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.

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   
  

Slamdance 2015: TwitchFilm Raises The Curtain With 10 Must-Sees

The always surprising and exciting Slamdance Film Festival kicks off today, so we've got ten selections from their narrative and doc competitions, Beyond and special screening slates that you are gonna wanna keep an eye on. The festival looks to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Preview: 10 Films From Premieres, Midnight & All The Rest

Sundance kicks off TONIGHT! We've already brought you previews from the Dramatic Competitions and the Documentaries on offer in Park City. Today we take a quick tour of the remaining sections. Here are a few films from Premieres, Midnight, Spotlight,... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2015: HELLIONS Will Melt Your Skin Off With This New Clip

Sundance Midnight selection Hellions marks Bruce McDonald first foray into horror since cult favorite Pontypool. This also marks McDonald's first film in Park City since 1992's Highway 61. Hellions stars Robert Patrick as a small town sheriff who teams up... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Crowdfund This: Chamber Drama Goes Silent In DRIFTWOOD

The power of sound, whether a boom or a whisper, can infect us, haunt us for days.The absence of words, of speech, the strange milieu of the body, of authority, physical, purely primal, can be terrifying.Enter director/DP Paul Taylor's Driftwood,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Preview: 14 Documentary Picks

Sundance starts this Thursday and the TwitchFilm team is here to bring you a look at a few of the festival's documentaries on offer in the US and World Documentary competitions and the Documentary Premieres section. Check back tomorrow for... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Watch Mesmerizing Sci-Fi Short LAST OF YOU

Israeli filmmaker Dan Sachar has been a favorite around these parts since an early student film of his, When It Will Be Silent, came on our radar in 2009.Sachar's meditative, mystical short form works over the years have culminated with... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2015 Preview: 11 Picks From The Dramatic Competitions

Welcome to Sundance week! The festival kicks off Thursday and we've got a series of previews for you. Today we start by taking a look at a few of the features in the US Dramatic, World Dramatic, and NEXT competitions.... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Slamdance 2015: Meet The Filmmakers, Part 2

We're back with part 2 of our little discovery session on competition films and the first-time feature filmmakers behind them at the 21st Slamdance Film Festival. Will your new favorite filmmaker be amongst this year's crop? If you haven't already,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015: Meet The Filmmakers, Part 1

The reason why I consider the Slamdance Film Festival a high priority for any new festival going year can be summed up in one word: Discovery.Now, surely discovery plays heavily into any fest the world over, whether that's finding a... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: BLACKHAT, Michael Mann's Moronic Cyber Scavenger Hunt

Humanity's fascination with the microchip started long before they became everyday necessities for the first world population. You see, we humans have always taken strides for some semblance of consistency and structure through networks and grids. Design and architecture in the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

COMMUNITY Season 6 Starts March 17 On Yahoo

Yahoo announced today during their Television Critics Association press session that the sixth season of the much-beloved, already-cancelled and obviously resurrected Community would begin streaming on Yahoo Screen March 17. They will start with two episodes and from there on... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Woody Allen Heads To Amazon

Woody Allen is heading back to TV. Or, er, well kinda. A near lifetime after getting his start as a writer on The Tonight Show and Candid Camera, the Annie Hall director is set to write and direct an entire... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2015 Exclusive Clip: FEMALE PERVERT Insists You Play With Your Penis

TwitchFilm is proud to present an exclusive clip from Jiyoung Lee's Female Pervert, which will have its world premiere January 24 in the Beyond program at the 21st Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. To say this one is... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

James Franco To Close Slamdance 2015 With YOSEMITE

We all know the admittedly tired joke by now: James Franco is everywhere.The exception is that on January 29th, he'll specifically be somewhere. That'd be wrapping up the 21st Slamdance Film Festival in Park City with the world premiere of... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
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