October 17, 2016
“I’m working on directing now. I’ve been acting since I was little and now I’ve ventured into the whole directing world. It’s exciting! It’s a lot of work, but it’s exciting.” – Mika Boorem
Nearly every year there are new horror films released in October to ensure you can have a very scary Halloween. This year is no exception with the premiere of Minutes Past Midnight, the first release of a promised series of anthology feature films. In Minutes Past Midnight, as midnight falls, all manner of terror invades the Earth. Demons, cannibals, killers, ghosts and monsters swarm the world in these tales of the supernatural, the fantastic, and the just plain horrific.
Minutes Past Midnight is nine short horror films curated from Toronto’s long-running, very popular, monthly short film festival known as Little Terrors which promises “Two full hours of the craziest, goriest, most-disturbing and off-the-wall short films the genre has to offer” and warns “We are not responsible for your mental state upon leaving the theatre.”
October 17, 2016
“Brimming with authenticity and humor, First Girl I Loved offers a delightful, contemporary perspective on the jitters of new romance and the age-old heartbreak of love.” – SlashFilm.com
Shortly after IMTA alum Brianna Hildebrand completed filming her scene-stealing, breakout role as Negasonic Teenage Warhead for the hit Deadpool, she quietly filmed a role in a small independent movie titled First Girl I Loved alongside fellow alum Mateo Arias. And while Deadpool catapulted Hildebrand’s star into the X-Men universe, it was the premiere of First Girl I Loved at last January’s Sundance Film Festival—nearly a month prior to Deadpool’s release—that made audiences and Hollywood take notice of Hildebrand, particularly when the film was the winner of the Festival’s Best of NEXT Audience Award. Arias, already an established actor, has appeared in several films and TV shows, including starring for four seasons on Disney’s “Kickin’ It” as the quirky, loveable Jerry Martinez.
In First Girl I Loved, an awkward love triangle forms when Anne (Dylan Gelula) realizes she is in love with Sasha (Hildebrand), the most popular girl at her high school. She confesses this to her friend Clifton (Arias), who has a thing for her. He becomes jealous and, predictably, it gets awkward.
“They might seem different, but there are similarities,” Hildebrand said about her roles in her first films. “In Deadpool, Negasonic Teenage Warhead is a goth mutant with a very tough exterior, but deep down she feels misunderstood, so she’s built this hard, apathetic outer shell. In First Girl I Loved, my character is not yet sure who she is. Both teenage girls are struggling with their identities and figuring out what they want.”
October 06, 2016
“Movies are really hard to make. You put a lot of work into them, and you want people to see them. If anything, I’m just very grateful I’m getting to work on these big movies that everyone can go see.” – Haley Bennett
Fresh on the heels of the release of The Magnificent Seven comes the next feature film on IMTA alum Haley Bennet’s list of 2016 releases. In The Girl on the Train, Rachel Watson (played by Emily Blunt) takes the train in to work in New York, and every day the train passes by her old house. The house she lived in with her now ex-husband (Justin Theroux), who still lives there, with his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson) and child. As she attempts to not focus on her pain, she starts watching a couple who live a few houses down – Megan and Scott Hipwell (Bennett and Luke Evans). She creates a wonderful dream life for them in her head, about how they are a perfect happy family. And then one day, as the train passes, she sees something shocking, filling her with rage. The next day, she wakes up with a horrible hangover, various wounds and bruises, and no memory of the night before. She has only a feeling: something bad happened. Then come the TV reports: Megan Hipwell is missing. Rachel becomes invested in the case and trying to find out what happened to Megan, where she is, and what exactly she herself was up to that same night Megan went missing.
