For Immediate Release
AS HIGH AS THE SKY
A FEATURE FILM BY NIKKI BRAENDLIN
Coming to DVD May 6 with On Demand Platforms in June
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 7, 2014) AS HIGH AS THE SKY, a first-time, independent feature from writer-director Nikki Braendlin, is a beautifully nuanced film that explores the fragile bonds between sisters. Made on a SAG Indie Ultra-Low budget the film packs an emotional and memorable punch with stellar performances by Caroline Fogarty (‘Big Love’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’) and Bonnie McNeil (SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS). Following an award-winning festival run, the film will screen in early May at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles as well as at the Tallahassee Film Society in Florida before being released on DVD on May 6 by Cinema Libre Studio.
By seeking to breach the narrow club of 5% female film directors in Hollywood, Braendlin chose a topic she knew well and which would appeal to women. The film centers around ‘Margaret,’ a woman with OCD who is forced to confront the root of her issues when her estranged sister and niece show up unannounced. Braendlin says, “I wanted to explore probable causes of these behaviors as well as potential ways to heal. I have experienced OCD symptoms and they worsen when I’m working through a particularly difficult time. I was interested in examining the ramifications of someone who has never learned to identify, and thus process, her emotions at all. Additionally, and simultaneously, the film explores the complex and diverse relationships among mothers, daughters and sisters.”
Braendlin shot the film on a Canon 5D camera in Los Angeles with a mostly female crew and all-female cast. Bonnie McNeil (‘Josephine’) and Braendlin, who hails from Tallahassee, Florida, are both graduates of the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Los Angeles, and, therefore they shared a ‘short-hand’ in communicating on set by creating characters through one’s imagination, an Adler technique. Before directing AS HIGH AS THE SKY, Braendlin directed small scale theatrical productions.
AS HIGH AS THE SKY won top narrative-feature awards at: Palm Beach International Film Festival, Sonoma International Film Festival, Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, Idyllwild CinemaFest, as well as being an official selection at Heartland Film Festival, SOHO Int’l Film Festival and the Carmel Art and Film Festival.
SYNOPSIS: After being jilted by her fiancé, Margaret manages her loneliness by obsessively and compulsively organizing her already perfect home. But when her older sister, Josephine, and ten-year-old niece, Hannah, arrive unexpectedly for what seems an indefinite visit, Margaret’s carefully structured life is thrown into disarray, forcing her to adapt to the duo’s free-spirited lifestyle and to confront the years of estrangement. Weighed down by guilt for abandoning her sister after their parents’ death and questioning her parenting skills, Josephine does her best to reconnect with Margaret by including her in family activities with Hannah – truth or dare games, backyard movie nights, and upside-down floating heads. Initially resistant, Margaret slowly opens herself to the mess of emotions and realizes a new definition of family while learning that the bonds of sisterhood can be reestablished with time. But just as Margaret begins to embrace her new family, she discovers the truth behind Josephine’s visit.
Thursday, May 1 @ 7pm – SAG Foundation Actors Center (5757 Wilshire Blvd, LA). Screening + Q&A with writer/director Nikki Braendlin and cast members Caroline Fogarty and Bonnie McNeil. For all non-union guests RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include their name and the name of the event.
Saturday, May 3 @ 7:30pm – Raleigh Studios, The Chaplin Theatre (655 N. Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038). Screening + Q&A with writer/director Nikki Braendlin, cast members Caroline Fogarty and Bonnie McNeil and crew. RSVP: email@example.com
The 91 minute film will become available in North America on May 6 on DVD (at traditional DVD retail outlets) and On Demand platforms (Amazon Instant, Hulu and Cinema Libre On Demand) to follow one month later (June 6, 2014).