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New Zealand film starring Julia Ormond to have US world premiere

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Jake Mahaffy’s Reunion will have its world premiere in the newly formed Nightstream Film Festival, an online collaboration between major US genre festivals Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights Festivals.

Reunion, written and directed by Jake Mahaffy and produced by Nadia Maxwell, Ainsley Gardiner, Georgina Conder and Mike S Ryan, stars Julia Ormond, Emma Draper, Cohen Holloway and John Bach. When Ellie returns to her childhood home, heavily pregnant, she’s reunited with her estranged mother. She becomes consumed by dark memories that haunt the house and ends up unearthing the hidden, horrifying reality of her family.

"We're thrilled to be part of the Nightstream festival, given the uncertainty and chaos of the year, it's great to be collaborating with an initiative that is thinking outside the box to reach audiences," says Reunion producer Nadia Maxwell.

"Nightstream brings together five existing film communities for a collective experience and I’m excited to be a part of it," says writer-director Jake Mahaffy. "Reunion isn’t a straight- up horror. It’s definitely a little more nuanced and more of a slow burn psychological thriller with horror elements. It’s for people who have eclectic tastes in horror film and can tolerate boundaries in the genre."

"It is such an achievement that Reunion be presented by not one, but five highly-regarded genre film festivals," says New Zealand Film Commission CEO Annabelle Sheehan. "This is a haunting film that showcases Jake’s unique and audacious voice."

Mahaffy’s previous feature, Free In Deed, was awarded the Orizzonti Prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Earlier work includes feature Wellness, which won the 2008 SXSW Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, and many short films such as AD 1363 (Sundance, 2015) and Miracle Boy, which had its international premiere at the 69th Venice Film Festival in 2012.

Reunion will also screen in the Future/Now Competition at Montclair Film Festival (Oct 16-25), as well as in the Narrative Competition at Indie Memphis Film Festival (Oct 21-29).

Reunion was made with investment by the New Zealand Film Commission, Chicago-based MPI Media Group and Los Angeles-based Water’s End Productions with additional support from Department of Post. Producers are Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Conder of Miss Conception Films, with Mike Ryan of Greyshack Films and Nadia Maxwell of Overactive Imagination

Reunion will release theatrically in New Zealand on 5 November via 387. MPI Media Group are handling international sales.

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