Emerging Filmmakers to Watch: News from the Palm Beach International Film Festival

I am in the midst of the fun and excitement of the Palm Beach International Film Festival and, unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the day, between traffic and, well, life, to see even a fraction of the 172 films being featured at this year's event. Choosing my schedule has been a bit of a challenge.

Here are just two of the not-to-miss films I've screened so far, both from emerging filmmakers with promising futures.

Psychoanalysis is a dark comedy / drama written and directed by James Raue and features a very talented cast led by Benedict Wall as Paul Symmonds, the country's top suicide prevention psychologist. When five of his clients kill themselves in one week, Paul is convinced they were murdered by a rival doctor, Andrew Fendell (Ryan O'Kane) who is out to prove Paul's methods are detrimental, if not unethical, to patients. Paul hires a documentary filmmaker to chronicle his investigation. 

Watch Official Trailer

Not only was the screenplay highly intelligent with a creative and unsuspecting story line that grabs viewers instantly, Raue's use of a mockumentary style was perfect and only added to the uniqueness and cleverness of the film. One other noteworthy performance is by Michael Whalley who plays Ryan, one of Paul's clients. Psychoanalysis is making its rounds on the film festival circuit and is getting quite a bit of recognition and awards.  Local readers can catch the second screening of this film on Monday, April 11 at 11:30 at the Cinemark Palace in Boca Raton.

Today's highlight (and a film NOT included in my original preview) was unquestionably the World Premiere of Falling by director/writer Ali Askari. In his first feature length film, Askari proves he is an up-and-coming filmmaker to watch!  

Malcolm (Josh Helman) has it all - a great career, a beautiful home and a loving wife, Sarah (Yael Stone). The perfect life until one day a tragic accident leaves him a young widower. Just when Malcolm is about to hit rock bottom, he is pulled back into reality by his tenacious sister-in-law, Dee (Yvonne Cone) who insists he must move on. Things begin to look up for him when he meets the charming Nya (Jennifer Allcott) and begins a new chapter of his life with a new love. Problems arise when Malcolm begins to visualize his deceased wife who seems set on destroying her husband's new relationship. 

This is a romantic psychological thriller - if there isn't such a genre, Askari just created it - that will warm the hearts of audiences one minute, and have them biting their nails the next. The film also stars film-great Paul Sorvino. Local readers can catch the second screening of Falling on Tuesday, April 12 at noon at the Cinemark Palace in Boca Raton.  

The festival runs through April 14. Visit www.pbifilmfest.org for a complete schedule of film and event times and venues as well as to purchase tickets. Tickets can be purchased for multiple screenings or individual showings and events on the website or by calling 561.362.0003.

Read my complete PREVIEW.


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