THE STARLING GIRL (Sundance FF2023) – Review by Nadine Whitney

Writer/director Laurel Parmet’s coming-of-age feature The Starling Girl is a clear-eyed vision of repression and control under the patriarchal gaze of an evangelical community in Kentucky. The titular starling girl is Jem Starling, a seventeen-year-old who has only ever known the close-knit religious group and is struggling to reconcile her natural desires with the strictures of the church.

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PRESS PLAY – Review by Marina Antunes

Press Play is a story of coming to terms with loss. Music-related time-travel is an interesting device that leads to character growth and ultimate acceptance of grief and working through it in a healthy way. While it’s not re-writing the book on either the romance or time-travel genres, director Greg Björkman’s debut feature is a lovely drama about relationships and how sometimes, the only way to move on is to let go. It also happens to feature a pair of memorable performances from two leads on the brink of stardom.

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Greg Björkman on PRESS PLAY, Finding the Perfect Cast and Music – Marina Antunes interviews

The story of a couple who find love only for it to be “paused” by trauma, Press Play spans the gamut of emotions, and is kept wonderfully grounded by Clara Rugaard and Lewis Pullman, a pair of up-and-coming stars who breathe life into their compelling characters. Director Greg Björkman recently shared some insights into his feature film debut, including his unconventional break into the industry, working with a writing partner, and finding the perfect cast to bring the story to life.

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