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'Yelling To The Sky' Is A Film You Need To See This Weekend (In Theaters, VOD, Digital)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
December 14, 2012 2:20 PM
4 Comments
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Still From 'Yelling To The Sky'
Still From 'Yelling To The Sky'

So here we are... if it feels like it's been a long journey from script to screen for Victoria Mahoney's Yelling To The Sky, it's because it has.

Welcome to indie filmmaking!

We first learned about it in 2009, and profiled the film on the old S&A website - almost exactly 3 years ago actually (November 3, 2009). This was about 3 weeks or so before one of the film's co-stars, Gabourey Sidibe's feature film acting debut, the heavily-debated Precious, would open in theaters in the USA, and there was much interest in what she would do next - questions about whether she could have a career in Hollywood (given her skin color and size - both antithetical to Hollywood's standards of beauty and femininity), what types of roles she'd be *allowed* to play, etc.

Her appearance in it seemed to initially overshadow the contributions of the film's talented young star, Zoe Kravitz (in a seemingly natural, strong, gritty, gutsy performance, and unlike anything you've previously seen her in, or expect to see her in), as well as its writer and director, the aforemention confident and courageous Victoria Mahoney.

And audiences around the world (the film screened internationally, premiering at the Berlinale early last year) have since come to recognize and applaud the abilities of both, as well as the entire talented, and in some ways invisible, ragtag group of actors and production crew, who invested plenty (and I'm not even talking about money) to see Yelling To The Sky realized.

It was in 2011 when I first saw the film, and, in short, loved it! I'll re-post my review of it after this, for those who haven't read it (this was over 1 1/2 years ago, so I imagine lots of you have not, since you may not have been readers of the site at the time). 

It's a film that I'd say is more about the journey than the destination, as cliched as that might sound. It's what I'd call an immersive experience - less traditional 3-part story structure Hollywood studio (or even American indie) movie, and almost more of what I'd call stream-of-consciousness cinema, that stimulates almost all the senses, really placing the audience inside the movie - specifically, inside the lead character's head, as you experience the same life trials and triumphs that she does.

So prepare to be challenged - which is a very good thing, in my not-so humble opinion when it comes to cinema, especially as we're constantly bombarded with movies (especially Hollywood-style) lacking in spirit and courage. 

And just like Precious did, I expect that Yelling To The Sky, given its raw content, will stir up some debate amongst audiences who see it; although, to be clear, it shares little with Lee Daniel's drama.

That long journey is coming to its end, as Yelling To The Sky opens in a multi-platform release (theatrical, cable VOD, digital download - via MPI Media Group) today, Friday, December 14, 2012, to hopefully be followed by a major market roll out.

In terms of theatrical, it opens in New York today, playing at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, in Manhattan. And for those uptown, ImageNation's RAW SPACE, at 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd in Harlem, will also run the film for a week.

Ideally, I'm sure many would prefer to see it on the big screen; but again, welcome to indie filmmaking and distribution! Not everyone who's interested in seeing it in a theatrical setting will. However, as noted, the film is available in other formats - like iTunes. In fact, I'm sitting at my laptop, with iTunes open, and looking right at it, in the movie section, where you can rent it and watch right now - just a few clicks away!

The point is, you've got options, so take advantage of whatever is available to you. I encourage you to visit the film's website at this link HERE for what all those options are.

The coming-of-age drama was produced by Mahoney, Billy Mulligan and Ged Dickersin, and stars Kravitz, Sidibe, Antonique SmithTim Blake NelsonJason ClarkeYolonda Ross, and Shareeka Epps.

The synopsis again:

Kravitz stars as Sweetness O'Hara, an introspective and shy teenager who tries to blend into the crowded halls of her high school. But an increasingly complex home life and a growing threat at school soon carry her into a world of reckless ambivalence. 

Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Lab selection, Mark Silverman Maryland Film Fellowship, and Annenberg Film Fellowship winner, Mahoney's Yelling To The Drama debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2011, commencing its film festival circuit travels, attracting acclaim, and some controversy, along the way.

Watch the trailer below:

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4 Comments

  • Xi | December 18, 2012 12:17 PMReply

    FINALLY!!!! I've been with this film from the beginning and I'm so excited to finally get a chance to see it. I'll be reading your review after I watch the film today! ::happy dance::

  • Peggy | December 16, 2012 11:08 AMReply

    Um, before I spend my money on streaming (and using up my data quota) can somebody tell me what it's about?

  • ska-triumph | December 16, 2012 1:09 AMReply

    FYI S&A family:
    I saw the film earlier this evening on the big screen in NYC. And while I wasn't fulfilled by the narrative - I'll get into it more on Tambay's review - I did appreciate and do applaud the filmmaking. It showed boldness and commitment, to a point where I'll see this again on VOD.

  • J | December 14, 2012 7:01 PMReply

    First time commenter, long time reader of the site. Films like these are what makes streaming worth it to me. I wouldn't be able to see films like this before they come out for purchase in DVD, Blu-Ray format because KY isn't the spot for independent black films. Red Hook summer was my first streaming rental, Yelling to the Sky was my second. Good movie, not perfect, but great start for Ms. Mahoney. She didn't overdo it in ways films of this subject matter could go which I appreciate. Antonique Smith was very good, maybe it's because she reminded me of some women I've known. Keep informing us your readers, Shadow and Act.

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