Podtalk: Noga Ashkenazi of ‘Saints Rest,’ at Midwest Independent Film Fest on June 5, 2018

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CHICAGO – Another new voice has emerged on the film scene, and she is ready for her close-up. The director and co-writer (with Tyson Stock) of “Saints Rest” is Noga Ashkenazi, a filmmaker who grew up in Tel Aviv (Israel), but studied at Grinnell College in Iowa. Her new film is set in Grinnell, and will make its Midwest Premiere at the Midwest Independent Film Festival in Chicago on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018. For more information, including ticket purchasing, click here.

Hani Furstenberg and Allie Trimm in ‘Saints Rest’
Photo credit: Lama Films/Various and Sundry Films

“Saints Rest” is a gentle and heartfelt musical drama about two sisters, Joni and Allie (Hani Furstenberg and Allie Trimm), who are in contrast with their ambitions and perspective. Joni owns a coffee shop called Saint’s Rest in their hometown of Grinnell, Iowa. Allie is leaving after a short hiatus for her first role in an Off-Broadway play in New York City. Joni stayed behind to take care of her mother, who had recently died, and has resentment towards her sister for both her lack of presence during the illness and flight from their roots. Their connection remains music, and the film features several original compositions that are performed live in the film, and like a musical speaks to the circumstances of the story.

The director/co-writer, Noga Ashkenazi, makes her narrative film debut with “Saints Rest,” after studying in Paris and Grinnell College. She learned the nuts and bolts of filmmaking while creating her first work, a documentary called “The Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars,” which explored women’s issues in the criminal justice system. She set “Saints Rest” in her college hometown, and creates a poignancy, authenticity and familiarity that is ultimately touching.

Director Noga Ashkenazi On the Set of ‘Saints Rest’
Photo credit: Lama Films/Various and Sundry Films

The Midwest Independent Film Festival is a year-round movie event in Chicago that takes place the first Tuesday of every month, at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema. The festival has been recognized by Chicago Magazine in their “Best of Chicago” issue, and has become one of the top places for local filmmakers, producers and actors to network in the city.

In the following Podtalk Part One, Director Noga Ashkenazi reflects on the themes in “Saints Rest,” and the use of music as a means to communicate emotion.

In Part Two, Noga talks about the concept of home, and her learning experience when she began her filmmaking career.

The Midwest Independent Film Festival presents the Midwest Premiere of “Saints Rest” on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 (6pm start), at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 North Clark Street, Chicago. Director Noga Ashkenazi will make an appearance on behalf of her film. For more information about the festival, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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