While most of her peers were learning how to draw stick figures and overcome the challenges of potty training Brazilian actress Marilia Colturato was discovering her life’s passion in the world of acting. This incredible actress, whose name and reputation are known throughout Brazil, has amassed an impressive acting repertoire which has come to include renowned theater productions, award-winning films, and hit television shows from around the world. After moving to Hollywood in 2012, Colturato began working on several films including the crime drama Mao Winters P.I., the sci-fi flick Anton, as well as Jonestown, Nat, and Living in Berlinda.
Her most recent projects include C’est La Vie which was written and directed by Ari Aster, and The Expert which will be featured in the 48-Hour Film Festival. Colturato plays the challenging role of young Judy in Arthur Lang’s The Expert which was produced by Red Ahead Productions.
The film centers on the traumatic past of Judy, a young woman who is unable to cope with adulthood after being sexually abused in her youth. Colturato takes her craft to the next level in the film as audiences see her live out one of the most difficult experiences for any human being–– the ill-fated day when Judy’s innocence is lost forever.
“The whole process of shooting The Expert was very challenging, but the more difficult it is to tap into the character, the more satisfying the experience is for me overall,” said Colturato. “It was disturbing to play a girl who had been abused by a stranger–– trying to imagine what was happening in the girl’s mind during the act, and being in a position where you have no control over what is happening to you was overwhelming to say the least. ”
The next project on this extremely talented actress’s schedule is Alain Villeneuve’s upcoming horror film Purgatory which is scheduled to begin production later this year.
Colturato also appears in the series A Girls Guide to Blacking Out alongside actor Doug Haley who is known for his roles in True Blood, Good Luck Charlie, Abducted, Heroes, Justified, as well as others. Be sure to check out Colturato in this new hit comedy which follows a group of college friends as they attempt to help their socially awkward friend overcome her inhibitions by taking her on a 30-day party bender.
Originally born in Tehran, Iran, the breathtaking actress Nazli K. Lou is a force to be reckoned with both on and off the silver screen. Her most recent film For the Birds has brought to light the traumatic and true story of a young Iranian woman named Atefeh, who was wrongly accused and put to death in a public execution. Read more about this gifted actress in our interview below!
PL: Can you tell us a little bit about the film and television projects you’ve done?
NKL: I was cast in an independent feature film called Parts of Disease where I play the wife of a potential terrorist and FBI agent who is heavily involved in an investigation.
I also starred in the film For the Birds, which has been incredibly successful on the festival circuit. The film has won several awards and was recently screened at Cannes.
PL: Can you tell us about the making of the film For the Birds, and some of the festivals it’s been to?
NKL: It was a challenge to prepare for this part, but my entire being was dedicated to perfecting this character. I play a 16-year-old girl who is getting publicly executed; not only is she a minor, but she is also innocent.
We wanted to make sure we captured the essence of the girl, so there were a lot of rehearsals and discussions that went into the character’s development. As the lead, I had a lot of one on one time with the director, which made the filming process go smoothly. On the first day of shooting I arrived on set and it was still dark outside. I will never forget the moment where I stood in front of the justice sign and the feeling that ran through my body. I knew I could not change the past, but I was thankful to have the opportunity to do this tiny act that will hopefully change the future.
Our movie won best short at Cleveland Film Festival, Spokane Film Festival, Best Female Director at both the Directors Guild of America and the World of Women Cinema in Sydney.
The film was also an Official Selection at the following Film Festivals: Cannes, Montreal, Vancouver, Sedona, Rome, Bend, New Port beach, Hollywood Reel, New Film Maker LA, Cinequest, Denmark, and the list growing each month.
PL: How did the fact that you were playing a non-fictional character affect your feelings about the role and your overall preparation for the part? (ie: were you more motivated to bring the trauma and truth of the character’s experience to life etc.)
