Ben Umstead
East Coast Editor; Los Angeles, California

Born in New England, bred around the Capital Beltway, and schooled in the heart of Hollywood, Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC. He can once again be found wandering the streets of Los Angeles.

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: FELT, Healing Through Art Gets Extremely Human

There comes a moment early in Toad Road director Jason Banker's Felt which beautifully sets the tone for what is to unfold over the next 70 or so minutes of his second narrative feature: After partying with a few young... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: BLIND, A Stunning, Sensitive Ode To The Lonely

What we see: A street in Oslo, Norway. A dress shop. Pedestrians stream on by. Standing on the inside of the shop is a German Shepard. It Barks. Spittle hits the window. Pedestrians stream on by. What we hear: A... More »
  

Crowdfund This! XMAS IN JULY, A Psychedelic Take On Scrooge

Hey! You got my Charles Dickens in My Charles Darwin, and My Charles Darwin in My Charles Dickens! Or, well, so says Joel Clark and the crew behind Xmas In July, a psychedelic feature that reinterprets Dickens' A Christmas Carol... More »
  

Watch The Trailer For Sundance Winning FISHING WITHOUT NETS

While we've had an interesting string of films about Somali pirates, Cutter Hodierne's feature debut is the only one of these that is from the perspective of the pirates themselves.Fishing Without Nets follows a young Somali fishermen who is thrust... More »
  

Watch This Short Now: DAYBREAK, A Stunning, Violent Look At Pre-Teen Life

That moment before puberty... it's as if you were falling down a bottomless pit, only you know you're, someday soon, going to hit the bottom. It's out of time, out of mind, of the body, a foreign body. Your body...... More »
  

Fantastic Fest 2014: Twitch's 12 Most Anticipated Films From Our 12 On-Hand Contributors

Hallelujah! It is Fantastic Fest time once again! The fest kicks off tomorrow, and what's more, Austin's ridiculously fun genre festival is back at its spiritual home of the Drafthouse South Lamar. You might say we are a little excited.... More »
  

Check Out 5 Exclusive Stills From Midnight Madness Selection THE EDITOR

Ahead of its big premiere tonight at Midnight Madness in Toronto, we've got Five Exclusive stills for you from Matthew Kennedy & Adam Brooks' giallo sendup The Editor. A one-time (and now one-handed) master film editor toiling in the cinematic... More »
  

James Franco Is All Set To RANT

If there are two names that get people flapping and flaming their lips more than most, that'd be renaissance man extraordinaire James Franco and mostly author Chuck Palahniuk. And now since Franco has optioned the rights to Palahniuk's novel Rant,... More »
  

Nothing Is What It Seems In The Trailer For Post-WWII Thriller PHOENIX

For the past 14 years German director Christian Petzold has been steadily building up a reputation as a post-renuifciation master, subverting genre plots and tropes into fascinating and haunting meditations on modern (and the largely still fractured) Germany. But with... More »
  

Beyond Fest Is Back!

Oh, how they grow up so fast. Just last year Beyond Fest was merely a new born suckling at the crusty teet of its six-headed mother from Mars (they need moms). And now, it's walking and talking and throwing shrunken... More »
  

Raindance Film Festival Announces Their 2014 Lineup

Just when you thought it was safe to come to Twitch and not hear about a film festival... wait, when did you ever think that was going to happen? Film festivals are our bread and butter. Anyway... While much of... More »
  

Folklore Of The Blues: 5 Questions With MEMPHIS Director Tim Sutton

There is magic in Memphis. Magic and soul, fear and frustration. Music, passion and a heavenly voice that tilts from the throat of a modern monk on a quest for the divine amongst the derelict.When I first got word of... More »
  

Review: MEMPHIS, A Mesmerizing Meditation On The American South

Dusk. A blue summer day ending on a worn and warm boulevard. The pin prick glow of street lamps dazzle in the distance. A figure lumbers down the block. A hat tipped to one side, he is lost in thought.... More »
  

THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 Red-Band Trailer Will Make You Want To Play Dead

Certainly one of the most festive and inventive collaborative efforts going these days, The ABCs Of Death pits 26 established and up and coming filmmakers with a letter of the alphabet and a death that corresponds to said letter. And... More »
  

Twitch Film Celebrates 10 Years

A decade is an absolute eternity online, a marker that I certainly never thought I'd reach when registering the first domain for Twitch ten years ago now, and yet here we are. Honestly, I never thought much of anything about... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Big Talk, Bigger Stakes In The Trailer For Zvyagintsev's LEVIATHAN

While Andrey Zvyaginstev has only made a handful of feature films over the last decade (The Return being a personal favorite), he's made everyone of them count, and none perhaps more so than his latest, Leviathan. Charting great buzz out... More »
  

Watch The U.S. Trailer For Palme d'Or Winner WINTER SLEEP

Equally hailed and disregarded for a plethora of reasons that could probably fill its near 3 and a half hour running time, Nuri Belge Ceylan, Turkey's preeminent filmmaker on the international stage, nonetheless walked away from this year's Cannes with... More »
  

Fantastic Fest Second Wave Of Films Announced, NIGHTCRAWLER To Close

As I will be attending my very first Fantastic Fest in but a few weeks, I now feel, more than ever, that it is my duty to present news on the fest (not that I wasn't willing to before). So,... More »
  

Film 4 FrightFest 2014: Watch The Day Five Video Diary

The final day of FrightFest has come and gone, and so those fine festival folk have this wrap up video to share.This time out there's coverage for Nymph: as festival director Alan Jones calls it "The Little Mermaid done as... More »
  

Watch The Gorgeous Promo For Venice Selection THE POSTMAN'S WHITE NIGHTS

Other worldly. Out of time. Languid. Uncanny. Meditative. These are all fine and easy ways to describe the promo reel for veteran Russian-American director Andrei Konchalovsky's latest, The Postman's White Nights, which will be playing in competition at Venice early... More »
  
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