THE BAD is a poetic thriller about child abuse and the inheritance of violence as seen through the eyes of a recluse taxidermist. Bic spends his days hunting, killing and preserving wild birds in his small Midwest town. When Travis and his stripper girlfriend move in across the street with Travis’ 9 year old daughter Kelly, Bic watches the abuse that Kelly endures. Kelly boldly befriends Bic one day while her dad and his girlfriend are away and convinces Bic to teach her how to preserve birds. The result is both a necessary friendship and a mentorship-gone-wrong as the two struggle to find love in a world of school shootings and Honey Boo Boos, where everyone is out for themselves. Estimated Run Time: 12 minutes.
THE BAD is inspired by a Tone that’s been set in our society. It is not based on a true story, but is rather the truth about both our naivete and our corrupted perspective of the world, constantly coming into contact and reeking havoc. The story of Bic is one of isolation and a desire for community, but an inherent distrust of other people. Kelly’s innocence in the face of her brutal reality is a paradox for Bic. She represents hope, but she is also completely unequipped to create a better future for herself. Their lives come together at just the right moment to cause an explosion that will forever change their world.
This piece is both beautiful and ugly. I plan to capture this dialectic through vivid imagery, haunting performances and a measured beat, like the beating of a heart.
We will shoot for four days in Duluth, starting pre-production in mid-July. Both the talent and the crew will be largely donating time so we primarily will be spending money on transportation, meals and housing. Once we finish the film, we plan for a full-scale festival campaign. If you would like to receive our email newsletter, please send a request to be added to our list to missingandexploitedfilms@
Olafur Darri Olafsson – Lead
Born in Connecticut but raised in Iceland, Olafsson has starred in numerous award-winning films, including the 2012 Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, THE DEEP, directed by Baltasar Kormakur. THE DEEP premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival where it was picked up for distribution by Focus Features International. He has starred in many Icelandic films including 101 REYKJAVIK (the film that Universal’s CONTRABAND is based on), XL (which he also produced) and KING’S ROAD, opposite Daniel Bruhl. In Universal’s WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, he played co-lead to Liam Neeson, by director by Scott Frank. He also has a recurring character in Alan Ball’s BANSHEE series for Cinemax. Past supporting roles include the character “Dewal” in the HBO mini-series TRUE DETECTIVE directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as well as a supporting role in Universal’s CONTRABAND opposite Mark Wahlberg and directed by long-time collaborator Baltasar Kormakur. And lastly, he enjoyed a supporting role opposite Ben Stiller in Fox’s THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY as a beer-guzzling karaoke-singing helicopter pilot. This past year, he played the role of “Ethan Allen” in AMC’s Comedy Pilot WE HATE PAUL REVERE, directed by Matt Piedmont and was co-lead in the role of “Belial” opposite Vin Diesel in Lions Gate Films THE LAST WITCH HUNTER, directed by Breck Eisner. He starred in the series TRAPPED, the Icelandic adaptation of the FX series THE BRIDGE, directed by Baltasar Kormakur (CONTRABAND, THE DEEP) and which made him – according to Variety, an “unlikely sex-symbol.” He has also played a recurring role in Charlie Kaufman’s FX pilot, HOW & WHY, as well as a role in AMC’s pilot LINE OF SIGHT directed by Jonathan Demme, and produced by Demme and Blake Masters. Upcoming films include a leading role in Spielberg’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl book, The BFG and a cameo in ZOOLANDER II.
Joseph Sikora – Lead
Sikora has been acting since he was a child, having made his first appearance in a commercial with Michael Jordan. He has since had principle and lead roles in several movies and television series, including the biographical-drama film Gacy, the Golden Globe-nominated NORMAL, major network shows including ER, GREY’S ANATOMY, CRIMINAL MINDS, WITHOUT A TRACE, CSI: MIAMI, PRISON BREAK, LOST, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, and DOLLHOUSE. Other film and TV appearances include Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND where he plays a memorable mental patient, SAFE alongside Jason Statham where he plays the son of the head of the Russian Mafia, supporting roles in BOARDWALK EMPIRE and TRUE DETECTIVE, as well as a co-lead in JACK REACHER, in which he played a sniper wrongfully accused of gunning down random people in Pittsburgh and calls on Jack Reacher to prove his innocence. He plays a recurring role in Adult Swim’s comedy horror TV series THE HEART, SHE HOLLER as the Sheriff, and currently he plays a leading role in the Starz! Network original drama series POWER, alongside 50 Cent.
Nicole Brending – Writer/Director
Brending is a screenwriter, director and performer whose work has screened at over 50 festivals worldwide and been honored by the Berlin International Film Festival (“Berlinale”), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Palm Springs Shortfest, the Hamburg Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the 52nd Annual College TV Awards (“Student Emmys”), Frameline Distribution, and the Walker Arts Center’s Women In Film Series. Her work has been supported by the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony (2015), the Jerome Foundation (2007, 2008, 2012), the McKnight Foundation (2009), the Ezra Litwak Foundation (2009), and the Milos Foreman Finishing Fund (2010). As a screenwriter she has developed projects with producer Robert Evans, director Catherine Hardwicke, director Steven Shainberg, actress Nicole Kidman and her company Blossom Films, TV veteran Cheryl Dolins of Alloy Entertainment, Tom Dolby and Water’s End Productions, Fido Features, and Natalie Portman’s Handsome Charlie. She recently finished production on a music video for Haley Bonar, premiering on NPR’s First Listen, and has made videos for Debbie-Harry-collaborator Miss Guy, Nebraska-based Universe Contest, and UK band Polterghost. This year, her short film SELFIED is screening In Competition at the upcoming installment of the Moscow International Film Festival. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University and is represented by Ann Blanchard (TV) and Chris Till (Literary) at Creative Artists Agency.
