Independent Thoughts – A Guide to Upcoming Indie Film Projects (November 2015) – By Philip Smolen


Welcome back fellow Rogue Cinemaniacs to the second installment of “Independent Thoughts”! This is a new bi-monthly column where I highlight upcoming movie projects that are either currently being filmed or being developed by indie filmmakers. September’s column was warmly received and that was extremely gratifying. And with your help, we’re going to raise the profile of indie cinema even more this month! So let’s get right to it and check out this month’s featured filmmakers.


Matt Barry

New York filmmaker Matt Barry’s clever short “The New York Detective” is reviewed in this issue of Rogue Cinema, and Matt wants to let everyone know that it will be screened on December 21st as part of the NewFilmmakers NY festival at the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan (details can be found at their website below). Since completing the film, Matt has written and directed another short film called “The Salesman”, which is about a traveling bible salesman who does some soul-searching while spending a lonely night alone on the road. Matt completed it in July and is currently searching for screening opportunities for it. Matt’s next project is a script he’s developing called “Home Invasion” or “The Night Before Christmas”, which will be a dark crime thriller about the confrontation between a burglar and a wealthy-but-unhappy businessman on Christmas Eve. Matt’s hoping to finish the film before the end of the year. This all sounds great Matt! Go, go go!

NewFilmakers website:
Matt Barry’s website:
Review of “The Detective in New York”: (TBA)


Timothy J. Cox

Actor/writer/producer Timothy J. Cox just keeps rolling up the cinematic miles. He’s completed acting in Cross River Pictures’ comedy/drama “Total Performance”, which was written and directed by Sean Meehan. Filming is complete and it has been receiving numerous rave reviews, including one from our own Misty Layne! It has also been accepted at the New York’s Big Apple Film Festival as well as the Somewhere North of Boston Film Festival. Tim has also finished acting in 8mm Films’ thriller “What Jack Built”, which was directed by Matthew Mahler. Tim also has several flicks in post production including the drama “Dirty Books” which was produced by Fitch Fort Films and “Here Lies Joe” which was written by Mark Battle of Sweven Films. Tim also has finished an interview with Kirk S. Fernwood of Wow, Tim. Just reading everything you’ve been working on has tuckered me out. I’ll bet that you’re in better shape than me!

Review of “Total Performance”:
Big Apple FilmFestival:
Somewhere North of Boston Film Festival:
Fort Fitch Films:
Sweven Films:
Interview with Kirk S. Fernwood:
Tim’s websites:  and


Joanna Davidovitch

Joanna, who made that wonderful three minute burst of animated energy called “Monkey Rag” reports that after the short finished the festival circuit, “Monkey Rag” also had a small theatrical run that ran into the beginning of this year. But even more importantly, Joanna is now the proud mother of a stunning eight month old daughter! As you might expect, being a mom keeps Joanna quite busy these days, but she still manages to turn out some nifty animated shorts (see below for the link). She’s also put out an art book that can be purchased online. She also reports that down the road she going to try and pitch “Monkey Rag” as a TV series! Congratulations Joanna! Now I know why “Monkey Rag” had so much energy. It all stems from the creator!

Review of “Monkey Rag”:
Baby vs Punkin’ short:
Joanna’s art book:
Joanna’s website:


Mike Donis

The creator and producer of that amazing pirate spoof “Pete Winning and the Pirates” has been busy planning and developing new adventures for Pete. But he’s also been doing some acting recently. Mike just wrapped up filming a movie entitled “The Last Beautiful Girl’ and will be starring in another indie feature called “The 5 Year.” He’s also developing a few projects that he’ll direct as well. Mike, can’t wait until some of these projects are finished and I am chomping at the bit to catch the new adventures of Pete Winning!

