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.

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   
  

Slamdance 2015: Meet The Filmmakers, Part 2

We're back with part 2 of our little discovery session on competition films and the first-time feature filmmakers behind them at the 21st Slamdance Film Festival. Will your new favorite filmmaker be amongst this year's crop? If you haven't already,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015: Meet The Filmmakers, Part 1

The reason why I consider the Slamdance Film Festival a high priority for any new festival going year can be summed up in one word: Discovery.Now, surely discovery plays heavily into any fest the world over, whether that's finding a... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: BLACKHAT, Michael Mann's Moronic Cyber Scavenger Hunt

Humanity's fascination with the microchip started long before they became everyday necessities for the first world population. You see, we humans have always taken strides for some semblance of consistency and structure through networks and grids. Design and architecture in the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

COMMUNITY Season 6 Starts March 17 On Yahoo

Yahoo announced today during their Television Critics Association press session that the sixth season of the much-beloved, already-cancelled and obviously resurrected Community would begin streaming on Yahoo Screen March 17. They will start with two episodes and from there on... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Woody Allen Heads To Amazon

Woody Allen is heading back to TV. Or, er, well kinda. A near lifetime after getting his start as a writer on The Tonight Show and Candid Camera, the Annie Hall director is set to write and direct an entire... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Exclusive Clip: FEMALE PERVERT Insists You Play With Your Penis

TwitchFilm is proud to present an exclusive clip from Jiyoung Lee's Female Pervert, which will have its world premiere January 24 in the Beyond program at the 21st Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. To say this one is... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

James Franco To Close Slamdance 2015 With YOSEMITE

We all know the admittedly tired joke by now: James Franco is everywhere.The exception is that on January 29th, he'll specifically be somewhere. That'd be wrapping up the 21st Slamdance Film Festival in Park City with the world premiere of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

J Hurtado's Top 10 Movie Memories Of 2014

Here we go again!My standard admonition about my own lists is that these are, in no way AT ALL, the best movies of the year. They are the ones that gave me the biggest thrills, made me think, made me... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Best Of 2014: Ben Umstead's Reflections And Favorites

As much as I can see 2014 packed to the gills with films people fell head over heels for, many of those mainstream and even Twitch favorites will be vacant from this list, simply because I thought this was a... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Twitch's Top 10 Movies Of 2014

And that's the end of that chapter. 2014 is running on fumes and all eyes are already looking to awards season and the behemoths of next year that threaten to decimate the box office. The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Sony Scraps THE INTERVIEW Release

4:50 PST UPDATE: Sony Has 'no further release plans for The Interview', including VOD or DVD/Blu. It started with the infamous hack into Sony servers last month. Then vague threats towards attacks on theaters that would show it. And despite... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

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   
  
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