UrbanWorld Film Festival, Provincetown International Film Festival, North Carolina Black Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Great Cleveland Urban Film Festival

Director's statement

Director's statement

The Volunteer was a film I wrote after suffering an illness. Initially, I wanted to explore the idea of a woman considering herself "damaged goods" and how that would affect her life, her work, her relationships. As the story developed, I became less interested in something happening to the lead character versus the lead character making a decision and taking action to change, ruin, and/or improve her life. Leigh gets lost in a spiral but it's a spiral with a safety net. She still has her nice house and her nice car and her nice money. It's only when she meets Ethan, a man affected by mental illness, that she truly sees someone in free-fall. This awakens her from an apathetic (and selfish) fog. I'm interested in stories where characters (and specifically women) complicate their lives for what, on its face, looks like no reason. The reason becomes the fascinating piece.

This is part of our Love is Love is Love playlist.

Reviews

Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s performance as Ethan highlight’s the private pain of mental illness without any of the stigmatizing horror twists made standard by other movies, and Aunjanue Ellis’ turn as Leigh is so natural and compelling that she often speaks volumes in scenes that are absent of dialogue.

Charles Bivona - charlesbivona.com

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UrbanWorld Film Festival, Provincetown International Film Festival, North Carolina Black Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Great Cleveland Urban Film Festival

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