NKL: I wanted to portray this character in a way where the audience could feel the every emotion that was going through this child who was wrongly accused of crimes against chastity and was executed with no chance of having legal representation nor her family informed of her sentencing. Yes, it did affect my feelings and made me more determined to make sure I delivered the message.
PL: How do you feel about the finished product of For the Birds?
NKL: I am very pleased. As you can imagine, just like any other project, we had complications during shooting the movie. However, I can’t stress enough how much all the cast and crew did to make this movie happen. It was almost like the purpose of this movie was pulling us all together to give our 100%. Of course the response we have had so far speaks for itself.
PL: Can you tell our audience a little more about the film Parts of Disease, and how you prepared for the role?
NKL: Four Graduate students travel to various sites of US terrorism for a school project. After one of them disappeared, and was discovered to be linked to people on the terrorist watch list, there is suspicion that he may have been plotting a terrorist attack of his own.
I had to create the character of Kalila who is a Middle Eastern woman married to a potential terrorist and also an undercover FBI agent. Obviously she is torn between decisions and plays a very significant role in how the story evolves.
PL: Your roles in theses films are very different, what made you choose to participate in them?
NKL: When I auditioned for the film For the Birds I was very touched by the story. I felt like it was my obligation and duty as an Iranian woman to use my skills to bring the story to the attention of the world and raise awareness about child executions, which are still happening in many countries around the globe today. What better way to bring such horrific act to the attention of people than through the power of film.
PL: You get approached all the time to work on projects with people, what makes you pick one role over another?
NKL: Its important to me who I work with, and what message I am conveying.
PL: What do you feel has been the most important role of your career?
NKL: My part in For the Birds, because of the film’s message, as well as the amazing cast and crew. Everybody involved in this project did an excellent job and I believe that we were all touched by the story and that is what brought us together.
PL: As for genre, what is your favorite? (Comedy, Drama, Horror, etc.)
NKL: I am open to all genres, however I have been involved in dramas mostly. I was recently selected out of approximately 600 people to be a part of the Persian version of SNL. So I am very excited about that. I am too scared to watch horror movies, but I would love to be in one. Maybe after a part in a horror movie my fear of watching them will disappear too.
PL: What projects do you have coming up?
NKL: My SNL Persian comedy that will be broadcast internationally on a weekly basis.
PL: Can you tell me a little more about the show? Has the name been announced, and will you be a regular star?
NKL: We are at the early stages of creating this show. Very similar to SNL style, so we will have skits and involve current affairs in our work. Yes I will be a regular and am very excited to explore comedy.
PL: What do you hope to achieve in your career as an actress?
NKL: Difficult question. Basically to do the best I possibly can. I think for any job or career to succeed you must deliver your best efforts and fight your battles. It is important to me to be part of projects that make a difference, whether they aim to raise awareness or serve as entertainment.
PL: Why did you choose this profession?
NKL: I love the fact that I can tell a story and bring a character to life.
If you live in Los Angeles and are a connoisseur of the theater then you’ve probably seen Swedish actor Linus Ekman starring in a series of recent stage productions that include Seminar, Glengarry Glen Ross and Hurlyburly.
While still living in Sweden, Linus was a part of the renowned improv group Rattle with which he toured for several years. An original member of the group, Linus is known for his spot-on comedic timing, a feature that led the group to win the title of Sweden’s Best Improv Theater in 2011 during the Battle Royal competition.
A multi-talented actor whose strengths extend far beyond comedy, Linus has played leading roles in several films including that of Jesper in the Swedish hit Unruly (Banga inte) written and directed by Fanni Metelius.
Set in Gothenburg circa 1999, the plot centers around three girls during the summer transition between middle and high school with the leader of the trio being Mickan, played by Linnea Cart-Lamy who is known throughout Europe for her role in Ruben Östlund’s De ofrivilliga (Involuntary), as well as other projects. The film follows the girls who, in the midst of drinking, partying, and flirting, try to figure out what it is they really want from life. Linus’s character Jesper is the antagonist of the film and the character responsible for the film’s conflict.