October 05, 2016
“I’m really excited about it. It’s a story about an ordinary father and his daughter, and they’re bound together in extraordinary circumstances nobody knows about but them. Through the season you’ll see them reconcile and work together over this 20-year time period to stop a horrible event that was triggered by their reconnection. At the heart of it, it’s a show about second chances. It’s a cool story and it’s got a lot of layers to it. I couldn’t be more proud of it, the way it turned out.” –Riley Smith
The CW’s new series “Frequency” is a re-imagining of the 2000 sci-fi thriller of the same name in which a police detective in 2016 discovers that she is able to speak via a ham radio with her estranged father, a supposedly corrupt NYPD Officer who went deep undercover and died in 1996. The two work together to change the history of tragic events, deal with the consequences of attempting to alter the present, and take advantage of the opportunity to heal their complicated relationship. The series stars IMTA alum Riley Smith, Peyton List, Mekhi Phifer, Anthony Ruivivar, Lenny Jacobson, Devin Kelley and Daniel Bonjour.
September 22, 2016
With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of a thieving and corrupt industrialist, the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money in Sony Pictures' remake of The Magnificent Seven. Based on Akira Kurosawa’s classic The Seven Samurai, the action-packed Western was directed by Antoine Fuqua.
IMTA alum Haley Bennett is the female lead in the male-dominated cast of The Magnificent Seven, acting alongside Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Matthew Bomer and Peter Sarsgaard. “On this film, everyone was so respectful; they treated me as an equal,” Bennett told Interview Magazine. “I think they recognized my commitment. I wasn't going to shy away. I was expected to do everything the men did, at the same level. I didn't give myself any breaks. I didn't make the excuse that I'm a woman. If anything, that's what drove me to do better, to be stronger, to ride faster, stand taller.”
September 19, 2016
IMTA Alumni models rocked the runways for the designers debuting their Spring/ Summer 2017 looks!
Olivia Jansing walked for Alexander Wang (pictured left). Olivia competed at IMTA in New York in 2015 with Social New York. She was a finalist for Female Model of the Year and among the top Most Sought Female Models. She has walked for many top designers and Vogue named her one of modeling’s fastest rising stars.
Mariah Strongin walked for Banana Republic (pictured right) and Sherri Hill. Mariah competed at IMTA with IMD International of Medford, Oregon. Mariah was IMTA 2008 New York Female Junior Model of the Year, Female Junior Actor of the Year and Most Sought Female Model with 135 callbacks! Mariah was also recently featured by Maxim Magazine as “a classic beauty that kills it in high-fashion editorials and exotic beachside shoots in equal measure, Mariah Strongin is a model to watch.”
September 16, 2016
It has been nearly 20 years since The Blair Witch Project was released and became one of the highest grossing, low-budget independent films in history, earning over $240 million worldwide on an estimated final budget of $60,000. The film was an account based on “found footage” of three film students — Heather, Michael and Josua — making a film about a local urban legend, the Blair Witch. The students disappeared in Maryland’s Black Hills Forest and were never seen again.
Blair Witch, originally titled The Woods as a marketing ploy by Lionsgate Entertainment to keep the film secret, is a direct sequel to The Blair Witch Project. Now a new group of film students, one of them James, the brother of Heather, venture into the same forest to try and uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister and her companions. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods. But as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, the group begins to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined. The film stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid, and IMTA alum Wes Robinson who plays Lane, one of the local guides and the techie who uploaded the “found footage” to YouTube, setting the story in motion.
September 08, 2016
On Thursday, January 15th, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Chesley Sullenberger, nicknamed Sully, glided his US Airways plane — disabled after striking a flock of birds just as it was taking off — onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people on board. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks in the title role, the highly anticipated Sully premiered this past weekend at the Telluride International Film Festival in advance of its theatrical release on September 9th. The film is based on Sullenberger’s own memoir, “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters,” which he co-wrote with journalist Jeffrey Zaslow. Laura Linney plays Sully’s wife Lorrie, and Aaron Eckhart is Sully’s co-pilot Jeff Skiles.
