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

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

Preview: Japan Cuts 2015 Rocks

North America's largest film festival for contemporary Japanese cinema is back for its 9th edition, taking place at the Japan Society in New York City, July 9 - 19.Dustin Chang and Christopher Bourne, our intrepid vets of the fest, bring... More »
By Ben Umstead   

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   

Twitch's Top 10 Movies Of The First Half Of 2015

As mentioned before, the year 2015 is moving on with breakneck speed, it seems. Currently we're already at the halfway point, and can look back at what's been a pretty surprising cinematic six months. So we asked ourselves what we... More »
By Ard Vijn   

Preview: New York Asian Film Festival, Back In Action!

A summer staple for NYC, the New York Asian Film Festival (affectionately known around these parts as NYAFF) swings back into action at The Film Society Of Lincoln Center and SVA Theater, June 26 - July 11. Jam packed with... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Review: FELT, A United Front Of Creative Forces

There comes a moment early on in Toad Road director Jason Banker's Felt which beautifully sets the tone for what is to unfold over the next 70 or so minutes of his second narrative feature. After partying with a few young... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Watch Delightfully Deranged Short THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM Now

Well, dear readers, it must be short film day here at Twitch.Director Ryan Spindell and his fellow mad scientists and Trapdoor Pictures have something wonderfully pulpy and more than a little silly to share with us today: Their short film... More »
By Ben Umstead   

SICARIO: Watch The Thrilling Trailer For Denis Villeneuve's Crime Epic

Coming off of great buzz at Cannes, Denis Villeneuve's Sicario arrives on U.S. shores September 18. Today the trailer dropped and it's a doozy.Starring Emily Blunt as an FBI agent who gets thrust into the Mexican Cartel drug war, the... More »
By Ben Umstead   

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: First Teaser For AMC's Next Undead Effort

I want my ZTV.AMC's adaption of the comic book The Walking Dead is so gosh darn popular, a second show taking place in Robert Kirkman's zombie universe is coming. Premiering this August, Fear The Walking Dead chronicles the survival of... More »
By Ben Umstead   

LA Film Fest Review: I AM THALENTE, Skating On Passion, Finding Purpose

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound some of us move out of the way... More »
By Ben Umstead   

LA Film Fest Exclusive Clip: I AM THALENTE Doc Visits The Skateboarding Youth Of Durban

When documentarian Natalie Johns and her team returned to her home country of South Africa, they weren't quite expecting the story they found on the streets of Durban.Thalente Biyela is a 17-year old who is homeless and illiterate. And he... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Review: JURASSIC WORLD, When Brand(ed) Chaos Reigns

Jurassic Park was the event movie of my childhood. In the summer of 1993, I was 9 years old. Amidst my enthusiasm for Batman, X-Men, and all things Star Wars, I was compelled and fascinated by the world of dinosaurs.... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Review: UNCERTAIN TERMS, Between Romance And Delusion

We are walking down a serene wooded path. With our back to us is a redheaded girl, her hair in a long, tight braid, her shoulders slumped forward. She's walking through the woods, pondering her very existence: Why is she... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Preview: Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Debuts With Stellar Indie Lineup

There are two things when one considers going to a film festival, or dare to put one on. The first is: location, location, location. The second (or perhaps it's the first): Movies, of course. Plenty of quality, eclectic flicks that... More »
By Ben Umstead   

HIGH WIRE ACT: Jon Hamm Takes The Lead In Tony Gilroy Scripted Thriller

With Mad Men coming to a close later this month, viewers have been wondering what the man behind Don Draper will do next.  While I for one had hoped Jon Hamm would go all out and do a full-on, international... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Nick Park Preps EARLY MAN With StudioCanal

Based on the smashing European success of Shaun The Sheep The Movie, the stop-motion masters at Aardman will be reteaming with StudioCanal for Early Man, Nick Park's first feature directorial outing since Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit.... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Crowdfund This: JIÀOLIÀN [COACH], An Inside Look At Basketball In China

It's rare on 'Crowdfund This' to feature a campaign for a documentary, which makes today an intriguing one on the outset. But wait until you take a closer look at just what Esteban Argüello's Jiàoliàn [Coach] has in store. Jiàoliàn... More »
By Ben Umstead   

JURASSIC WORLD: New Trailer Aims To (D)Evolve The Franchise

The first full trailer for Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World, the fourth in the on-again-off-again franchise, was released today.I'm not sure about this, but has an audience really, truly looked forward to a Jurassic Park flick since The Lost World in... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Exclusive Clip: Meet Mary, The Mind Behind THE SISTERHOOD OF NIGHT

With a title like The Sisterhood Of Night, images of Hammer Horror classics may come to mind, but director Caryn Waechter and screenwriter Marilyn Fu have something on their hands far more enriching of the teenage experience than just genre... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Hey, Latin Filmmakers, Submit Your Work To Fantasic Market!

If you have a fresh film pitch you are dying to get off your chest, or a work-in-progress that needs some intelligent eyes on it, then you may be in luck. Submissions to the 2015 Fantastic Market at Fantastic Fest... More »
By Ben Umstead   

Now Streaming: MARVEL'S DAREDEVIL Takes The Leap

Leave it to the Man Without Fear to take the Marvel Cinematic Universe to daring new heights. Even if that's just mostly to the top of a five story walk-up in Hell's Kitchen.   

Marvel's Daredevil is the first of the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
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