Review of “Pete Winning”:
Pete Winning website:


Chris Etheridge

Chris, the director of that great horror flick “Attack of the Morningside Monster” (2014) reports that he is working again with Jayson Palmer (writer/producer on “Morningside”), and that they are in pre-production on an indie action/thriller about a group of evil 1%ers who kidnap unsuspecting individuals and force them to fight to the death for entertainment. Chris sees the flick as a mix of “The Running Man”, “Hostel”, and ‘The Most Dangerous Game.” Chris and Jayson shot a day of footage a while back as a test and they are gearing up to shoot in January and February of next year and are busy casting the flick right now.  Besides that, Chris joined forces with another friend, Diego Kiersch, to work with a new company called HorrorPack.  It is a horror movie subscription box service, where viewers can sign up to get either 4 DVDs or 4 Blu-rays every month, that are curated by Chris and Diego and a few of their friends.  Chris says that the initial reaction from renters has been great. This sounds wonderful Chris. I’d like to sign up, but I wonder if I can get the editor of Rogue Cinema to foot the bill. Well, I could tell him it’s for research!

Review of “Attack of the Morningside Monster”:
HorrorPack on you Tube:


John Gibson

The director of the western zombie thriller “Revelation Trail” says the flick has made its rounds in distribution, and so he and his team have been focusing on a few new projects including an insanely bad ass, bigger sequel. Other projects John is considering include a civil war film (a legitimate civil war film complete with uniforms, muskets, and ragged soldiers) set in the “Revelation Trail” universe as well as a dramatic short film involving a son and his recently deceased father’s spirit. John stated that although it wasn’t planned, many of his follow up projects, whether they’re a comedy, drama, action, etc—seem to involve some take on the afterlife or (undead) afterlife. Most of John’s other work has centered around field documentaries including one that he produced and edited that focuses on telling the story of the residents of Bowlingtown, KY, a town that was flooded in the 1950s by the  Army Corps of Engineers in an attempt to control flooding along the Kentucky River. Awesome news, John. Let me know when the zombies are running amok again!

Review of “Revelation Trail”:
John’s Demo Reel:
As the Water Rises documentary:
The Parker Academy Project:


Drew Hall

“Convergence” was one of my favorite movies last year and Drew reports that it will be getting a limited theatrical release in select markets in February. Drew said that ‘Convergence” had the honor of opening the Midnite Passions section at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea – and it was screened with films like “The Visit” and “Green Room.” It is also being released by MPI. Drew’s comedy “Nigel and Oscar Vs. The Sasquatch” is heading for the festival circuit so be sure to keep an eye out for it. Drew also reports that he’s just wrapped shooting a pitch/pilot with funnymen Adam Herschman and Joe Hursley called “Gulf Shores.” It’s a comedy about two guys who invest everything they have into an aerial tourism business, but just can’t ever get things to take off. Drew also says that his sci-fi epic “Aether” is in full development with a limited edition comic book available at select conventions. Drew, as you like to say, you are truly knee deep in the weeds, but I know that you are loving every minute of this. Congratulations all around!

Review of “Convergence”:


Dan and Derek Morrow

Derek, and Dan have been quite busy since their ‘Token Hearts’ and ‘Comet’ shorts. Both flicks have been playing through the short festival circuit this year along with another Morrow short called “Night-Night’ which was released over the summer and nominated for some best short awards. The brothers have also just completed a script for an animated feature film that they are trying to get produced called ‘Still Reel’. It’s the story of a boy who uses an altered VCR as a portal to bring his deceased grandpa back to life through his home video tapes. They are also working on a new stop motion short like ‘Comet’ and ‘Token Hearts’, but for an older audience. It’s about a man who lived a meaningful and purposeful life before his death, though no one ever knew that he existed. The working title is ‘I Existed’ and Derek and Dan are hoping to release it next spring. Fantastic news guys!

Review of “Comet”:
Review of “Token Hearts”:
Twitter: @MorrowBrothers


Well, that’s it for this month’s edition of “Independent Thoughts.” I don’t know about you, but these projects sound so amazing! I’ll be back in January with another compilation of sensational future indie film projects that you should keep an eye out for. Now, if you’re part of the indie scene and you want to be included in a future issue of “Independent Thoughts”, drop me an email at and give me a one paragraph description of your project as well as any important web links. Please put the words “Independent Thoughts” in the email title. IMPORTANT: DO NOT SEND ANY EMAILS TO THE EDITOR OF ROGUE CINEMA. SEND THEM DIRECTLY TO ME.

See everybody in January!