Ben Umstead
U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California

Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC, where he established an east coast conglomerate of writers for the site. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he works as a producer and script consultant.

HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT Trailer Dives Into An Addict's Own Personal Hell

Winner of the top prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2014, Josh and Benny Safdie's latest film, Heaven Knows What, is based on Arielle Holmes' unpublished memoirs about her days as a heroin addict on the streets of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

SXSW 2015: Trouble Abounds In BABY Trailer & Poster

Samuel Aaron Bennett's narrative short debut Baby, starring Renée Felice Smith (NCIS:Los Angeles), has its world premiere this weekend at SXSW. Today we've got a trailer and that nifty poster art for the acerbic and existential comedy. As trailers for... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Happenings: Celebrate Kurosawa's Birthday With Screenings At The Crest

World-renowned filmmaker Kurosawa Akira was born March 23, 1910. To celebrate what would have been his 105th birthday (he passed away in 1998), The Crest Westwood movie palace are hosting Sunday screenings of some bonafide classics. Coming up this Sunday,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Go Ape For The AAAAAAAAH! Poster

Sigthseers' Steve Oram will unleash his Ape-ified Romeo & Juliet epic upon us sometime in 2015, and today we've got this splendid poster to ogle over.Shot last spring, Aaaaaaaah! sees The Mighty Boosh's Julian Barratt and Green Wing's Julian Rhind-Tutt... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: THE WINDS THAT SCATTER Promises A New View Of Immigrants In Post-9/11 America

For the life of me I can't recall a recent American independent film that featured a lead character who was Muslim or a Middle Eastern immigrant, and was not focused primarily on a plot involving terrorism or deportation.Filmmaker Christopher Bell's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

This ROAR Trailer Will Maul You

In production for 11 years, real life couple Tippi Hedren and Noel Marshall, along with Hedren's daughter Melanie Griffith, shot an animal epic for the ages right in their own backyard. Packed wall to wall with Marshall's wild tigers, lions... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Tribeca 2015 Unveils Midnight, Spotlight And Special Screenings

Hot on the heels of Tuesday's announcement of World Narrative & Documentaries, plus Viewpoints, comes the remainder of Tribeca's 2015 festival slate.A few highlights: Midnight is ample with world premiere's including Scherzo Diabolico, the new film from Here Comes The... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

COMMUNITY Season 6 Trailer Is Marvelous

In that it apes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe quite ably. Premiering March 17 on Yahoo Screen (the search engine's now legit streaming content side thanks to this once cancelled NBC show) season 6 is promising everything you've come to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Tribeca 2015 Announces World Narrative & Docs, And Viewpoints

If the city of New York can defrost themselves enough by April 15, the spring film festival season will kick into high gear on the isle of Manhattan with the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. We've got the first plethora of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: KUNG FU ELLIOT, Canada's First Action Hero

Yes. You read that right. Canada's first action hero. China has Jackie Chan and Jet Li. America has Arnold and Sly. Europe has Jean-Claude Van Damme. And if Elliot Scott has his way, Canada will have... Elliot "White Lightning" Scott.... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

In The New FURIOUS 7 Trailer You Will Believe Cars Can Fly

There probably aren't many action cinema fans out there that don't believe the Fast & Furious franchise can pretty much do anything it wants to do... and do it well. But if not, the following trailer should prove any doubters... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015: TwitchFilm Wraps It Up

It felt like yesterday that the 21st Slamdance Film Festival was getting underway in Park City. Making their mark as future indie darlings today, this year's fest was a robust one, featuring a smorgasbord of smart genre fare and bold... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015: TwitchFilm Wraps It Up With Our Reviews And Top Picks

This year's Sundance Film Festival was eclectic as ever, with a slew of standout films, including big winners Me, Earl And The Dying Girl and The Witch. It was also a year where sales were more robust, no thanks to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: HOMESICK Charts A Tender Symmetry Of Yearning

Norwegian filmmaker Anne Sewitsky made waves at Sundance in 2011 when her feature debut Happy Happy won the Grand Jury World Dramatic Prize. Sewitsky returned to the festival this year with her third feature, Homesick, a deconstructionist family drama which... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Award Winners

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival came to the penultimate moment tonight with this year's awards ceremony, which saw big wins for festival faves Me, Earl And The Dying Girl and The Witch. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's tale of teenage cinephiles won both... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THINGS OF THE AIMLESS WANDERER, A World-Class Stunner

To be absolutely mesmerized by a film, I mean totally transfixed, is a rare happening in cinema, but should be the norm, right? Rwandan director Kivu Ruhorahoza's Things Of The Aimless Wanderer is just such a film. Spectacular and ambitious... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Exclusive Clip: Share The Joy Of CONCRETE LOVE

TwitchFilm is proud to present an exclusive clip from the Slamdance selected Concrete Love, a documentary by Maurizius Staerkle Drux about the Böhms, a renowned family of German architects in their third generation. The film is a marvel of filmmaking,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: ENTERTAINMENT, Seeking The Legendary Laugh To Masterful Effect

Many would say there are two distinct poles to cinema-going. There are those times when you want something warm and familiar. It's comfort food you can share with your family. Not too sweet or sour, not too heavy. And then... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Awards Winners

Last night at Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, the 21st edition of the Slamdance Film Festival came to a close with a packed house gathering for the awards ceremony.This festivals diverse slate of films yielded a palpable excitement in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: YOSEMITE Beautifully Captures The Fearful Majesty Of Boyhood

What is it about childhood that makes us adults so wary of who we once were? Perhaps it is that great fear of the unknown, a shadow, a whisper of adulthood that scares us as children into submission of these... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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