The incredibly demanding role required Linus, who is as sweet and innocent as he looks, to transition in to a show no mercy school ground bully, something he accomplished to the ‘T’. After Jesper disrespects one of Mickan’s friends, the young woman filled with teenage angst and the desire to stand up for something, attempts to force Jesper to apologize, a move which ultimately leads to the eruption of the film’s infamous fight scene. Executed perfectly, the scene was like an excerpt from Fight Club with Linus being the antagonistic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).
In Swedish Film magazine Metelius recalls her initial thoughts on what would she thought would be the most challenging part of the film; “Beforehand I thought it would be the sex scene, but it turned out to be the fight because so many people were involved. We worked on it for 20 hours. I was ill and had lost my voice. And it was especially hard on the actors, because the water was so cold…”
An incredible look at the challenges of growing up and fitting in, it is no wonder that Unruly won a special mention at the 2011 Uppsala International Short Film Festival, especially with its all-star cast being led by Linus Ekman and Linnea Cart-Lamy.
The true mark of a movie’s success is making its audience forget that they’re watching a movie. As we’re brought back in time to say World War II, or to outer space, for a span of time in a theater or a living room we’re supposed to forget about everything else. That is dependent on the kind of visual effects in the movie. And that is where Nikola Todorovic comes in.
Originally from Serbia, Mr. Todorovic grew up working in his Uncle’s video-rental store in the summers, which ignited his passion for film. Once Nikola arrived in Hollywood, he quickly found work as a visual effects artist, impressing and dazzling his coworkers with his talent.
For his work on the upcoming film Little Boy, which stars Academy Award nominees Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson, Nikolai was tasked with helping create visual effects that would illuminate the journey of the main character, a 12 year old boy, as he undertakes the seemingly impossible task of bringing his father back from the Second World War.
One of Nikola’s most important tasks, for four final shots in the film, was to recreate a sunset that would take your breath away. Nikola rose to the occasion, and then some, by creating over thirty-five different possible shots for the director to choose from. The film’s producer was so impressed he believed that without Nikola’s work the film would not have been believable.
For the film When Kings Battle, Nikola supervised the filming when it was done with green screens, and then in post-production he was able to recreate a world that transported the movie’s audience to the ancient ages. The film is about an emperor who becomes obsessed with a woman who already has a husband, and it nearly brings his empire to ruin. The film was honored with an array of awards, and had its premiere at the historical Grauman Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The film’s director, John Bucher, was so taken by Nikola’s work he plans to work with him on all of his future projects. Nikola’s work on the film was so incredible that he gained the respect of the Hollyshorts Festival, whose organizers invited him back as a jury member for the festival’s future editions.
Movies are an escape, especially the kinds of movies that bring you to a different time – whether it’s in the past, or in the future. But the success of these movies almost completely depends on their visual effects, and Nikola Todorovic is the guy whose shoulders you want to be leaning on if you’re making a movie about World War Two, ancient Egypt or any other subject intended to transport the audience.
All too often we see actors who get pigeonholed early on in their careers playing the same redundant roles over and over until they’ve completely worn out the genre and the role, leaving the audience to believe that as far their talent goes they are nothing more than a one-trick-pony. Comedy actors are a great example, however that will never be the case with the incredible Mexican actor Mac Arellano. While Mac is a stellar comedy actor, he has made diversity a point in his career appearing in all genres of work from horror films like The Hunted, to heart-breaking dramas like the film Graduation.
In Alec Baer’s The Hunted Mac plays Frank, the deceased best friend of co-star Sydney Beltramini who comes back to haunt Sydney and remind him of the unforgivable sins he has committed throughout his life as a criminal. Frank (played by Mac) appears before Sydney covered in blood in Sydney’s broken down motel room, a scene that reminds Sydney that his actions were responsible for the death of his best friend. Mac’s portrayal of Frank was mind-blowing. The role not only proved his ability to tap into the subtle traits of a feared ghost, which are more often than not overdone in a way that makes the character come off as corny, but also displayed his knack for the horror genre overall.
