Award-winning filmmaking team Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola are fixtures in the Boston arts scene. They are usually found at the intersection of every cool artwork featured in the area. They are accomplished musicians who perform in a plethora of clever conceptual bands like Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling. They are organizers of unique performance experiences such as Bring Us Your Women, a collaborative showcase of incredible talent from Boston’s burlesque, music, and film scenes. These affairs reminds us that art should be a communal experience, and Epstein and Cacciola are always there to lead the charge.The duo have completed two acclaimed feature films. Ten (2014), a mystery-thriller commenting on gender and identity, is swathed in the aesthetic of 70s and 80s slasher films. Their follow-up, Magnetic (2015), is a sparse psychological sci-fi film that uses time travel tale and aural power to ponder the meaning of existence. Each piece is fashioned with a surreal touch and satirical tone that lends laughter and weirdness while challenging the status quo. Their latest feature, Blood of the Tribades (2016), is a modern take on 70s Euro lesbian vampire films. They pay homage to the surreal arthouse work of Jean Rollin (Lips of Blood ) and Jesús Franco (Vampyros Lesbos ), as well as the theatrical Gothic horror of Hammer’s Karnstein Trilogy (The Vampire Lovers , et al.). The film is designed to incite discourse on inequality, fundamentalism, and religious zealotry, while delivering all of the bloody goods and odd nuances fans of this type of cinema crave. Shooting a large ensemble cast in a wide array of New England locations, the film is an enormous undertaking for this fiercely independent pair. Epstein and Cacciola are in the midst of shooting, and any help reaching their modest financial goal would help them fully realize their ambitious artistic vision. Here’s a description of the film in their words:
For this film, we have created a vampire world/lore in which a vampire named Bathor turned an entire village to vampires, stuck around long enough to teach them to survive, and then promised to return in 2000 years after conquering the rest of the continent. The only problem with this plan is that the vampires, although immortal, have only a limited capacity for memory. As time passes, they forget their utopian society and led by the totalitarian zealot Grando, become paranoid, superstitious fundamentalists, splitting their society by race and gender lines, seeking to destroy those who are deemed sinful.
Long-forgotten lovers Élisabeth and Fantine find that, with the help of those who were banished in the past, it is their fate to piece together the past and help preserve the little that remains before Bathor’s impending return.
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