Ben Umstead
U.S. Editor; Los Angeles, California

Ben joined Team Twitch in the summer of 2009 when he moved to NYC. There he established an east coast conglomerate of writers for the site. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he works as a producer and script consultant.

Review: FYNBOS, Brilliantly Anti-Cathartic Cinema

A young white woman in high heels walks down a street in a black working-class neighborhood. Though clearly on edge, she walks with a purpose. She pauses at a row of trash cans. Clothes billow in the wind, threaded on... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: I AM THALENTE Skates With Soul

We all know the sound. That clack-scrape-whoosh of a skateboard on the sidewalk. For many of us it is as close to the sport as we get. When we hear that sound most of us move out of the way... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT, A Wandering Christ Parable

Director Rodrigo García's minimalist Christ-centered parable on fathers and sons pivots the holy man as everyman and observer. It's an approach that feels of merit: one that ultimately doesn't see earth-bound humanity and a more intangible sense of spirituality as... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Dances With Films Presents Their 2016 Narrative Lineup

Veteran DIY Fest Dances With Films shuffles out on the stage today the full narrative feature and short film lineup for their 19th edition, which bows June 2 - 12 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. This year's theme... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Review: THE DRIFTLESS AREA, A Metaphysical Marvel

We humans often like to think of ourselves as creatures of habit. It helps to compartmentalize our world, making order out of chaos. As someone who operates quite often from his head, habits are important. Writing movie reviews, attempting to... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Happenings: RAW Film Festival Gets Fresh With Shorts

From late night restaurants to bookstores and galleries hidden within parks, train stations and other public spaces, Pop-up culture seems to be both a remedy for and proponent of our digital age. It would only be a matter of time... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

LA Film Fest 2016 Announces First Titles

Always a comfy stop on the summer fesitval circuit, the LA Film Festival, announced today the first batch of titles for their 2016 edition, which takes place at the Culver City Arclight Cinemas, June 1 - 9. The Buzz section... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Tribeca 2016 Poster Exclusive: POOR BOY, Starring Lou Taylor Pucci And Michael Shannon

Ahead of its world premiere this Sunday, April 17, at the Tribeca Film Festival, TwitchFilm is proud to present the poster, as well as a clip to Robert Scott Wildes con-man thriller Poor Boy. Left without any family to speak... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Tribeca 2016 Preview: Midnight, Spotlight, Viewpoints, & More

Tribeca 2016 officially kicked off last night but screenings really get down to business today. We've already taken a look at the US and International Narrative Competitions and the Documentaries playing across a few sections. Today we wrap up our... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Tribeca 2016 Preview: Documentaries

The Tribeca Film Fest has really carved a place out in the US festival landscape as one of the main homes for documentaries. This year's selection looks to be another strong program. Here are a few of the many docus... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Tribeca 2016 Preview: US & Int'l Narrative Comps

The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off its 2016 edition Wednesday and we've got a few previews for you throughout the week. We start things off with what is undoubtedly the most notable change to this year's festival. The good folks... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

NYC Happenings: THE FINAL GIRLS Kill At Midnight!

Todd Strauss-Schulson's The Final Girls was a big hit outta SXSW 2015, where it quickly garnered praise as both a glowing love letter to and hardcore deconstruction of 80s slashers. The flick kept building momentum along the festival circuit throughout... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Imagine 2016: Lineup And Recommendations

From the 14th till the 24th of April, the Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam is hosting the Imagine Film Festival 2016. Festivals often focus on the stuffy and the arty, but Imagine has a legacy of going for hard-to-catch... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Hey, NYC! Wanna See HARDCORE HENRY Early And For Free?

Ilya Naishuller's First Person POV action flick has been gaining buzz since premiering at Toronto last fall where our own Ryland Aldrich was much enthused citing that the film "feels like the beginning of an incredible new genre of experiential... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Hot Docs 2016: Twitch Cherry-Picks Titles From Full Festival Lineup

North America's largest documentary film festival just announced its full line-up and schedule. Hot Docs returns to Toronto in its 23rd year, and as per usual, it features a massive number of titles for lovers of non-fiction cinema: 232 features... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Review: THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, Terror At Its Very Best

It begins in the dark hollows of your mind. But you can feel it in your heart. Pumping through your veins. The notion that something is wrong. That the world is wrong. That reality is not what it seems. That... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016: Wrap It Up

Sundance is all wrapped up and we've links to all of our reviews and features below plus some wrap up style questions. Check it out below. As many of you know, the Sundance 2016 experience will be remembered by the... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: IF THERE'S A HELL BELOW Offers Prime Post-Snowden Intrigue

Nathan Williams' debut feature steps onto the independent film stage with the calm, steady aim of a confident marksman ready to make the shot. A meticulously crafted tale of government secrets and whistle blowers in a post Edward Snowden world,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Award Winners Announced

As Park City experiences its first substantial snowfall all week, The 2016 Sundance Film Festival comes to its penultimate day, capping off a morning and afternoon of movie watching with an awards ceremony for some of those very movies.Winners tonight... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2016 Award Winners Announced

Tonight saw the 22nd Annual Slamdance Film Festival come to a close with filmmakers packing every inch of the Treasure Mountain Inn's ballroom for the awards ceremony. Top winners include my personal favorite from the festival, Driftwood, which won the... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  
 
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