IMAGINE A FUTURE WITHOUT BORDERS: British Sci-Fi Feature COYOTE Set To Screen At Flickers’ Vortex Film Festival On October 28
“Coyote”, the British sci-fi feature film debut from American filmmaker Dustin Curtis Murphy, is slated to screen as part of Flickers' Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, And Horror Film Festival on Saturday, October 28th at 1pm at the Vets Cinematheque. The film, which was recently nominated for a National Film Award, stars “The Witcher” actress Therica Wilson-Read and "Absentia" actress Borislava Stratieva and was co-produced by Addy Raja and Chris Kyriacou.
The cast also features BIFA winner Ruhtxjiaih Bellenea (“The Last Tree”) and Ailish Symons (“The Importance of Being Earnest”), Tian Chaudry (“You Were Never Really Here”), Beruce Khan (RSC Live: “Twelfth Night”) and Richard Glover (“Censor” & “Rogue One”). The film had its international premiere on March 24th at the Phoenix Film Festival and enjoyed a further sold-out screening at the festival on April 2nd. The film was released in the US on June 20th, 2023. A UK release is yet to be announced.
Speaking about the screening, Murphy had this to say "It's extremely exciting to screen Coyote at Flicker's Vortex. Their programming team has always been supportive of my work, although this is the first time a film I've directed has actually made it to their audiences. I've been submitting my short films to their festival year after year, and always walked away with Semi-Finalist status, so to get to actually screen with my debut feature film is a dream come true. There is a big audience for genre films, and sometimes it feels like the prestige awards would rather exclude genre filmmakers, so it's encouraging to see an Academy Award qualifying festival offer a genre sidebar."
“Coyote” is a story of forbidden love in a dystopian future where teleportation technology enables two refugees to escape genocide. When they trust the wrong back-alley teleporter, Ekaterina (Wilson-Read) and Anya (Stratieva) are separated. In a desperate attempt to be reunited, our heroines are entwined in an insidious human trafficking ring involving corrupt politicians.
Speaking about why he opted to make the film, Murphy stated “When I first started working on the script for "Coyote", the Syrian refugee crisis was at the top of my mind, however, in pre-production Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made our film, sadly, more relevant than ever.
With "Coyote" I wanted to paint a portrait where LGBTQ refugees were seen as the heroes they are. "Coyote" is ultimately a story about love. It hardly seems controversial to say that people should have the right to love whomever they wish, but as we’ve seen recently with Uganda passing legislation making it a crime to identify as LGBTQ, now more than ever we need to push these types of stories to the forefront of the public conversation.”
Born and raised in LA, Dustin has been living in the UK since 2017. A multi-disciplined award-winning shorts, commercials, and narrative feature filmmaker, his last short film “Samaritan”, which tackles the subject of climate change, won the Sedona Film Festival and the Weather Channel’s #EarthFilmChallenge. Away from filmmaking, he is the CEO of Kino Short Film - a filmmakers’ collective which offers screening, funding, and networking opportunities to short filmmakers, and operates the BIFA qualifying Kino London Short Film Festival.
British-born actress Therica Wilson-Read is perhaps best known for playing the role of Sabrina Glevissig in the global sensation Netflix Original Series THE WITCHER.
The fantasy epic is one of Netflix’s most-viewed shows across the platform, having won two BAFTAs and nominated for three Emmys. Alongside co-stars Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan, Therica has starred the show since the beginning, and will be reprising her role of Sabrina in the third series coming to Netflix this summer.
Originally from London, Therica attended RADA before going on to feature in multiple projects. She has just wrapped on new project ‘STOP MOTION’, featuring Aisling Francioisi and Tom York, directed by Robert Morgan - more info here. Therica is also starring in BACK TO BLACK, the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic, featuring Marisa Abela, Jack O’Connell and Lesley Manville. Other previous credits include YOUNG WALLANDER (Netflix), SUICIDE CLUB and PROFILE.
The film’s co-producer, Addy Raja, works as an NHS medical doctor. Combining his passion for storytelling and desire to help others, he set up the UK’s first healthcare film production company, producing an array of award-winning short films and feature documentaries. The Climate Story Lab, ran by Exposure Labs and Doc Society, has named him as one of the UK’s top 100 diverse filmmakers. His first short, NORA, won dozens of international film awards and premiered at the prestigious BFI IMAX Theatre in London as part of a TED Talk. “Coyote” is his debut narrative feature, with his second “The Lonely Musketeer” set for release later this year.
Speaking about the film, Raja said “As the child of Pakistani immigrants, I know too well the experience of being discriminated against whilst trying to find an identity in an ever changing social landscape. My background as an NHS junior doctor has further exposed me to immigrant stories and the importance of diversity when tackling some of the issues we face in modern society.”
Raja is joined by co-producer Chris Kyriacou, who starred in Raja & Murphy’s acclaimed short “Samaritan”. Kyriacou’s other shorts, “Denzel” and “Swim”, have received widespread acclaim and prestigious accolades, including a Grand Prize win at the Academy Award qualifying Edmonton International Film Festival and an Official Selection at the Academy Award and BAFTA accredited LA Shorts and Bronze Lens festivals.
Speaking about what drew him to the film “As a film producer, I was compelled to take on the project of Coyote, recognizing the vital importance of telling stories that shed light on the experiences of marginalized groups, such as refugees escaping an oppressive regime. In an industry dominated by mainstream narratives, independent films like Coyote provide a crucial platform for amplifying underrepresented voices and fostering empathy and understanding among audiences.”
COYOTE SCREENS AT VORTEX FILM FESTIVAL ON OCTOBER 28
About Gravitas Ventures
Gravitas Ventures is a leading all rights distributor of independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America - over one billion homes worldwide. Their recent wide theatrical release "Mack & Rita" starring Academy Award Winner Diane Keaton released under the new label Gravitas Premiere.
Recent Gravitas Venture releases include "The King’s Daughter" directed by Sean McNamara, "Queen Bees" directed by Michael Lembeck, "Our Friend" directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel, "Vanguard" directed by Stanley Tong and starring Jackie Chan, and "The Secret: Dare to Dream" directed by Andy Tennant and starring Katie Holmes. For more information, please visitwww.gravitasventures.com, and follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.
About Anthem Sports & Entertainment, Inc.
Anthem Sports & Entertainment Inc. is a global multi-platform media company with offices and studios in Toronto, Los Angeles, Denver, Nashville, New York, Kansas City and Cleveland. Anthem's portfolio includes AXS TV, a leading music, entertainment and lifestyle television channel and digital media company; global film distribution company Gravitas Ventures; Fight Network, the world's premier combat sports channel with broadcast distribution across 10+ countries and available globally through multiple OTT platforms; IMPACT Wrestling, one of the world's leading wrestling organizations; Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s premier all-women mixed martial arts promotion; Game+, the leader in sports wagering, Esports and gaming content; GameTV, the home of game shows and competition-based reality series; and HDNet Movies, which features theatrically released films and documentaries. Anthem also has a significant ownership interest in Pursuit Channel, one of the top outdoor channels in the U.S.