In the film Graduation, written and directed by Jeffrey Prosser, Mac’s performance in the starring role of George brought audiences to tears with his dramatic rendition of a middle-aged man who struggles to move on as a single father after the untimely death of his beloved wife. George (played by Mac), who was married and began a family in his 20s, is a hard worker who dedicates his life to providing his daughter with all tools she needs to get a solid education and build a life worth living, but his world gets flipped upside down once again when she gets pregnant and drops out of high school. The film is yet another testament to Mac’s extraordinary capacity for playing a wide range of roles, as well as his ability to realistically portray characters far outside of his age range.
Mac Arellano’s staggering talent is sure to keep him working for decades to come, and a feature that will keep him from ever falling into the feared category of one-trick-ponies.
Originally born in Bosnia, Nina Ljeti and her parents immigrated to Canada due to the war in the 1990s. Today Nina, who is in her early 20s, is a successful director, an acclaimed actress, and an incredible musician who has accomplished more in her short life than many ever will. Nina Ljeti’s film Memoria, which she directed and wrote the screenplay for, will be released early next year. The film came to fruition as a direct result of James Franco asking her to adapt a few of his short stories from his book Palo Alto, and the rest is history. Aside from Memoria, Ljeti and Franco have worked together extensively. Some of their collaborations include the films Child of God, Tar, The Letter, Rebel, and About Cherry, as well as the performance pieces Collage and BirdShit.
“Part of why I’m so passionate about film is that there is always room to learn more and to find different ways of expressing yourself. When you’re working with a team, you can use this to your advantage to grow as an artist. You learn from your peers and your collaborators. I constantly try to find new ways to tell a story. I’m always looking for truth in my work,” said Ljeti.
Taking a divergent stance from mainstream serial killer biopics, which more often than not vilify the subject, Nina’s film Jeffrey, a film about infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer,welcomes a more sympathetic heart in its audience.
Her love of grunge, and all that is dark, gritty and true is apparent in much of her work. In fact, she is slated to play the lead role of Kurt Cobain in an upcoming film entitled Kurt. “It’s a project that James (Franco) and I have been developing for a couple years. Nirvana is my favorite band of all time, so I’m very excited to be working on this piece,” said Ljeti.
While Nina is unquestionably a beautiful woman, her ability to completely abandon society’s gender roles is one feature that makes her such a unique and incredible talent. “I love playing male characters… It’s so much fun to get into the mind of someone that is so far away from you, personally. It makes it that much harder to find yourself within the character, but all the more satisfying when you do… For some reason, they come naturally to me,” said Ljeti.
Aside from her upcoming role as Kurt Cobain, Ljeti has played a long list of male characters. “I played James Dean in Rebel, Stanely Kowalski (from a Streetcar Named Desire) in Collage, Treplev (from The Seagull) in BirdShit… and I’ve modeled as a male many times for 7 For All Mankind,” said Ljeti.
In addition to her work as an actress and director, Ljeti is also the lead singer of the band Yeah, Well Whatever, a 90s inspired punk group comprised of four hot female rockers. A woman of many talents, Ljeti and her work serve as an inspiration to us all.
From the sound of his voice you would never guess that the multi-talented actor Ray Emodi grew up in Nigeria. His ease with the American dialect is only one of his many talents, but it is a feature that makes him highly sought after in the United States film industry. While Ray’s work spans many genres, he excels at them all.
His role as Parker Stone in the film You Don’t Say is one that puts his incredible comedic skills on display for the masses. A film which Ray also wrote and directed, You Don’t Say follows two stoned kids in the hood who, after failing to pay back a heavy-hitting drug dealer named Big Mac are given the option of dying for their debt, or taking on a day of errands on behalf of the ruthless dealer. They choose the errands obviously, and as a result they find themselves in a long list of unusual situations that lend for a great comedy.
