Winnie Cheung’s “Residency,” which has its world premiere in the Bright Future section of Intl. Film Festival Rotterdam, has debuted its trailer (below). Alief is selling the film, which is a “haunting metafictional tale about female artists pushed beyond their limits at a cursed artist residency.”
The film, set at New York artists’ studio The Locker Room, is described by Alief’s Miguel Angel Govea as “an adventurous take on the final girl horror trope.” It is a “hybrid feature dancing between fiction and non-fiction norms that plays like a punk rock cover of Gaspar Noé’s ‘Climax.’”
Cheung commented: “Rather than representing women as sexualized victims through the traditional lens of male fantasies, I’m exploring the real horror behind the anxiety of being a female artist, which is often mixed in with pleasure, delirium and joy.”
Cheung was the editor and one of the producers of “Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched,” a documentary on the history of folk horror, which streams on Shudder in North America, U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The film won SXSW’s Midnighters audience award and best documentary at Fantasia Intl. Film Festival.
“Residency” is part of the North American new wave of indie micro-budget genre features. Govea said: “These new wave films started popping up at Sundance 2021 with Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s ‘Strawberry Mansion’ and Jane Schoenbrun’s breakout hit ‘We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,’ and Kier-La Janisse’s ‘Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched’ at SXSW.”
He added: “At the head of this class is Kyle Edward Ball’s ‘Skinamarink,’ a smash hit with $1.5 million box office, despite being leaked on-line, which proves that non-traditional narratives are working with the new risk-taking arthouse audience.”
“Residency” was written by the Andujar Twins (“Freaky,” “Scare Package”). The executive producers are Samara Bliss and Cheung.
The film is one of Alief’s market premieres at the European Film Market in Berlin, alongside Georden West’s “Playland,” which premieres in the Tiger Competition at Rotterdam, Alena Lodkina’s Australian thriller “Petrol,” starring Nathalie Morris (“Bump”), Thessaloniki Film Festival award winner “Retreat,” a Swiss debut by Leon Schwitter, and Seville award winner “Matadero” by Argentina’s Santiago Fillol.
There will also be screenings of Tallinn Grand Prix winner “Driving Mum” by Iceland’s Hilmar Oddsson, and a late-night screening at The Arsenal of Amanda Kramer’s “Give Me Pity!,” which will be released in the U.S by Utopia.
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