void of visual effects, Best Friends Forever hints at the apocalypse but never tries to survive on the spectacle.
Instead, first-time director Grant wraps the film in the characters (specifically its two leads) and how the end affects them emotionally. One might be tempted to call the Harriet and Reba’s reactions somewhat muted, and that wouldn’t be inaccurate. However, considering the characters’ isolation from the action and the fact that real reactions to such intense (albeit distant) trauma sometimes lead to underwhelming results rather than a string of would-be Oscar clips, it highlights how disconnected they are.
Both Harriet and Reba are distant individuals. Harriet is such by her own design, hiding behind her artwork and the lies she tells herself. Reba is removed from her overbearing family, choosing a life of relative promiscuity and rebellion. She uses sex not for comfort but for distraction, and that comes back to haunt her throughout the film. Their being caught up outside the apocalypse lets their world end the way they lived it: somewhere in the background.
Grant handles this film well, able to direct herself with some smart decisions, namely to let Reba carry the overt emotional burden of the story. She also frames the results of the apocalypse in a familiar way. Rather than relying solely on corny news commentary (although those snippets do show up from time to time), Best Friends Forever tells its story through its characters eyes and actions, for better or for worse.
There are some wrinkles along the way, however. One of the greatest dangers of being so close to your story and characters is that you fall in love with them so much that you cannot allow the natural flow of the story to keep its course. Grant falls into this trap multiple times, playing a bit of softball with the threats to both Harriet and Reba.
The reality is that the film works when it gets dark, and it travels down those unlit paths several times. One of the best was a fantastic moment in the film when real panic sets in for the characters, proving they would resort to anything to save themselves and each other. Unfortunately, there are a couple missed opportunities and a few other moments that steer down an extremely dark and dangerous path only to be brushed away with relative ease.
Still, this leaves Best Friends Forever as a warm and somewhat uplifting film about the worst day the planet will ever see. It’s an honest, down-to-earth look at what might happen when everything around you crumbles, yet it manages to have its heart in the right place.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that Best Friends Forever was shot (rather proudly, I might add, based on the production notes) on Super 16mm film. In a world where digital options are quickly becoming the standard (which is increasingly more cost-effective to the independent filmmaker), it’s nice to see people actually committing a story to celluloid again.
Best Friends Forever
Directed by: Brea Grant
Starring: Brea Grant, Vera Miao, Sean Maher, Glen Powell, Constance Wu Screenplay by: Brea Grant, Vera Miao
Screenplay by: Brea Grant, Vera Miao
Production Design by: Carolyn King
Cinematography by: Michelle Lawler
Film Editing by: Jacob Chase, Amy McGrath
Costume Design by: William Boye Jenkins
Art Direction by: Ryan Spindell
Music by: Matthew Puckett
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Gravitas Ventures
Release Date: July 1, 2013
Taglines: Wishing you were here.
33 Postcards is a feature film written and directed by Pauline Chan and starring Guy Pearce. It is the first co-production between China and New South Wales.
Mei Mei (Zhu Lin) a 16 year old Chinese orphan who has been supported by donations from her Australian sponsor Dean Randall (Guy Pearce), who sends her postcards that describe his family life. When her orphanage choir travels to Australia to participate in an Australian Choir Festival, Mei Mei takes the opportunity to find Dean with the hope he will make her part of his family.
However, Mei Mei discovers the shocking truth – Dean is actually a convict in prison for manslaughter. Seeing Dean as her last chance at finding a home, Mei Mei decides to stay in Sydney until Dean gets his parole, in the meantime becoming naively entangled in the criminal world herself. To save Mei Mei from his own fate, Dean must make an impossible sacrifice.
33 Postcards is an official film and television co-production in Australia. The co-production is between Australia and China, for which a co-production treaty did not exist prior to 2008. 33 Postcards is only the second film to be produced under this treaty and the first co-production between NSW and China. This opportunity for co-productions to exist between China and Australia is largely unrealised in both countries, but has been identified as a potentially lucrative endeavor.
About the Production
33 Postcards was developed under the title Mei Mei. In 2009, Mei Mei was one of only two Australian screenplays selected from 475 submissions to partake in the Tribeca Film Institute program, Tribeca All Access. The screenplay also featured as one of only three selected for Dungog Film Festival as part of the in the Raw Program. Lead actress Zhu Lin began production knowing little more than a dozen words in the English language. The film was shot in both Australia and Zhejiang Province, China.
Directed by: Pauline Chan
Starring: Guy Pearce, Zhu Lin, Claudia Karvan, Elaine Jin, Rhys Muldoon
Screenplay by: Pauline Chan, Philip Dalkin, Martin Edmond
Production Design by: Thomas Chong, Peta Lawson
Cinematography by: Toby Oliver
Film Editing by: Jane Moran
Costume Design by: Xanthe Heubel
Art Direction by: Lon Lucini
Music by: Antony Partos
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Gravitas Ventures
Release Date: May 10, 2013