Presented By:Sophia Takal
Director Sophia Takal's new feature explores a disintegrating friendship between two actresses, one fragile and beautiful, the other fiery and brazen. The pair (Caitlin FitzGerald and Mackenzie Davis, who took home a Best Actress award at Tribeca for her role here) set off for a trip to Big Sur, and the unaddressed issues with their relationship begin to fester. As their own insecurities and small transgressions surface, tension mounts at a steady pace before reaching a snapping point, and Takal masterfully steers her ship on a swift and terrifying course. Gorgeous cinematography from Mark Schwartzbard makes for pleasant viewing despite the emotional turmoil on screen, and the two leads deftly guide the audience through the script by Lawrence Michael Levine (writer/director of MDFF 2014’s Wild Canaries).
Beyond the engaging storyline and well-crafted filmmaking, Always Shine explores the complexity of
a deep friendship between two women and what it means to be a woman on film. Each lead takes on very specific archetypes applied to women, pitting alluring waif against emotional fireball, and the conflict that arises highlights the opposing roles women are expected to embody. This film might make you question whether or not it's challenging or perpetuating female stereotypes, and the discussions it opens—in addition to the lush scenery and skillful direction from Takal—make it a worthy addition to your MDFF viewing list. (Erin Gleeson)
Sophia Takal’s critically acclaimed debut feature as director Green (MDFF 2011) won the Emerging Female Filmmaker Award at SXSW and was nominated for a Gotham Award. Takal produced and starred in Lawrence Michael Levine's Wild Canaries (MDFF 2014) and Gabi on the Roof in July (MDFF 2010). Other acting credits include All the Light in the Sky, V/H/S (MDFF 2012), Supporting Characters (MDFF 2012), and God's Pocket.