The team at Initiative 26 were all smiles at the conclusion of the 8th Soho International Film Festival in New York on 21st June. Not only had their latest short film, Ophelia, a modern and gritty reimagining of one of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters, scored a debut at the prestigious film festival, but their co-lead actor, Sam Underwood put a cherry on their extremely incredible cake by walking away with the award for best actor for his visceral portrayal of a tortured and haunted Hamlet. In addition to scoring one of the festival’s top awards, Ophelia was also nominated for Best Showcase Short Film.
Determined to leave its mark on more than one festival, Ophelia also managed to find its way into the line up for the Broadway International Film Festival, where it went on to win Best Narrative Short Film and is also now an official selection for the Hamilton International Film Festival. Ophelia makes its appearance at the Hamilton Festival on 25th July, so anyone in or around New York wanting to see this and other great shorts in their line-up can find out more here.
For those of you unfamiliar with the film, Ophelia tells the updated Shakespearian story of the doomed romance of Ophelia and Hamlet as the former watches helplessly as her once proud and noble hero degenerates into a drug-addled, unstable husk of a man.
Valorie Curry takes on the challenge of portraying Ophelia as her stoic veneer begins to crack and the inevitable doom of her life with Hamlet slowly becomes apparent. Set against a backdrop of underworld crime and brutal violence, Curry, Underwood and director Jamie Sims craft a character study and heartrending drama worthy of its timeless source material. Watch the trailer below and read our review here.