The Warm Season Premieres on the Film Circuit
The Warm Season, an indie sci-fi film set in New Mexico, had a simultaneous world premiere on February 18, 2023 at the Santa Fe Film Festival and the Boston Sci-Film Festival. The film was directed by Janet Grillo and written by Adam Seidel, with special effects provided by IdeaRocket. It was shot in location in the New Mexico desert.
So far, the film has won a warm response on the festival circuit.
At the Boston Sci-Film Festival, the film won the Festival Director’s Award, described by the festival as “an award that favors quality film married with creativity and enhanced by marketing professionalism.”
In the Santa Fe Film Festival, the film won the best cinematography award for Sarah Brandes. In reviewing the film for Film Threat, Dean Lamanna wrote that the camera work is “always stylishly framed, fluidly moves, or hovers omnisciently overhead. The visuals make the most of the setting’s enigmatic mountain backdrops, alternately moody and gorgeous skies, and eclectic midcentury architecture, producing the luminous and polished look of a feature.”
Other reviewers have also greeted the film enthusiastically. Alex DiVincenzo writes in Bloody Disgusting, that “The Warm Season succeeds because writer Adam Seidel and director Janet Grillo craft an intriguing concept with authentic characters in a world that feels lived in.”
The Warm Season begins in 1967 with 12-year-old Clive playing in the New Mexican desert behind her family’s remote motel, taking photos with her trusty Polaroid, when a Mexican worker mysteriously appears before her. He doesn’t behave like the immigrant ranch hands in the area. His name is Mann, he’s from another planet that is dying, and he’s searching for a new place for his kind to live. As dark sedans swoop to capture him, Mann hands Clive a glowing orb, asks her to hide it, and promises he’ll be back.
Now it’s 25 years later, and Clive’s still waiting, struggling to keep the flailing motel afloat and her aging mother, Carlene, alive. Her husband, Mitch, urges Clive to sell the motel, restart their life and revive their love. But Clive holds onto the secret and the stone, too stuck in the past to pull herself into their future. And then Mann returns.
The Warm Season was produced by Cromono International and stars Carie Kawa as Clive, Michael Esparza as Mann, and Gregory Jbara as a jaunty renegade bureaucrat. The film was produced by Julie Crosby and David Youse for under $1,000,000, surprising given the production quality seen onscreen.
Given the resonance of the film’s environmental themes and the humanity of the portrayals, this film could well continue to make a splash.