From Entertainment Weekly:
In the new thriller Most Beautiful Island, a struggling, undocumented immigrant named Luciana agrees to attend a party in New York in exchange for a large amount of money. We’ll say no more about the plot of the film (which is now available to watch via On Demand and Digital), partly so as not to spoil it, and partly because the show’s star, writer, and first-time director Ana Ansensio agreed to pen a few sentences about the film and how she came to make it.
Most Beautiful Island is showing in 35mm on Friday November 17 2017 6:00 PM at Roxy Cinema Tribeca. Tix on sale!
From the article by Meagan Navarro:
Longtime indie horror mainstay Larry Fessenden has acted, produced, written, and directed for over 30 years. His production company, Glass Eye Pix, can be counted on to produce unique independent features, many of which are elevated by fantastic cameos by Fessenden. Even with his extensive work in cinema, he still wasn’t the most obvious choice in penning what became the biggest horror game of 2015; Until Dawn. The choose your own adventure type of survival horror was dependent upon a compelling story, one that Fessenden and co-writer Graham Reznick delivered in spades. A group of teens trapped on a mountain with a killer on the loose becomes so much more in Fessenden’s capable hands. Even better? He appears in the game as well, as the Flamethrower Guy, one of the most intriguing characters in the narrative. Thanks to Fessenden and his writing partner, Until Dawn became the game that left fans clamoring for me. Even two years later.
. . .
Filmmaker: How did Glass Eye Pix come aboard the project?
Asensio: I had known Larry Fessenden for a while, not quite as a friend but as an acquaintance, through the independent film community. I had the opportunity to work with him on one of his Tales from Beyond the Pale episodes, the radio series he produces. I mentioned to him that I was determined to make my film over the next year and that I wasn’t going to wait for anyone else. The film had a journey of going to different places and not being financed, so I was determined to do it myself with my own savings.
I told Larry about the story. He was interested and asked to read the script to see if he could help the film. He approached it as a friend, to see if he could advise me on the film. When Jenn Wexler, a producer at Glass Eye Pix, read the script, she sat down with Larry and they both decided that they wanted to make the film happen. They had limited resources, but we wanted to put our means together and see what we could do. It was fantastic. It was very collaborative from the very beginning and I had a lot of freedom. Larry, himself being a director, understood how a director feels when creating his or her own material and let me know that his door was always open if I needed to bounce off ideas. Glass Eye put all of the logistics together and even part of the financing at the very end.
Being a first-time director, it was a very safe environment to work in, being so exposed, as I am, in the film. This group of people took care of me and were protective of me as a first-time director. It was a really wonderful and nurturing experience….as well as wild [laughs].
Filmmaker: There’s a recognizable, practical style to Glass Eye films that Most Beautiful Island upholds. It’s independent genre filmmaking working within an economy of means, and there’s a human aspect centering the material. How did you find this film works within the the company’s previous filmography?
Asensio: I am a huge fan of Larry’s film Habit, a terrific, one-of-a-kind film that I would put at the top of everything at Glass Eye Pix. I am a fan of certain kinds of horror films (not all of them), but the nature of filmmaking that Glass Eye Pix displays was something that I’ve connected with from the very beginning. I knew that my film possessed a genre element, and knew that, although not a 100 percent horror film, it could appeal to the horror community as well.
. . .
“Most Beautiful Island presents an extreme example of what people will do to scrape by
but it does so without belittling its vulnerable characters.”
– Village Voice
“Anchored by Asensio’s fearless and gripping performance,
“Most Beautiful Island” directs an unflinching point of view toward an often invisible population.”
– Los Angeles Times
“uses restless tracking shots, hectic cityscapes, ambient noise
and sequences of prolonged stillness to conjure unease and dread”
—The New York Times
“MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND is one of the year’s best films.”
“Ana Asensio’s directorial debut reveals a surprising,
strong-willed side to her undocumented New York immigrant character.”
“Asensio transports you into the streets of a distressed and grimy New York City
before plunging you into its dark and unforgiving depths
What you see there may shock you, but it sure does make for some gripping filmmaking.”
– Bloody Disgusting
NYC engagement starts Friday Nov 3rd
at the AMC Loews 19th Street East 6.
Join us for the 7:30pm show
Q&A following the screening with Asensio, cast and crew members.
After the show join us for drinks at Old Town Bar (45 East 28th Street, NYC).
Winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize
“An unusually insightful, pertinent and personal thriller”
“utterly spellbinding debut that transforms the immigrant experience
into the stuff of an early Polanski psychodrama”
— Indie Wire
“The movie’s payoff is every bit as delicious as its build-up”
“spins a suspenseful web that delivers a truly shocking — and strangely satisfying — revelation”
—The Village Voice
“A promising debut”
—The Hollywood Reporter
“A deeply unsettling and suspenseful tone poem”
MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND will also be available On Demand and VOD on November 3rd.
Single & Early Screenings:
11/1 – Alamo Mason Park (Houston)
11/1 – Digital Gym @ Media Arts Center (San Diego)
11/1 & 11/2 – Zeitgeist Theater (New Orleans)
11/1 – Union Cinema (Milwaukee)
11/1 – Alamo Drafthouse (Yonkers)
11/2 – PFS Roxy Theater (Philadelphia)
11/2 – Jean Cocteau Cinema (Santa Fe)
11/2 – Apple Cinemas (Cambridge/Boston)
11/2 – Plaza Theater (Atlanta)
11/2 – Gateway Theater (Columbus)
Full Week Runs starting 11/3:
11/3 – Gateway Theater (Columbus)
11/3 – PFS Roxy Theater (Philadelphia)
11/3 – Roxie Theatre (San Francisco)
11/3 – Plaza Theater (Atlanta)
11/3 – Tower City Cinema (Cleveland)
11/3 – Laemmle Music Hall (Los Angeles)
11/3 – Apple Cinemas (Cambridge/Boston)
11/3 – AMC 19th Street (New York)
11/3 – AMC Universal Cineplex (Orlando)
11/3 – AMC Apple Valley 15 (Minneapolis)
11/3 – AMC Southfield 20 (Detroit)
Additional full week runs:
11/17 – Facets Cinematheque (Chicago)
11/24 – Jean Cocteau Cinema (Santa Fe)