SF IndieFest Reviews ‘Mother Country’

Breaux, a San Francisco tech writer and Stanford graduate, shot her film – a drama about a young gang member on a road trip of self-discovery after he accidentally shoots an innocent girl – in 21 days across four states. The film debuted in July at the American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach. “We’ve been making heavy use of social media – Twitter, Facebook, (e-mail) blasts,” said Breaux, who drew on his troubled lower-middle-class childhood in Los Angeles for inspiration in writing and directing the film. “Festivals are for meeting people and networking. There’s no better opportunity for meeting other filmmakers, distributors or anyone who happens to be passionate about film.” Breaux’s lead actor, Slamdance award winner Thomas Galasso, led Breaux to a sales agent through a connection, and that agent, in Vancouver, British Columbia, is helping place the film “in as many different markets and (international) territories as possible.” IndieFest serves as the Bay Area premiere of “Mother Country,” naturally something that Breaux is looking forward to; she’s bringing much of her cast up for the screening. “We’ll all go to a bar afterward and celebrate,” she laughed. Taken From:...

SF 360 Talks With ‘Mother Country’ Director Marie Breaux

It’s mid-morning on Memorial Day, and Maria Breaux is calling from El Paso. Deep in the heart of production on Mother Country, she’s got half an hour to chat while her crew packs up the caravan– two cars and a van – for the trip to Albuquerque. “We drove from San Francisco to Austin in three days,” including a stop in Los Angeles to pick up a Canon SLR HD camera and other equipment, “and the plan is to head back on smaller roads and shoot the movie along the way. We have all of our interiors worked out, and we have pre-arranged locations, and most of the exteriors as well.” Mother Country is an existential road movie (according to its lead, Thomas Galasso) but it’s not a loosey-goosey, make-it-up-as-you-go affair. “We started shooting on May 23 and haven’t had a day off yet,” Breaux relates. “We scheduled them, but they haven’t happened yet. The stressful thing is, since we know we have to leave on certain days, getting all the shots we need. [So] we’ve had a lot of late nights.” Breaux’s screenplay centers on a young African American who commits a crime in East Austin and, shaken by its unintended consequences, sets off on foot for L.A. to see a white former teacher (Cindy Pickett) who lives with her sister (Thea Gill of Queer As Folk). “There are many movies where a lot of bad things happen to black people and at the end they get out of the situation,” Breaux explains. “In this case, what if he got out of it in the first act? How would we see his life changing,...

San Franscisco Film Festival Reviews ‘Mother Country’

Written and directed by Maria Breaux, Mother Country bravely traverses a minefield of race and class issues while sidestepping cliché. She and the film manage to emerge miraculously intact. Dwight Porter (Thomas Galasso) gets caught up in gang violence in Austin. He escapes the heat by embarking on an unscheduled (and highly unorthodox) road trip to California in search of Miss Dupree (Cindy Pickett), his high school teacher from what seems like another lifetime. He remembers her as one of the few adults who ever made him feel worthy of a place in society. What happens between Texas and California takes an organic trajectory untainted by focus groups and marketing studies. Taken from:...