Interview with ‘We Are Moving Stories’

Woods Hole Film Festival / LA ShortsFest – The Games We Play
An innocent game among friends forever alters the course of a relationship.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Annika Marks

Congratulations! Why did you make your film?

I was inspired to write this movie after I heard a hysterical story from a friend backstage at a play we were doing about a hypothetical game ending in a breakup. I thought it was a great concept and had it kicking around in my head for years. I’ve been working on building confidence as a content creator – not just an actor. I’ve been writing in secret for a long time.

After I created “Stay Filthy, Cali” with some friends (a raunchy, comedic PSA series for the CA drought) I had even more enthusiasm for putting my own ideas out there and that’s how this short was born. I took it to my husband, Rich Newey, who’s a director and asked him to direct it for me. He said he wouldn’t direct if for me, but he would direct it with me, and by doing so he’s helped me empower myself. We reached out to some of our all-time favorite collaborators to help bring it to life on a shoe string budget and it was a dream come true experience.

Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?

It’s as divisive as it is entertaining. It feels like a realistic light comedy, until it’s over. That’s when debates break out. We’ve loved watching audiences react. Watch it with your loved ones and we guarantee you’ll have a great conversation over drinks after!

How do personal and universal themes work in your film?

“The Games We Play” is about the red flags we recognize early on in relationships and often do nothing about, knowing in the long run they’ll catch up to us. It’s about trusting your instincts and going with your gut – and about the things we say, without saying them directly, that reveal the truth.

How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?

I wrote and re-wrote up until the day before production began. And then our amazing cast picked it up and we let them play as much as they wanted. We really wanted the cast to feel like they’d been friends since childhood so we had a rehearsal the night before we shot and gave everyone permission to explore and improvise. Then we asked our incredible DP Jessica Young to keep moving and make the camera act as a 7th friend at the bar. It was a real team effort to get the look and feel right. In the end Rich did a genius editing job and managed to get exactly the tone I had always envisioned. It’s realistic and ridiculous at the same time.

Continue reading at We Are Moving Stories

‘The Fosters’ season 5 + ‘The World Without You’

Tune into the season 5 premiere of ‘The Fosters’ tonight at 8/7c on Freeform to see Annika reprise her role of Monte Porter. In case you missed the episode, you can stream it on Freeform’s website here.

In other news, Annika has landed a role in the upcoming film ‘The World Without You’…

The film, based on the Joshua Henkin’s best-selling novel and adapted by Dan Pulick, explores how a family copes with the death of son, a journalist killed on assignment in Iraq. During a weekend memorial service, old hurts and dark secrets emerge that threaten to tear the fragile threads holding the family together. Chris Mulkey (Captain Phillips), Perrey Reeves (Famous In Love), James Tupper (Big Little Lies), PJ Byrne (Wolf of Wall Street), Annika Marks (Anguish), Lyndie Greenwood (Sleepy Hollow), Lynn Cohen (Hunger Games), and Suzanne C. Johnson (Empty Space) co-star in the pic, which will begin production next week. Bradley LaRocco, Charles Mudd and Shalit are producing the pic with Mitchell serving as an exec producer. (Source: Deadline)

AFME + Woods Hole Film Festival

Congratulations to “The Games We Play”! It was the runner up for the Best Director Award and Audience Award at the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience.

“The Games We Play” will have its east coast premiere at the Woods Hole Film Festival in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. It will screen as part of the “Shorts V: Choices” program on Monday, July 31st at 6:00pm at Old Woods Hole Fire Station. Tickets can be purchased here.


‘Waco’: Camryn Manheim, Eric Lange Among 5 Cast In Event Series For Par Network

The Practice alumna Camryn Manheim, Eric Lange (Narcos), Annika Marks (The Fosters), Stephen Culp (Bosch) and Sarah Minnich (Better Call Saul) have joined the cast of Waco, the six-part event series that will be part of the inaugural slate launching Viacom’s Paramount Network in January 2018.

Produced by Weinstein Television, the series chronicles the 1993 standoff between the FBI and ATF and the Branch Davidians, a spiritual sect led by David Koresh, told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved in both sides of the conflict. Filming is underway in Santa Fe, NM.

Manheim will play Balenda Thibodeau, the mother of David Thibodeau, one of Koresh’s close followers within the compound. Lange will portray local radio shock jock Ron Engelman. Marks is Kathy Schroder, one of Koresh’s loyal followers. Culp will play FBI agent Jeff Jamar, who served as the siege commander during Waco. Minnich will portray Sharon Wheeler, spokeswoman for the ATF.

They join previously cast Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, Melissa Benoist, Julia Garner, John Leguizamo, Andrea Riseborough, Rory Culkin, Paul Sparks and Shea Whigham.

Waco is written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (No Escape), Salvatore Stabile and Sarah Nicole Jones. Four episodes will be directed by John Erick Dowdle with two directed by Dennie Gordon.

Shannon, Kitsch, the Dowdle brothers and Stabile are executive producers of the series along with TWC co-chairmen Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein, president and COO David Glasser, co-head of production Jennifer Malloy and head of scripted television Megan Spanjian of Weinstein Television.

Manheim is an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for her role on The Practice, and she received both Emmy and Golden Globe noms for her role on CBS miniseries Elvis. She’s repped by UTA, Framework Entertainment and Stone Genow.

Lange is a series regular on Narcos, which releases its third season later this year. He’s repped by Domain and Trademark Talent.

Marks plays Monte Porter on The Fosters and recurs in the role of Bernadette on The Last Tycoon. She’s repped by Talentworks and LINK Entertainment.

Culp can be seen in Bosch and previously recurred on Code Black.

Minnich recurred as Brenda on Better Call Saul and most recently guest-starred in Graves, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series and Preacher.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

“The Games We Play” Heading to AFME 2017 + NBFF Screening Date

“The Games We Play” will be featured at the 2017 Albuquerque Film & Music Experience. It will screen on Saturday, June 10th at 4:00pm in the South Broadway Cultural Center. Festival passes can be purchased here, while individual tickets go on sale April 10th.

“The Games We Play” will screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Wednesday, April 26th at 6:00pm at the Starlight Triangle Square Cinema in Costa Mesa, CA. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased here.

Upcoming “The Games We Play” Screenings

“The Games We Play” has been accepted into the Rincon International Film Festival in Puerto Rico and the Sonoma International Film Festival  (SIFF) in Sonoma, CA. The short film will screen at Rincon during Comedy Night on Wednesday, March 29th at 6:00pm. For tickets, click here. At SIFF, it will screen as part of the Comedy Shorts program on Friday, March 31st at 9:00am at the Taiwan Tourism Bureau Theatre and Saturday, April 1st at the Celebrity Cruises Mobile Cinema. For festival passes, please click here.

“The Games We Play” has also been selected for the Newport Beach Film Festival, which runs April 20-27 in Newport Beach, CA. Dates and times of screenings will be posted when they become available.

Cinequest Q&A

“The Games We Play” premiered last Friday, March 3rd at the Cinequest Film & VR Festival as part of the comedy short films program. After the screening, a Q&A session was held with the directors in attendance. Below are two clips from the Q&A of Annika and her co-star Brooke Nevin. “The Games We Play” will have one more screening this Thursday, March 9th at 8:30pm at the Century 20 in Redwood City, CA. For tickets, please visit Cinequest.