Influx Magazine Glowing Review from SLOFF


Sedona International Film Festival 2015 - Great Films Hit the Southwest!

by Paul Booth/ Influx Magazine

Girl On the Edge Screens Friday 3/13 at 6 pm and 3/14 at 4pm Synopsis: Girl On the Edge is the powerful true story of a teenager struggling with the aftermath of a horrific trauma caused in part by social media, and the old wounds from her childhood that it reopens. Despite her resistance, she is sent away to an oasis of healing called “Maheo” that uses innovative techniques like equine therapy to empower it’s troubled girls. With the help of an eclectic group of mentors, peers, and a bond with her horse Betsy, she starts to invest in her own recovery and overcomes this powerful rite of passage. Review: With 30 years experiences as a director, photographer and producer, it is no surprise director Jay Silverman (Co-Creator/Executive Producer A&E's The Cleaner) knew exactly where he was at every moment in this film. As the director, Silverman had to approach the multi-layered script that examined social issues such as teen drug use, statutory rape, the over-use of cell phones and the damage the internet is doing to communication and relationships. The true sign of a great film is when the subtext is notable, and simply grazes your face. Subtext should not be a right hook that busts your lip open. Silverman saddled with a cast of great veterans like Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption) and Elizabeth Pena (La Bamba), managed to use them perfectly to guide the character and performance of the star of the film, Taylor Spreitler, who plays Hannah Green. Hannah is a teenage girl struggling with drug abuse, teenage insecurities, the stupidity of boys and well, the realities of being 15. Silverman used Bellows as the father, Jake Green. This is a film that obviously calls attention to the wonderfully-talented Taylor Spreitler--currently on ABC's Melissa and Joey--and there are many good films ahead of her, but you can tell Gil Bellows set her up perfectly. Her Mississippi background means she's musical and knows how to take cues.

Bellows' character, Jake Green, was the perfectly-written father. The true anger comes from how much love he feels for his daughter, and sometimes the audience in the theater or in the audience of our life, we forget the more someone loves us, the more anger comes our way. That is universal truth. Silverman's obvious skills as a director saved this from after school special territory and he honored his audiences sensibilities, knowing teenage drug use and pills are an epidemic right now in the US. Silverman was never preachy and used his own voice for his message, and did not fall prone to making a Spike Lee version of family troubles. It all starts with the script and what a great blue-print laid out by Joey Curtis (Blue Valentine). The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival also has an extraordinary Special Event: Like other festivals including the Sedona International Film Festival which celebrated Orson Welles and his 100th Birthday. The SLO has pulled out all the stops and is offering this amazingly-unique screening of Citizen Kane. Hollywood to Hearst Castle / Citizen Kane in the Hearst Castle Theater Friday, March 13, 5:30 p.m.

* Hearst Castle, San Simeon, Ca.

For more Info: Girl On the Edge Directed by Jay Silverman