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.

Slamdance 2015 Review: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, DIY Terror At Its Very Best

It begins in the dark hollows of your mind. But you can feel it in your heart. Pumping through your veins. The notion that something is wrong. That the world is wrong. That reality is not what it seems. That... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: CONCRETE LOVE, An Intimate, Immaculate Look At A Family Of Architects

We all wish to be immortalized in some way. To be remembered for something extraordinary or meaningful. Most of us will be remembered by the way we loved, who we loved and how we loved. It is what we do... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Exclusive Clip: Enter The Beguiling World Of ALPHA

TwitchFilm is proud to present an exclusive clip from Stathis Athanasiou's Alpha, which had its North American premiere at Slamdance this week, with a second screening today at 3:30pm at Treasure Mountain Inn.Alpha is a beguiling blend of science fiction... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: H. Explores The Strange Dissonance Of Coupling

There's something strange in the waters of Troy, New York. Something life-changing in the skies. Some of us can see it, some of us can hear it. Some of us will wander into the woods to find it, leaving our... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: HELLIONS, A Monstrous Misstep

Hellions, Journeyman director Bruce McDonald's first foray into horror since 2008's slow-cooker Pontypool, is a maelstorm of horror traditions and tropes, good and bad alike. While the film is never boring for its constant barrage of evocative imagery, cacophonous score... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: BIRDS OF NEPTUNE, Of Malady And Mysticism

Cinema has a way of acting like an echo chamber. it locks us into a space where we are asked to face up to ourselves through the guise of others: Our own doubts, and fears projected on the screen, looking... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT And The Closeness Of The Great Divide

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: In 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   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: FEMALE PERVERT Cuts Cute With Gender Roles

Sex. We wouldn't be here without it. And we sure do like it. But who wants to talk about it? Especially all those particulars...Filmmaker Jiyoung Lee is ready to though, and her intelligent, equally charming and cheeky examination on female... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: RATTER, A New High Mark In Cyber-Suspense

Since the very beginning of the medium, cinema has been inextricably linked to voyeurism.For to see, we have to look. And sometimes that's in wrong or uncomfortable places. We are, as an audience -- at home, in the theater, sitting... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: TIRED MOONLIGHT, An Effervescent, Enchanting Debut

Britni West's debut feature is sure to be the most enchanting feature at this year's Slamdance. An ode to small town America, every moment in West's film is is one of effervescent discovery, culling childhood wonder and adult wanderlust with... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: TANGERINE Pops With Verve And Vérité

On the streets of Los Angeles sunlight seems to move differently than in most places. It blazes, arching across the sky, like a banshee spreading its wings. From behind the wheel of your car, inching forward in the hellion-marked traffic... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015: Short Film Round-Up

Amidst so many feature narrative and docus to choose from at Sundance, the wide ranging selection of shorts can be easily overlooked. But this is not for a lack of quality as both the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Fiction grand... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015: TwitchFilm Raises The Curtain With 10 Must-Sees

The always surprising and exciting Slamdance Film Festival kicks off today, so we've got ten selections from their narrative and doc competitions, Beyond and special screening slates that you are gonna wanna keep an eye on. The festival looks to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Preview: 10 Films From Premieres, Midnight & All The Rest

Sundance kicks off TONIGHT! We've already brought you previews from the Dramatic Competitions and the Documentaries on offer in Park City. Today we take a quick tour of the remaining sections. Here are a few films from Premieres, Midnight, Spotlight,... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2015: HELLIONS Will Melt Your Skin Off With This New Clip

Sundance Midnight selection Hellions marks Bruce McDonald first foray into horror since cult favorite Pontypool. This also marks McDonald's first film in Park City since 1992's Highway 61. Hellions stars Robert Patrick as a small town sheriff who teams up... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: Chamber Drama Goes Silent In DRIFTWOOD

The power of sound, whether a boom or a whisper, can infect us, haunt us for days.The absence of words, of speech, the strange milieu of the body, of authority, physical, purely primal, can be terrifying.Enter director/DP Paul Taylor's Driftwood,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Preview: 14 Documentary Picks

Sundance starts this Thursday and the TwitchFilm team is here to bring you a look at a few of the festival's documentaries on offer in the US and World Documentary competitions and the Documentary Premieres section. Check back tomorrow for... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Watch Mesmerizing Sci-Fi Short LAST OF YOU

Israeli filmmaker Dan Sachar has been a favorite around these parts since an early student film of his, When It Will Be Silent, came on our radar in 2009.Sachar's meditative, mystical short form works over the years have culminated with... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Preview: 11 Picks From The Dramatic Competitions

Welcome to Sundance week! The festival kicks off Thursday and we've got a series of previews for you. Today we start by taking a look at a few of the features in the US Dramatic, World Dramatic, and NEXT competitions.... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  
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