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

Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC. There 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.

Review: STINKING HEAVEN, Everything Rotten Is Good

We all live by rules. Whether they are personal choices to undertake or those put upon us by work or family, we live by them. But sometimes those rules can destroy us.Nathan Silver's fifth feature, Stinking Heaven, takes place in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Unveil Spotlight, Premieres And More

And there ya have it, friends and neighbors. The 2016 Sundance Film Festival has released the rest of their feature film lineup today with the programs for Spotlight, Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Sundance Kids and Special Events. Barring any surprises, we... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Get Your Slurp On With Short Film THE RAMENS

In a world of many tastes and lifestyles, there are few things that bring us together like a good ol' cup of noodles. From an undergrad basking in the halls of no sleep, to that underemployed 30 something with six... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2016 Announces Feature Doc And Narrative Competition Lineup

It's the same everywhere, with everything: The end of one calendar year brings about news of next year's events, goings on, happenings... film festivals. Oh. Hey now... Today, the full feature documentary and narrative competition lineup for the 22nd Annual... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This! SYLVIO, A Guerrilla Gorilla Feature (With Hand Puppets!)

When the six-second looping video app Vine came on the digital scene a few years ago, most of us went bananas for the thing. At least for a minute or two. While I never gained any creative ground with it... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Trailer: Jeff Nichols Delivers A Superpowered MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

Actor Michael Shannon and director Jeff Nichols are like peanut butter and jelly. They just go well together. Shannon has been Nichols' good luck charm since his debut with Shotgun Stories, taking the lead in the exceptional Take Shelter and... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: ENTERTAINMENT Embraces An Absurdity And Melancholy That Is Extraordinary To Behold

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   
  

Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS Heads To BBC One

In yet another move proving that home screens are where it's at for ambitious projects these days, The BBC announced today that New Line Cinema and Doctor Who production company Bad Wolf will begin developing with Scholastic and author Philip... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Austin Film Fest Exclusive Clip: Meet Malorie In Darkly Comic HER COMPOSITION

Premiering in competition at the 22nd Austin Film Festival, Stephan Littger's debut feature Her Composition stars one of my favorite indie actors Joslyn Jensen (Without, Funny Bunny) as talented but socially awkward composition student Malorie, who starts visiting high-end escort... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: Keep Brooklyn's Spectacle Theater In The Picture

Please note, the author of this article is Christopher Bell, former contributor to The Playlist and director of feature film The Winds That Scatter -- BUWalking around Brooklyn's biggest punchline of a neighborhood ain't what it used to be. In... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

MARVEL'S JESSICA JONES Trailer: This One Ain't About Heroes

After the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones is the next offering from Marvel and Netflix in their "street-level" hero roster of shows.Premiering November 20 across all regions with Netflix, the show stars Krysten Ridder as a private investigator who was... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

5 Reasons To Check Out This Weekend's Film Independent Forum In LA

Anyone of us who has attended a film festival has been in the following tight spot: It's that one between seeing a possibly great movie or attending a grade A industry panel that could give superb insight into the world... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

St. Lawrence 2015 Preview: Twitch's Top Picks From The "Fourth Coast" Fest

The first ever St. Lawrence International Film Festival is about to kick off, October 22 - 25. But where one might that be? Well, St. Lawrence University is in the town of Canton, New York, and Canton is in the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Aruba 2015 Wrap-Up: More Reviews, Awards Announced, And Final Impressions From One Happy Island

Sunday, October 11, 2015 -- Just beyond the surf and the sand, the lights dim inside a movie theater. Then comes the digital coo of a projector and one final round of images thrust upon the screen for the audience... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Aruba 2015 Review: VIAJE Brims With Charm And Wonder

When we go to the movies we often talk about "getting lost in the experience." It feels more rare to say something like "to be found in the experience." In one stupendously assured breath Costa Rican filmmaker Paz Fabrega's second... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Aruba 2015 Review: In THE DRIFTLESS AREA Mysteries Of The Moment Abound

We humans often like to think of ourselves as creatures of habit. It helps compartmentalize our world, making order out of chaos. As someone who operates quite often from his head, habits are important. Writing movie reviews, attempting to express... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Aruba 2015 Festival Diary: An Opening Night Filled With Metaphysics And R&B

If one thing is clear at 1:37AM in the morning it is that the notion "we're all in this together" really applies on a small island off the coast of South America. That island in question is Aruba. And that's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Aruba 2015 Preview: Twitch's Top 10 Picks From One Happy Film Festival

The nickname for the island nation of Aruba is "One Happy Island". So one would think that that the folks behind the 2015 Aruba International Film Festival would want to follow suite and create what'd be considered One Happy Film... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

The Trailer For VINYL Spins Out Of Control

The brainchild of Martin Scorsese, Terrence Winter and Mick Jagger, the show Vinyl is coming to HBO this January. Today, we've got a whopper of a trailer.Charting the days of proto-punk and early hip-hop in 1970s New York City, Vinyl... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

RICK AND MORTY And The Multiplicity Of Loneliness


Let me tell you something: Rick And Morty just may be the most poignant show on Television.

Big words, right? Okay, let's hold on a moment and back up a bit. For those not in the know, Rick and Morty is... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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