September 08, 2016
Each year as the fall television season begins, we like to take a look at the list of IMTA alumni who are making their mark on the entertainment business with roles on television. However, these days “television” or “TV” encompasses more than just the flat screen on the family room wall; it includes smartphones, tablets and PCs. Watching “TV” is no longer confined to home, but can be viewed anywhere, anytime on any mobile device. It is not just the networks and cable channels that produce scripted and reality programming and movies, but streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have their own line-up of shows and films. Amazon and YouTube offer original programming and serve as hosts for channels such as PixL and Reelz. YouTube and Vimeo serve as platforms for independent filmmakers and writers to release original series and movies. All of these outlets provide unlimited possibilities for IMTA alumni to appear on “the small screen.”
Below are just a few of the IMTA alumni working on network, cable or web series, appearing on returning or new series in regular or recurring roles, announced guest-starring appearances, and lead or supporting roles in TV movies and mini-series. Our apologies for any names missing. IMTA is equally proud of all of the alumni working in the entertainment industry and we try to keep track of as many as we can. Please let us know of castings, guest appearances and other successes of IMTA alums.
September 01, 2016
After surviving eight near-death accidents during his young life, Louis Drax plunges off a steep cliff on his ninth birthday. While police investigate the cause of Louis’ near-fatal fall and the whereabouts of his violent father, an acclaimed neurologist uses unorthodox techniques to try to tap into the boy’s unconscious mind and reveal the truth about the events that led to his condition. But as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Louis’ seeming ability to cheat death, the doctor finds himself falling for Louis’ mother. And as new clues emerge in the case, a shocking revelation changes the fates of Louis Drax and everyone around him.
IMTA alum Aaron Paul stars in The 9th Life of Louis Drax as Peter Drax, Louis’ father, who is suspected of abusing his son and possibly being the cause of his multiple mishaps. Newcomer Aiden Longworth plays Louis, Jamie Dornan is the psychologist and Sarah Gadon is Louis’ mother. Oliver Platt, Molly Parker and Barbara Hershey also star. Coincidently, Longworth will play the young version of IMTA alum Elijah Wood’s character in the first episode of the new BBC America series, “Dirk Gently,” that debuts in October.
August 18, 2016
Since attending IMTA in Los Angeles 2005, IMTA alum Moises Arias has grown from a comedy child star on shows such as Disney’s “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” to become a solid dramatic actor in critically acclaimed films such as The Kings of Summer, The Stanford Prison Experiment and The Land. Two new projects add variety and depth to the now 22-year-old Arias’ résumé…and they just happen to open on the same day.
Ben-Hur is the spic story of Judah Ben-Hur, a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. Based on Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the 2016 film is the latest adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, following 1925’s silent film starring Ramon Navarro, 1959’s multi-Oscar blockbuster starring Charlton Heston, and 2010’s TV mini-series starring Joseph Morgan. Jack Huston plays the new Judah Ben-Hur, alongside Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro, Morgan Freeman and Arias.
April 07, 2016
Hardcore Henry opens nationwide Friday, April 8t
"Hardcore Henry is basically a mix of Jason Bourne, Captain America and Call of Duty.”" – Engadget.com For IMTA alum Haley Bennett, 2016 looks to be her breakout year. Since her screen debut in 2007's Music and Lyrics as a teen singing sensation, her star has been steadily rising with significant roles in successes such as Marley & Me and The Equalizer. Now, with no less than seven different high-profile projects currently in the works or scheduled for release this year, Bennett—who came to IMTA with Pro Model & Talent in Akron, OH—will have ample opportunities to have audiences and critics take notice.
The first of Bennett’s films to hit the screens in 2016 is the highly anticipated sci-fi action adventure Hardcore Henry, which opens Friday. The film was shot entirely from the point of view of the title character Henry, who has been brought back from the edge of death by his wife (Bennett) and has no memory of a past life. Suddenly, his wife has been kidnapped by a warlord bent on world domination and Henry must not only fight to get her back, but also try to recover the truth about his past life. Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky and Tim Roth also star in the R rated film, which was selected by the SXSW Film Festival as a premiere headliner.