Besti Bjorgulfsson – Cinematographer
One of Iceland’s best (no pun intended), Besti has shot over 30 features and television series in his ten-years as a cinematographer. He shot the Oscar-nominated film, THE DEEP with director Baltasar Kormakur and starring Olafur Darri Olafsson, half of which is set at night and in ocean waters. He shot the film XL which also starred Olafsson, and which Bjorgulfsson co-produced. An adept shooter, Besti is a skilled steady-cam operator and camera operator which is what gave the film XL its unique visual quality. More recently, Besti shot a horror film set in New York with South African director Matthew A. Brown called JULIA which is set to be released in 2015, and he will join Olafsson on set once again this winter to shoot a new Icelandic series based on the American FX series THE BRIDGE.
Valdis Oskarsdottir – Editor
An Icelandic film editor, Valdís Óskarsdóttir’s work includes the Danish film THE CELEBRATION (directed by Thomas Vinterberg and one of the first films created under Dogme 95 rules), LES MISERABLES (directed by Billie August, starring Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush), FINDING FORRESTER (directed by Gus Van Sant, starring Sean Connery) and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (directed by Michel Gondry, starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey), for which she won numerous awards in 2005 including a BAFTA. She also edited Harmony Korine’s films JULIEN DONKEY BOY and MISTER LONELY and has twice won the Danish Film Academy’s Robert Award for Best Editing. She made her directorial debut COUNTRY WEDDING, which premiered in 2008 in Iceland. She recently collaborated with Olafur Darri Olafsson and Bergsteinn Bjorgulfsson on the film XL, in which Olafsson starred, Bjorgulfsson shot, and Oskarsdottir edited. Bjorgulfsson shot her second feature KING’S ROAD in 2010.
ALEXA L. FOGEL – Producer
As a producer with Beech Hill Films, Ms. Fogel’s latest project THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE premiered in Narrative Competition at SXSW 2013 and was released in November of 2013. Previously, Ms. Fogel produced HELENA FROM THE WEDDING (SXSW ’10, Narrative Competition), released domestically by Film Movement. Other work includes RUN, FAT BOY, RUN starring Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, and Hank Azaria (directed by David Schwimmer), released by New Line and Picturehouse worldwide in 2008, and was the #1 film in the U.K. for five straight weeks. In addition, her producing credits include A HOLE IN ONE (starring Michelle Williams), FACE (Sundance, 2002), Jim McKay’s OUR SONG (Sundance, 2000), and CHARMING BILLY. She is presently in production on the UNTITED TERRY DONAHUE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT, about former All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Terry Donahue. As a casting director, she is currently casting OUR BRAND IS CRISIS for Smokehouse Pictures / Warner Bros. and director
David Gordon Green, as well as the HBO miniseries SHOW ME A HERO for Paul Haggis and David Simon. Ms. Fogel most
recently cast the HBO series TRUE DETECTIVE (Emmy Award), starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the HBO series TREME (Emmy nomination), by creator David Simon, the BBC America series COPPER from Tom Fontana, as well as Alan Ball’s Cinemax series BANSHEE. Ms. Fogel won an Artios Award for Dramatic Pilot casting for her work on the acclaimed HBO original series THE WIRE. Ms. Fogel cast the feature THE SITTER for director David Gordon Greene
and 20th Century Fox, TOO BIG TO FAIL for director Curtis Hanson and HBO Films, the FX series LIGHTS OUT, and RED
TAILS for Lucas Film, GENERATION KILL for HBO and season two of IN TREATMENT, also for HBO. She won two Emmy
Awards and two Artios Awards for NYPD BLUE as well as being awarded three Artios Awards for casting Tom Fontana’s award-winning HBO series OZ.
BRENDAN MASON – Producer
Mr. Mason’s last project THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE premiered in 2013 at SXSW in Narrative Competition,and was released in November of 2013. His previous film HELENA FROM THE WEDDING, starred Melanie Lynskey and Lee Tergesen, and also premiered in competition at SXSW, and was released by Film Movement in the fall of 2010. Mr. Mason is currently in production on the UNTITED TERRY DONAHUE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT, about former All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Terry Donahue.During his eleven-year tenure at Beech Hill Films, Mr. Mason has worked in various capacities in both development and production. As an Associate Producer at Beech Hill for seven years, he has worked on such productions as RUN, FAT BOY, RUN (Picturehouse), A HOLE IN ONE, and JIMMY BLUE (NYFF ’06), among others. Prior to Beech Hill, Mr. Mason worked at Paramount Pictures.