By Liz Lopez

Rating: B+

The Big Bend is the latest feature film from writer/director Brett Wagner (The Hidden, Chief) and it had the World Premiere at the Austin Film Festival. The premiere had a sold-out theater and probably the same for the second screening during the festival. It was so popular it was a Buzz Screening selection and earned another screening spot at the festival before closing. It is a very entertaining film, given the well written script with drama and humor, the excellent performances by the cast, as well as the professional cinematography by Emmy-Award winner Paul Atkins ASC (Director of Photography on Malick’s Voyage of Time and Blue, Disneynature’s documentary). I most certainly hope that the film will find a way to be seen by a wider audience after the festival circuit.

The Big Bend has a great cast of established actors in television and film, as well as young talent starting out, and two young ladies making their debut. Jason Butler Harner (“Ozark,” “Next” TV series), Virginia Kull (“Big Little Lies,” “This is Us”), Erica Ash (Uncle Drew, “In Contempt” TV series) David Sullivan (Small Town Wisconsin, “The Wilds” TV series), Nick Masciangelo (“Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels,” TV series, Waikiki), and featuring Grae Mathews (Colors, Dark Chocolate), Gavin Mathews (“Side by Side,” “House Hunters Renovation” TV series), Alejandro Rose – Garcia (The Get Together, Dance with the One) and introducing Delilah Wagner and Zoë Wagner.

About the Film: The Big Bend is an ensemble drama telling a personal story. Something that gets at the heady mix of joy and fear that defines parenthood. Something that is true to the mysterious, desolate, and surpassingly beautiful place that is the Big Bend region of West Texas. This intimate drama is in many ways The Big Chill meets Paris, Texas.

The Big Bend Film Origins:  This movie began to take root when the filmmakers brought their families together to an isolated area of Texas (near the ghost town of Terlingua), exploring the desert, having adventures, and nearly getting ourselves in trouble. The things we think about when we think about our families, when we worry about them, loom larger in the isolation of the desert, where the phones don’t work, where animals prowl, where strangers are strange, where help might be hours away. From the everydayness of those dangers sprang the Price and Talbott families, on their own strange trip through the wilds of Big Bend, Texas.

The Big Bend is produced by Texas native Aaron Brown (Derek’s Dead, Hot Tub), Emmy and Critics Choice nominated producer Katrina Wolfe (Nightingale, Captive), with music by Texas native Shakey Graves.

The Big Bend will now be screening at the Hawaii International Film Festival on Saturday, November 6th at 8:30pm at the Consolidated Theatres Kahala. The festival runs November 4th-28th and details are available https://hiff.org/films/the-big-bend/

Source: Austin Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival

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