HollyShorts 2022 Opening Night (August 11th) Highlights + Q & A With Kelsey Bollig!

The time has finally come to kick off Hollyshorts 2022! The 18th annual festival has arrived, and with it comes the opening night ceremonies, a slate of wonderful films, and so much more! While the first night is mostly just a celebration, there will also be so many fantastic films to enjoy. The following are just of a few of the highlights of the big night, and at the end will be an interview with one of the filmmakers. Enjoy, and be sure to follow along with us in person if you’re able, or online, via BitPix.

Thoughts And Prayers – Zachary Levi and Adrienne Palicki star in a very difficult but well-done film that revolves around two senators on opposing sides that have to deal with the life-destroying event that is a school shooting. Even on opposing sides, the anxiety and fear are playing in a way that is real and extremely emotional. Director Evan Miller tough film to watch, but one that is excellent and worth all of the accolades it’s getting on the festival circuit.

38 At The Garden – The story of Jeremy Lin and the “Lin-sanity” phenomenon during the 2012 NBA season is one that still has so much life to it, thanks to the man himself and the importance of an Asian-American basketball player getting so much attention, especially when that had never really been something that happened in the past. With interviews from Lin, along with prominent Asian-American personalities such as comedians Hassan Minhaj, Lisa Ling, Ronnie Chieng, Jenny Yang and Pablo Torre, the film speaks about not only the incredible time in Lin’s life in which he was the hottest name in professional basketball, but the impact that had not only for fans of the sport, but especially for Asian-American fans. With the recent events in the world and the rise in hate crimes against Asian people, reliving a time in which the most popular name in basketball was that of an Asian-American man is even more important.

Return To Sender – Allison Tolman stars in Russell Goldman film, which gets an assist from film legend Jamie Lee Curtis. Tolman stars as a recovering addict that gets roped into a delivery scam known as “brushing”, where a person is randomly sent products in order to give the impression of a legitimate review for a product. As she continues to deal with this scam, this get even more strange, and much more dangerous, not only for herself, but for her sister, played by Emma Pasarow.

Kickstart My Heart – Kelsey Bollig’s retelling of an event that nearly ended her life is now represented in this incredible film, which returns Emma Pasarow, this time as the star. A victim of a traffic accident that nearly kills her. As she struggles to get back from the brink of death, her subconscious takes her through a harrowing journey as she has to fight her own mind and the hell it puts her through to get back from the edge and into reality once more. It’s heartwarming, action-packed and filled with the pain of experience. Bolling does some excellent work as a director, putting together a film that isn’t always typical, but tells a truly powerful story.

Skin & Bone – Eli Powers brings us a terrifying film that stars Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski. Christian (Sadoski) is a man who’s been through a lot and done a lot of things, bith good and bad in his life. After he takes a job on a secluded farm for an escape, he is troubled by visions and nightmares that haunt him. It’s tense, troubling and wildly engrossing.

Our festival interview starts off with the writer/director of the incredible film Kickstart My Heart, Kelsey Bollig! Her story is amazing, but she should be the one to tell you about that. Enjoy!

Poster for “Kickstart My Heart”

Q: Tell us more about your film.  How did it come to be?

 In June 2019 I was run over by an SUV, breaking over 30 of my bones, lacerating my spleen and liver, and collapsing my lungs. After the accident and during my recovery, I began visualizing the true physical and symbolic journey I was taking in my recovery. I wanted desperately to put a face to the pain. 3 years and one SeedandSpark campaign later, Kickstart My Heart has become that face. Kickstart My Heart is not only a film about the trauma I fought to survive, but it’s also a film about the fight we all possess when facing inevitable hardships. Sometimes the most silent and restorative of times can feel the most agonizing. 

Q: What was your budget?
Approx 55k.

Q: What was the biggest takeaway from making the film?
There are honestly too many takeaways to count. This was my first time doing a hardcore hand-to-hand combat action movie and I can tell you now…stunt performers are literal superheroes. I also fell absolutely in love with the action genre and definitely expect to be doing more in the future. 

Q: What was the biggest challenge in making this film?  
Filming 3 major fight scenes in 3 days. We literally pulled off a miracle and I couldn’t feel luckier to have had the team around me that I did. And a HUGE shout out to my stunt choreographer Josh Mabie who designed the most badass fights a girl could ever dream of. 

Q:  What is next for you?
I’m currently in development on a feature with HyperObject and Lionsgate starring Olivia Cooke called Breeders. You can read more about it HERE.

That’ll take care of things for our first night, but be sure to check back with us each and every day of this year’s HollyShorts Film Festival, as there will be coverage throughout. See you tommorow!

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