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Preview "Noah" (Feature Film Set In Alternate Modern-Day USA In Which Slavery Still Exists)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 12, 2012 12:53 PM
17 Comments
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noah

Thanks to Charles Judson for alerting me to this project.

It's a feature-length film titled Noah from Waltham, Massachusetts-based Identical Films, a production company founded by Anthony and James Deveney, and co-producer Andrew Johnson.

The film is set in an alternate present-day America in which slavery was never abolished. The story follows an escaped slave named Noah, as he tries to flee the country and reach a rumored freedom refuge in Canada.

Needless to say the idea immediately intrigued me, and so I emailed the filmmakers (Anthony is listed as director) for further details about the project, and here's what I was told: 

First, post-production was completed just last week, so the film is done.

Second, a private screening of it was held on January 5th for cast, close friends and family.

They are submitting it to as many film festivals as they can, though no word on where it's been accepted yet (I'm sure we'll find out as the year progresses; it's still early, and they only just wrapped).

It's a drama/thriller.

Their inspiration for the film came from their desire to make a film about slavery, but given how expensive a period piece would be (they work with low budgets, and shoot guerilla-style), they instead chose to set the story in the present-day, sine it would be cheaper to make.

"We wanted the film to be seen as a parallel of our world in which discrimination is still so common. Also, this was a chance to show the horrors of our country's history. Most important to us, was crafting a story that would stay with a viewer after leaving the theater," Anthony added.

This is their very first feature film, which was shot from July through to August of 2011, digitally with the Canon 5D camera, and edited on a Macbook Pro.

They financed it mostly themselves with donations from friends and family.

The cast comprised of more than 50 actors; the lead actor is Andy Jasmin, an MA native, currently living in LA pursuing acting.

That's about it! But that should be enough... for now anyway.

As already noted, the film is headed to film festivals first, but we'll have to wait and see where it'll be accepted; and as I learn of its travels, I'll share here.

I'm certainly curious; I'm not really sure what to expect, but the subject matter is intriguing, and inline with many discussions we've had on S&A about taking chances with storytelling.

We lament what seems like a revived interest in so-called slavery-themed movies & TV shows by Hollywood, and here's one that takes a different approach to that particular narrative; so let's see how this goes...

In the meantime, check out the teaser trailer below for a look at what you can expect from Noah (full poster underneath):

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17 Comments

  • artbizzy | January 15, 2012 9:20 AMReply

    Okay, first thoughts on the trailer: I feel unexpectedly moved. I didn't know slavery movies could still do that to me. And this was just the trailer. Very much looking forward to seeing this. When the well-meaning whites took him in and then gave him the Bible I was like, yes, go THERE about THAT! This parallel reality seems so possible, yet so much of it seems already apart of this world. Making it modern day was brilliant. though very different, it puts me in mind of Lars von Trier's, twisted, slavery film, "Manderlay" set after slavery was abolished but took place in the 1920's I believe. Powerful trailer. Best wishes with this project.

  • Not a fan | January 15, 2012 4:50 AMReply

    What....in...the...hell?! I'm offended on so many levels, I can hardly type! Really? Swat team busting in? The only "concept" I see here is a New World Order! SMDH!!!

  • Temi | January 14, 2012 12:15 AMReply

    Thinks looks interesting even with the shoddy music. I think the concept sounds and looks very different.

  • James Deveney | January 12, 2012 10:00 PMReply

    If you want to see tons of stills, set photos, and some videos check us out on Facebook at:
    http://www.Facebook.com/NoahMovie
    or our website
    http://www.IdenticalFilms.com
    Like our page if you want!!!
    Thanks

  • Tamara | January 12, 2012 9:59 PMReply

    Definitely interested.

  • James Deveney | January 12, 2012 7:12 PMReply

    Our film focuses on the strength, perseverance and love of our two main characters, not their "weakness". We're truly sorry that you feel the way you do about our film Guyver. But it is your opinion and you can say whatever you want about it. We just hope you give it a second thought.

  • Mark Lund | January 12, 2012 7:03 PMReply

    I played the character of Martin Scott in this film - the slave owner. Let me offer my comments. First, we have to applaud the very simple fact that this film was made. It is a true independent film. Anyone that leverages their own pocketbook to produce needs to win some sort of an award. Second, working opposite star Andy Jasmin was a true pleasure. These were not easy roles to play by any stretch of the imagination. As an out gay man I have seen first hand how spineless ("racist") and bigoted people can be. For me to play this character I channeled all the hate I experienced by those that looked at me as a "second class" citizen because of who and what I am. Noah is much more than a film about slavery in an America that never abolished it, it is about the greater picture of what can happen in a world left unchecked. Let there be no mistake, we have politicians running for office now that would throw millions under the bus to advance their belief that we are not all created equal. I hope the film Noah makes people feel uncomfortable. It should.

  • Cynthia | January 12, 2012 3:27 PMReply

    Oh Lord...I can imagine what this comments board is gonna look like in a few days! LoL

  • guyver | January 12, 2012 3:05 PMReply

    What!!!!! Are you serious with this right now!! Did some checking and just as I thought, done by a white director. No African American director would have made this nonsense. I don't buy into the weak Black man and woman, saved and educated by the superior white man... this is 2012!!! Not drinking the Kool-Aid :( Also the acting and the pacing is poor.

  • Megatron2012 | January 12, 2012 8:10 PM

    Guyver; why can't a white director make this? I am just a film fan in general but is there a list of movie types certain demographics can not make? Can a man not make a film about rape? Could a sane person not make a movie about depression? Under your theory an Italian couldn't make a movie about Irish immigration. I see a movie that looks like it is about the human spirit...luckily humans made it or you would have a problem with that. But art should inspire commentary and reflection so I guess this ia the case here.

  • Lee Simonds | January 12, 2012 6:41 PM

    I think you are missing the point Guyver. "Noah" shows how spineless racist human beings can be. The character "Noah" was the bravest man in this whole film. It's ok though bud I understand. You can go back to watching you brain dead Hollywood films.

  • Deanna | January 12, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    BRILLIANT concept!

  • Darkan | January 12, 2012 2:10 PMReply

    And I wonder whose idea was this? Rolling my eyes, sucking my teeth and smdh.

  • Tommy Oliver | January 12, 2012 1:13 PMReply

    What a novel yet brilliant concept. Thanks for sharing and I'll be sure to look out for this one.

  • L | January 12, 2012 1:23 PM

    A 2005 mockumentary called "CSA: The Confederate States of America" also depicted an alternate/speculative universe wherein present-day American slavery exists. (Spike Lee was involved in production at some point.) Of course, the genre and tone of the two films are radically different.

  • Vanessa | January 12, 2012 1:04 PMReply

    Interesting concept. I'm curious.

  • Epatric | January 13, 2012 6:22 PM

    I will be watching for this, it looks... intriguing.

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