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.

Crowdfund This: Dream Inspired Web Series COLLECTIVE:UNCONCIOUS

It's not everyday you get a group of up and coming American directors pooling their colleague's/ collaborator's dreams for their next creative endeavor, but that's exactly what collective:unconscious is.What's to get excited about here is two-fold: Project producer Dan Schoenbrun... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Watch Horror Comedy Short BUNDLE OF NERVES

For two small town cops who tackle paranormal activities on an everyday basis, it's the looming threat of fatherhood that really gets their stomachs in knotted. That's the basic setup for Ryan Spindell's short film Bundle Of Nerves. Spindell, director... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Check Out This Living Poster For Guy Maddin's THE FORBIDDEN ROOM

Canadian director Guy Maddin has a new film coming. Or is films? The director has been working on a multimedia project known as Seances, or Spiritismes in some circles, which sees his cast and crew holding a seance to invite... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance Announces Their 2015 Narrative And Doc Competition Titles

While many of the below names in the narrative and documentary competition for the 21st edition of the Slamdance Film Festival will not be familiar to most of us out there right now, at least a couple of them should... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Jamie Foxx Enters Harmony Korine's THE TRAP

There are few things that can get us film fans more pumped up than particular actor-director pairings. A few recent ones that got tongues wagging were Nicolas Cage and Werner Herzog for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Daniel... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

A24 Boards Alex Garland's EX MACHINA; Watch The Trailer Now

[UPDATED with trailer, which looks great!]  Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, has just directed his debut feature, Ex Machina. The folks at A24 have stepped up to distribute the film in the US, with the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: SPA NIGHT, A Korean-American Film On Coming Out

One of the major pluses being in the independent film world is having more freedom to examine topics of race, culture and sexuality more intimately and honestly than most studio fare can. Director Andrew Ahn started here with his 2012... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Marvel Announces Full Phase 3 Lineup, Including CAPTAIN MARVEL & BLACK PANTHER

Ladies and gentlemen... let the classic DC/Marvel rivalry officially commence on the big screen. Not to be outdone by the recent announcement from DC/WB about their post-Batman v. Superman slate, The House Of Ideas and The House Of Mouse unveiled... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: ACTRESS, One Woman's Performance Off Screen... On Screen

Robert Greene is one of those filmmakers who may seem to the casual viewer to dabble in different parts of the making of a film. To others he's one of those cinematic polyglot types. The editor of Alex Ross Perry's... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

AFI Fest Announces Full 2014 Lineup

If you're an Angelino like myself then chances are you covet early November as that time to catch up on all the buzz-worthy film festival faves that come roaring into town courtesy of AFI Fest. This year, of course, is... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

First Trailer For AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Officially Drops

The teaser trailer for Joss Whedon's superhero all-star sequel Avengers: Age Of Ultron was supposed to premiere next Tuesday during an episode of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Today, a lo-res version got leaked, putting the internet in more of a... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Hey, NYC! Wanna See NIGHTCRAWLER Early And For Free?

That answer should be a big 'ol yes.Los Angeles denizen Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) survives by scavenging and petty theft. He stumbles into a new career as a cameraman and -- armed with a camcorder and police scanner -- begins... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: LISTEN UP PHILIP Seeks Sympathy For The Asshole

A few years back Alex Ross Perry caught the eye of many watchers in the American independent scene with his second feature, the delightfully awful (or is that awfully delightful?) The Color Wheel. A sibling road tripper with the penchant... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

The DC Cinematic Universe Ramps Up

Are you ready for a whole lotta DC Comics characters cavorting around on the big screen? Well, regardless if you are, they're coming. In droves. And in pretty fast succession. After years of questioning when and how DC Comics would... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Hey, NYC! Wanna See JOHN WICK Early And For Free?

If you're a regular Twitch reader then the answer should be a resounding god damn YES.Now, while I have yet to see this Keanu Reeves starring actioner from stuntmen turned directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, everyone I spoke with... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Brad Bird Takes Us To TOMORROWLAND In First Teaser

Long in development at Disney is Brad Bird's second live-action effort as director, Tomorrowland. Bird and screenwriter Damon Lindleof take the theme land inside Disney parks that focuses on science, technology and the future, and turn it into an adventure... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Wrap: Over 70 Movies Reviewed + Our Top Picks!

Holy Toledo is that headline correct? Yes Twitch has reviews published for over 70 of the films that played at Fantastic Fest 2014! (There were 76 non-repertory films screened at Fantastic Fest 2014). So why were we slacking? Well... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Watch The Trailer For P.T. Anderson's INHERENT VICE

With just under a week before its bow at the New York Film Festival, Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's adaption of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice. And it is glorious... gloriously colorful, weird... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Fantastic Fest 2014 Review: NORWAY, A Delightfully Odd Vampire Tale From Greece

If you're craving electronic music, handmade sets and 80s cinema homages aplenty with your basic vampire lore, then Yannis Veslemes' debut feature Norway is one to keep an eye on. By no means a cult classic, the film is wonderfully... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

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 »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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