Dastmalchian and Schiffli Reunite for Feature

Dastmalchian and Schiffli Reunite for Feature

If at first you do succeed, try try again. Following up on the success of their SXSW Jury Award winning drama ANIMALS, Midwest filmmakers David Dastmalchian and Collin Schiffli will team up once again for the upcoming feature ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW. Dastmalchian, fresh off high-profile stints in the Marvel blockbuster ANT-MAN and the highly anticipated TWIN PEAKS reload, will play the lead in the script he wrote, with Schiffli back in the director's chair. After filming ANIMALS in Chicago, the duo returns to the Midwest for Round Two, this time landing in Kansas City, with a summer shoot planned.

"It was very important for us to shoot this film in the KC area because that's where so much of the story takes place, that's where I was raised and that's the landscape of these characters and their journey," Dastmalchian told SCREEN. "Thankfully our producers have fought to make this film in a way that feels authentic and stays true to the script so they've really encouraged Collin to stick to his guns and create his vision based on the true terrain of the Midwest. We've also been really blessed to have the support and encouragement of the KC Film Office."

Great Friends Great Collaborators

Schiffli and Dastmalchian almost immediately began working to bring together this next feature following the successful SXSW premiere of ANIMALS. "I think that Dave and I have learned a lot from each other since we first began collaborating," Schiffli told SCREEN when asked about working once again with his good friend. "ANIMALS certainly propelled that learning experience forward in many ways, so I am eager to see what is in store for us on this next one. We've already been working on it for quite awhile and it feels like we haven't missed a beat. Dave has written another poignant and timely script. It will be a challenging story to tell, so I'm glad I'm going into battle again with Dave."

ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW follows a desperate young couple on the run who seek refuge in Kansas City. Producers include Amy Greene, Chris Stinson and Nacho Arenas. Greene and Stinson last collaborated on the 2015 Cannes pic CHRONIC starring Tim Roth, in which Dastmalchian also appeared.

Delving Into CREATURES

Schiffli elaborated to SCREEN about the overall arc and feel of the film: "To say the obvious, our nation is in a unique state of mind at the moment and it seems like everyone is needing to be seen and represented in an accurate and honest light. ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW is a delicate story that examines a slice of culture that is often misunderstood, judged, or pitied. It means a lot to me that I get to direct another film that deals with themes of understanding and perspective towards a side of life that most people would be quick to judge."

Dastmalchian wrapped up this conversation with SCREEN in saying, "If you think back to when we were making ANIMALS, it's just so vital to receive the support and assistance from the local community - businesses, artists, government. We can't wait to be back in the Midwest making movies."

As ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW heads into production this summer I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, if you're considering Kansas City for an upcoming production, definitely reach out to Steph Scupham at sscupham@visitkc.com and ask her about their latest incentives. And while you're at it, click here to buy Collin and Dave's first collaboration ANIMALS; it's an inspiring piece of Midwest filmmaking.

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.