Ben Umstead
U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California

Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC, where he established an east coast conglomerate of writers for the site. He currently resides in LA, where he works as a producer and script consultant.

Sundance 2015 Review: HOMESICK Charts A Tender Symmetry Of Yearning

Norwegian filmmaker Anne Sewitsky made waves at Sundance in 2011 when her feature debut Happy Happy won the Grand Jury World Dramatic Prize. Sewitsky returned to the festival this year with her third feature, Homesick, a deconstructionist family drama which... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Award Winners

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival came to the penultimate moment tonight with this year's awards ceremony, which saw big wins for festival faves Me, Earl And The Dying Girl and The Witch. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's tale of teenage cinephiles won both... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: THINGS OF THE AIMLESS WANDERER, A World-Class Stunner

To be absolutely mesmerized by a film, totally transfixed, is a rare happening in cinema, but should be the norm, right? Rwanda director Kivu Ruhorahoza's Things Of The Aimless Wanderer is just such a film, spectacular and ambitious in all... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Exclusive Clip: Share The Joy Of CONCRETE LOVE

TwitchFilm is proud to present an exclusive clip from the Slamdance selected Concrete Love, a documentary by Maurizius Staerkle Drux about the Böhms, a renowned family of German architects in their third generation. The film is a marvel of filmmaking,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: ENTERTAINMENT, Seeking The Legendary Laugh To Masterful Effect

Many would say there are two distinct poles to cinema-going. There are those times when you want something warm and familiar. It's comfort food you can share with your family. Not too sweet or sour, not too heavy. And then... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Awards Winners

Last night at Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, the 21st edition of the Slamdance Film Festival came to a close with a packed house gathering for the awards ceremony.This festivals diverse slate of films yielded a palpable excitement in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: YOSEMITE Beautifully Captures The Fearful Majesty Of Boyhood

What is it about childhood that makes us adults so wary of who we once were? Perhaps it is that great fear of the unknown, a shadow, a whisper of adulthood that scares us as children into submission of these... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, DIY Terror At Its Very Best

It begins in the dark hollows of your mind. But you can feel it in your heart. Pumping through your veins. The notion that something is wrong. That the world is wrong. That reality is not what it seems. That... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: CONCRETE LOVE, An Intimate, Immaculate Look At A Family Of Architects

We all wish to be immortalized in some way. To be remembered for something extraordinary or meaningful. Most of us will be remembered by the way we loved, who we loved and how we loved. It is what we do... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Exclusive Clip: Enter The Beguiling World Of ALPHA

TwitchFilm is proud to present an exclusive clip from Stathis Athanasiou's Alpha, which had its North American premiere at Slamdance this week, with a second screening today at 3:30pm at Treasure Mountain Inn.Alpha is a beguiling blend of science fiction... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: H. Explores The Strange Dissonance Of Coupling

There's something strange in the waters of Troy, New York. Something life-changing in the skies. Some of us can see it, some of us can hear it. Some of us will wander into the woods to find it, leaving our... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: HELLIONS, A Monstrous Misstep

Hellions, Journeyman director Bruce McDonald's first foray into horror since 2008's slow-cooker Pontypool, is a maelstorm of horror traditions and tropes, good and bad alike. While the film is never boring for its constant barrage of evocative imagery, cacophonous score... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: BIRDS OF NEPTUNE, Of Malady And Mysticism

Cinema has a way of acting like an echo chamber. it locks us into a space where we are asked to face up to ourselves through the guise of others: Our own doubts, and fears projected on the screen, looking... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT And The Closeness Of The Great Divide

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Rotterdam 2015 Review: In STINKING HEAVEN Everything Rotten Is Good

We all live by rules. Whether they are personal choices to undertake or those put upon us by work or family, we live by them. But sometimes those rules can destroy us.Nathan Silver's fifth feature, Stinking Heaven, takes place in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: FEMALE PERVERT Cuts Cute With Gender Roles

Sex. We wouldn't be here without it. And we sure do like it. But who wants to talk about it? Especially all those particulars...Filmmaker Jiyoung Lee is ready to though, and her intelligent, equally charming and cheeky examination on female... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: RATTER, A New High Mark In Cyber-Suspense

Since the very beginning of the medium, cinema has been inextricably linked to voyeurism.For to see, we have to look. And sometimes that's in wrong or uncomfortable places. We are, as an audience -- at home, in the theater, sitting... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Review: TIRED MOONLIGHT, An Effervescent, Enchanting Debut

Britni West's debut feature is sure to be the most enchanting feature at this year's Slamdance. An ode to small town America, every moment in West's film is is one of effervescent discovery, culling childhood wonder and adult wanderlust with... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Review: TANGERINE Pops With Verve And Vérité

On the streets of Los Angeles sunlight seems to move differently than in most places. It blazes, arching across the sky, like a banshee spreading its wings. From behind the wheel of your car, inching forward in the hellion-marked traffic... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015: Short Film Round-Up

Amidst so many feature narrative and docus to choose from at Sundance, the wide ranging selection of shorts can be easily overlooked. But this is not for a lack of quality as both the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Fiction grand... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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