March 31, 2016
"The Ranch" premieres on Netflix on April 1st
"We decided to take it to Netflix because they really let you make the show you want to make, and we knew we wanted to try some different things. We want these people to talk like real people, so this show has really irreverent language in places, and it’s not your same old family sitcom. It’s definitely got a little bit more edge to it." – Ashton Kutcher
Since his debut in Hollywood in 1998 as Kelso on the hit comedy "That ‘70s Show," IMTA alum Ashton Kutcher has forged a path that few could have imagined when he competed at IMTA in 1997. From TV shows such as "Punk'd," "Miss Guided" and "Two and a Half Men" to numerous theatrical films such as Dude, Where's My Car, Cheaper by the Dozen, The Guardian, What Happens in Vegas and Jobs, Kutcher has become one of the industry’s most prolific actors, jumping back-and-forth between TV and the big screen, as well as a successful producer of films and TV shows through his production company, Katalyst Films.
March 29, 2016
"I wasn’t really looking to jump back into TV this quickly, but my reps called and said, 'You must read these first two episodes.' I read them and I just could not ignore the material. It was just so gripping and so beautifully written and so well done." – Aaron Paul
In what is turning out to be a banner year for Aaron Paul following roles in Eye in the Sky and Triple 9, the IMTA alum returns to television in a new series on Hulu which early reviews are describing as "compelling" and "engaging." "The Path" focuses on a family at the center of a controversial cult movement as they struggle with relationships, faith, and power. According to Hulu, "Each episode takes an in-depth look at the gravitational pull of belief and what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. The series blends elements of mystery-thriller, romance, and mysticism."
March 10, 2016
"I want to do stories that have my heart racing. That’s why you don’t see me in romantic comedies. I love sappy movies, but I’m drawn to characters that are going through a lot. I don’t know what that says about me. Maybe I love feeling those emotions because I know I can zip the skin off and walk away from them." – Aaron Paul
You are a military drone pilot in Nevada, being directed to bomb terrorists in Nairobi by a British Colonel in Southern England, when suddenly a civilian enters the target area. What do you do? Follow orders and knowingly risk killing an innocent young girl and sparking an international incident, or listen to your conscience and disobey a direct order, allowing the terrorists to proceed with a suicide bombing as well as ending your career.
Such is the dilemma faced by IMTA alum Aaron Paul in the thriller Eye in the Sky. "I’m playing a pilot who’s safe in this bunker outside Las Vegas, flying a drone over Kenya," explained Paul. "It’s such a strange thing that this pilot controls this huge drone that has missiles attached to it, and is being ordered to drop them on buildings that could hurt innocent civilians in them. There’s a lot going on."
March 01, 2016
"All the artisans I met could have had bigger jobs, but they gave up that opportunity to do what they loved. Their passion for what they do is so strong the money isn't what matters." - Jill Wagner
If you have ever created something by hand, if you have ever wondered how something is made, or if you are simply a fan of Etsy, Pinterest, DIY, Kickstarter or Maker Faire, then "Handcrafted America" is a show you will definitely want to watch. IMTA alum Jill Wagner hosts the new series, traveling the country to seek out talented artisans who continue to make products the traditional way...with their own two hands.
In every half-hour episode, Wagner meets three gifted craftsmen and gets a behind-the-scenes look at how their products are created. Along the way, viewers learn about the history and cultural heritage that inspire and influence the design of their handcrafted items. "Americans still work with their hands and they seek out unique, one-of-a-kind creations for themselves and for others," said Craig Miller, VP of Original Series at INSP. "Artisans from coast to coast still create handcrafted treasures. This is the focal point of the series. From glass blowing to ornate clock making to blacksmithing, "Handcrafted America" entertains and informs – not in a dry, academic way, but with adventure, spirited discovery, fun and authenticity."