Uncork’d Entertainment will release Karen Lam's applauded horror film Evangeline on VOD May 8, 2015, and on DVD June 9, 2015.
Evangeline Pullman (Kat de Lieva) has just escaped her sheltered upbringing to reinvent herself in college. As she begins to break out of her shell, she attracts the attention of a violent fraternity leader (Richard Harmon) and his two cohorts. Beaten and dumped in the woods to die, Evangeline finds herself trapped in a supernatural nightmare, and she must choose between vengeance and redemption.
We spoke to Lam shortly after the news broke that her film had been skedded for distribution locally.
The movie was made in 2013, is that right? Seems the US release has been a long time coming?
I think all films are a labour of love: I wrote the script in 2011, we filmed in the beginning of 2013, and raced to get it ready for our premiere in Stockholm, Sweden in September. The main festival run was in 2014 so releasing in 2015 isn't as long as it seems.
Was it always intended to give the film a festival run first before settling on distribution?
We had quite a number of offers to distribute the film, but we really wanted to find a distributor that we could work with. The change in the digital landscape has turned distribution into the Wild West.
With so many films treading similar ground – in particular, The Crow series – how did you make Evangeline different?
I wanted the film to come from a uniquely female perspective. So many supernatural revenge fantasies dwell on the sexual brutalization of the woman, until the last bit where the revenge feels like catharsis. To me, there's a morality in revenge and the film questions the moral price of justice.
Your lead star is a real find. Where did you come across her?
We held auditions in Vancouver and Kat de Lieva was an immediate stand-out. She has a surface innocence and warmth that makes you like her immediately, but inside is this fire and strength. She's Bulgarian, and I loved the Old World intensity in her. It was a bonus that she had military and gun-training from her role in Halo IV.
Was it a demanding shoot for her, emotionally and physically?
I think it was a tough shoot since she did all her own stunts, and she was ony 16 of the 18 shooting days. The emotional intensity is part of her nature, but it was wet and cold when we shot, with a lot of long nights.
Scripts change from the time they’re written and principal photography. Was anything lost from Evangeline during that time?
I started in this industry as a producer, so I'm quite disciplined about my scripts and schedule. Knowing our budget and time restrictions, I did a fairly major pare-down on the script before we even officially scheduled. I don't ever think of it as "losing" -- more like transformation.
Did you pull an Alfred Hitchcock and cameo in the film yourself?
Noooo...I like staying on my side of the camera, thanks.
Is there a franchise in Evangeline?
Yes, we've just released a web series commissioned by TELUS Optik TV that explores the mythology of the Evangeline world, and in the process of developing a mini-series for television set in the world.