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Interviewing the Team Behind Evan's Crime

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 6/10/2015 Sam Rivman

Evan's Crime, directed by Sandy Tung, is an independent film about college kid who finds himself in deep trouble for a crime he didn't commit. The film premiered at the 31st Annual Boston Film Festival.
Sam: My first question to you is the inspiration for this movie. It's obviously a cautionary tale regarding our legal system, and the idea of a "wrong place, wrong time" scenario. Where did this particular story come from?
David: It came from our co-writer and executive producer, Dale Rosenbloom, who was interested in this particular subject. It came out of his head, and then we developed it, and then Sandy took it to the next level.
Sam (to Sandy): Once the idea was developed, how did you go about bringing it to life?
Sandy: Ultimately, it comes from an emotional journey for me personally, and that's what I love about it, and what I try to do. So it was really just this young man's story, and what happens when a perfect storm of events carries you into a place that you never imagined. It comes down to how you would react to it, and how he gets to a place of reconciliation while dealing with a total act of injustice. The question is, what do you do?
Sam: It's important to have that really human moment.
Sandy: Right. All films come down to some culmination, some climax, and its that moment when he has this gun to the attorney general's head. On one hand, he is justifiably angry, and feeling this need for revenge. But ultimately I think he decides that it's not to his benefit to live in that place of darkness and hate. The film to me was the darkest side being Arquette for Smith, and Annika, his girlfriend represents the light in his life. And in that moment, he chose to stick with the positive things in his life.
Sam (to Annika): What was it like to play the girlfriend of a convict, of someone trying to piece their life back together? Was the role a challenge due to the circumstance?
Annika: I think for me, I didn't see him as a convict. He was still my Evan, he was still my first love. And I knew who he was as a person, so even though all of these things were happening to him, I still believed the good in him. So that way it wasn't so difficult to see past that and see the good in someone. I think Sandy is right, it kind of really balanced out as a ying and a yang, positive and negative. Especially when he gets out of prison, being so cold and hardened by that experience, I think there was that moment where he made a choice to either continue down that path or to choose good. And that's something that everyone struggles with in life.
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Sam: It's such a common struggle, and in Evan's life you were the light. You were that other choice.
Annika: Exactly, and I think that empathy and communication play a big role in those decisions. To me, Evan was still my guy.
Sam: Now how did you find out about the project and become interested in it?
Annika: My agent got me an audition, and I walked into a room with five people, so it was kind of like "oh, hi everyone!". It was great, because sometimes as an actor you just don't know with auditions. But this was one of those moments when I actually did know that the audition really felt good.
Sam: I mention it because after the screening you said that your phone call to Evan was one of the most challenging moments for you, and it's what you performed during your audition.
Annika: Actually, Sandy has a fun story about taking that recording from the audition and actually using it in the film.
Sandy: Well, when Evan was sitting in the car listening to the voice mail, I actually took the audition tape and had it piped through the radio so that he could actually listen to her say the lines.
Sam: Wow! That is very cool, and I don't think it's something most people would think to do.
Sandy: I'd like to elaborate about casting Annika, because it wasn't just that scene that grabbed us. There was a certain quality I felt that she possesses, one of vulnerability. But there was also a real strength as a young woman that was very important to this role, because I wanted someone who you could believe would really be able to stand up to Evan in terms of expressing her own opinions. We also wanted a woman who you could believe was seriously pursuing a medical career. To me, the really magical thing about Annika is that she has both of those qualities.
Sam: Do you currently have distribution plans for Evan's Crime? How can people see this film?
Sandy: This is literally the first time I've gotten to see the movie with more than four people in the room. We do have a very reputable producer's agent, I'm not going to say his name, who is going to take us through the process. Honestly, I've made a lot of films and every one has gotten distribution, so it will get distribution. The way things are distributed now is so different than it was even five years ago. The main way, we will probably have some kind of small theatrical release in the major cities, but people will mostly see it through video on demand, Netflix, etc.
You can find the film's page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/EvansCrimeMovie

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