One of the short films showing at the USA Film Festival Texas Shorts program is the powerful story and visually stunning Far From the Tree, directed by Dave Thomas. Written by David Kear, the film stars North Texas-based talent Cheryl Allison (No Letting Go), Angie Bolling (Robocop) and rising young talent Gabriel Rush (Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel).
Far From the Tree is a painful story about a woman who was violated by someone she trusted in the past and the struggle to connect with her son who is the physical result of that violation. Abbie (Allison) freaks out when her ex best friend Drew (Michael Hunsaker) comes back to the small Texas town. Evan (Rush) is overwhelmed with conflicting emotions.
The uniqueness of the film is refreshing and the characters are treated with respectful delicacy, without losing that raw emotional truth. Cheryl Allison does a winning job of keeping her character’s emotions under the surface, until the storm that spills them over. It’s also a treat to see Angie Bolling play a different kind of character far away from the glamor woman she is usually cast in. Her southern sensibilities as the concerned and mothering Aunt Dot are a good foil opposite Allison.
Here is an interview with Director Dave Thomas at the USA Film Festival. He talks about the story and working with the actors.
Thomas discusses the vulnerability of Rush’s character and also what’s next for the film.
Actress Cheryl Allison, who plays the main character Abbie, talks about producing the film and the location where the story takes place.
Actress Angie Bolling chimes in on how she got on board.
Screenwriter David Kear talks about going from novel idea to writing for film.
Abbie is a challenging role to play but Allison had a secret that helped her through it.
Far From the Tree is showing tonight, April 30, as part of the Closing Night of the USA Film Festival. For more information, please check out the festival program.