Ray plays a much heavier role as the lead in God’s Own Villa, a film by award-winning director Omar Monge. Ray’s character, a depressed agoraphobic who spends most of his time alone in a dark apartment browsing the internet and making artsy scribbles on the walls, is coerced to leave his house after meeting a girl on the world wide web. Ray’s portrayal of the struggle one faces when dealing with a phobia most outsiders do not understand was so impeccable that the film was chosen as an Official Selection at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival.
Ray is a highly skilled and well-trained performer whose ability to play a myriad of characters exists without limitation. In the action-packed thriller Lies Hidden in the Truth Ray plays Mr. K, a methodical leader of an assassin’s organization who gets the job done every time. The film, which was written and directed by famous Beverly Hills 90210 director Gilbert Shilton, is a masterpiece that pits action alongside mental manipulation and deceit.
Ray has several upcoming films including Jake Armbruster’s film Animus, which will premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in September. In the film Ray plays the leading role of Officer Wright, a godly man who is left questioning his faith and integrity after he has everything taken from him.
One of America’s hottest new additions, Ray Emodi is a one-of-a-kind talent who has wowed audiences from both stage and screen, and shows no signs of stopping!
The Canadian actor Evan Riley-Brown first became the talk of the town in his native British Columbia, Canada, after successfully completing an impressive comedy tour with the well-known improv group Full Frontal Improv. While reviews of his improv work have highlighted him as a quick witted comic in papers across British Columbia, Evan’s talent for acting extends far beyond that of the improv.
The now well-known star began perfecting his craft while he was still learning to walk. Evan’s journey into the world of acting began with the play “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Although he was only three years old at the time Evan had already developed his own personal flair for the stage. “I remember coming on stage and then I spoke in this weird deep, demonic voice, it was a choice I made last minute because I thought since I am playing a father bear I should change my voice,” says Brown.
Leaving his boyhood behind, Evan’s unyielding ability to forget his inhibitions and push the limits with his characters has remained strong. “I really enjoyed playing ‘Eben’ from “Desire Under the Elms” by Eugene O’Neil. The play is just so beautifully tragic and I loved playing characters that are intense and tortured and the play has it all- love and hate and the stakes are incredibly high,” said Brown.
Evan’s magnificent performance as ‘Newt’ in the stage production of “Playing with Fire” directed by Oscar winner Milton Justice unleashed a whirlwind of emotions within the audience. A happy go-lucky painter who comes to discover his wife and best friend are in love with one another, the starring role of ‘Newt’ required Evan to dig deep into his bag of emotions.
“It takes an actor with exceptional ability to properly embody a character in such a complicated and uncomfortable situation. This is precisely why Evan was cast in the role, because he is a well-known actor with the ability to display a wide range of emotion,” said Director Milton Justice.
With a series of starring roles in heavily publicized theater productions already under his belt, it is Evan’s work on the silver screen that has really put him on everyone’s radar.
As fans of the Netflix hit Video Game High School already know from his role as the ‘Annihilist’, Evan’s versatility is impeccable. Showing no signs of his gentle, small-town nature, Evan was able to seamlessly embody the bully of the story through and through. Although Evan’s character inVideo Game High School was initially written for one episode, his performance was so compelling that the production team went back to the drawing board and chose to incorporate him as a reoccurring character.
Evan is also slated to star as ‘Kaleb’ in Victor Trevino’s upcoming biography film Spit. Spit is a coming of age tale based on real life events that pits a group of neo-Nazis against a group of punks in a war for individuality. The recent release of the film’s trailer has created quite a lot of buzz about the film with various publications referring to it as the next American History X. Stay tuned for Evan’s role in this incredible film!
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