Alan Smithee

The Pact – Trailer

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One really cool aspect of being a Utahn, is that we get first pick for what movies to watch at Sundance when it comes up every year. One of the cooler events that you can check out this year is the 2011 Sundance “Park City At Midnight” selection. What’s got me most excited about this is that WPR’s Firefly favorite Jewel Staite (Kaylee) will be appearing in a short 11 minute movie called The Pact.

The official synopsis follows:

In THE PACT, a young woman finds herself alone in the house of her late mother where an unsettling – and sinister – presence emerges.

Premiering as an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the short film THE PACT, written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy, stars Jewel Staite (Firefly, Serenity) and Sam Ball (The Event). Playing with Calvin Reeder’s The Oregonian in the Park City at Midnight section of Sundance 2011, THE PACT is a dark ghost story told in a taut 11 minutes.

A legion of sci-fi fans know star Jewel Staite as Kaylee on Joss Whedon’s cult series Firefly, a role she reprised in the feature film version, Serenity. Jewel’s tense performance in THE PACT as a besieged young woman is a unique compliment to her long resume in film and television.

Three-time Sundance director Nicholas McCarthy points to his love of the horror films of Dario Argento as an influence, but also to the subtler work of famed horror producer Val Lewton. “I wanted to tell a story about a woman dealing with a private, self-inflicted terror. My favorite aspects of horror films as diverse as Argento’s Suspiria or Lewton’s The Seventh Victim are their intense atmospheres. My goal was to call on those movies for reference and use them in the service of a character piece. I think the result is really different.”

THE PACT’s soundtrack, composed by Ronen Landa, features haunting solo violin performances by Anna Bulbrook of indie rock darlings The Airborne Toxic Event, and piano by world class jazz pianist Dan Tepfer. The cinematography is by award-winning DP Bridger Nielson, known for his striking spots for Sony, Adidas and many others.

Those here in Utah for Sundance will be able to catch this screening on the 24th (next Monday) at Midnight.

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