‘Maturing Youth’ World Premiere Photos & Interviews (EXCLUSIVE)

Earlier this year we were offered the opportunity to review R&F Entertainment’s upcoming short film, Maturing Youth. Since publishing our review we’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to interview the film’s lead Award-nominated lead, Sean A Kaufman, and its director, Divoni Simon. Now, we’re pleased to exclusively share with you some photos and interviews from the film’s world premiere, which was held October 21st, 2018 in New York City.

At the event, R&F Entertainment hosted sit down interviews with the stars of the film to chat about their career, dreams, and inspirations. Following the award ceremony at the film festival, the stars had individual standing interviews on the red carpet with TV host and interviewer, Award-nominated actress, producer, director, author, and entrepreneur Janet Miranda. Below you’ll find the red carpet interview with award-winning actress Darleen Fontaine and Rae’l Ba, where they discuss their characters in the film and working on the film.¬†


The event had over 120 attendees from family, friends, crew members, and the general public. Individuals attending the event flew in as far as Florida and the west coast. Some even travelled over 20 hours by vehicle to attend. The screening room was filled to capacity and was sold out.

The screening opened with a round of applause once the films production company’s logo [R&F Entertainment] appeared right at the start. Once the ending credits came up, a second round of applause roared through the screening room. The audience laughed and enjoyed the special bloopers during the end credits and finally had a standing ovation at its completion. Following the first world screening of the film, the cast and director were on stage during an exclusive Q&A with the audience.

cast crew producer director

L2R: Michael Paladine (VO Artist), Chase Michael Palante (Award Winning Producer), Rae’l Ba, Kim Paris (Nominated for Best Actress), Sean A Kaufman (Nominated for Best Actor), Brian Austin Padua (Assistant Script Supervisor), Divoni Simon (Nominated for Best Director), Darleen Rae Fontine (Won Best Supporting Actress), Terrence Keene (Nominated for Best Supporting Actor), Joshua St. Leger, Albee Castro – Photo Credit:¬†R&F Entertainment

Maturing Youth was nominated for Best Film, Divoni Simon was nominated for Best Director, Sean A Kaufman was nominated for Best Actor, Kim Paris was nominated for Best Actress, Terrence Keene was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and Darleen Rae Fontaine was nominated and won Best Supporting Actress. A total of 6 nominations and 1 win.

Each cast member had their own specific time slots for Facebook Live and Instagram Live recordings at the event. Each of their individual recordings can be found on their individual Facebook and Instagram pages.

R&F Entertainment went live on the films official social media pages, Facebook and Instagram, for the win of Darleen Rae Fontaine’s award for her performance in the film. Her speech can be found directly on Maturing Youth’s Facebook page.

Below you’ll see the glamorous cast and crew on the red carpet at the film’s premiere.

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All Photo Credit: R&F Entertainment

 

The film is currently going through the New York Film Festival circuits before making its Los Angeles premiere in Spring 2019. The film will make it overseas to its international film festival run in 2020, with a projected distribution deal to release the film to the public by the holidays in 2020. We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date with the film’s festival run.

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Maturing Youth (Short)

Year: 2018
Directed by: Divoni Simon
Written by: Isabel Kruse, Chase Michael Pallante, Divoni Simon
Cast:¬†Sean A. Kaufman,¬†Kim Paris, Darleen Rae Fontaine,¬†Rae’l Ba,¬†Joshua St. Leger,¬†Albee Castro,¬†Terrence Keene
Runtime: 34 minutes 13 seconds

Written by Tom Sheffield

“The puzzle of life is for ones self discovery.”

Roger is an unemployed, weed smoking layabout that spends his days watching cartoons in his dressing gown. When he’s not doing that, he’s trying to chat up women in the street – so as you can imagine, he’s got no interest in having responsibilities or commitments. His care-free world is rocked when his ex, Sadie, appears on his doorstep with a young son he never knew he had. Not being able to cope with Roger’s lifestyle and attitude, Sadie walks out on him, leaving her son in the incapable hands of Roger. But when his son falls ill, Roger’s situation hits him like a truck and he has to make a decision – to continue swerving any and all responsibilities thrown his way, or to step up to the plate and be a father to his son.

The entire film takes place in Roger’s house, and the only colour in it is his Rastafarian flag dressing gown, which it appears he practically lives in. In a way, the state of the house reflects Roger’s current lifestyle – boring, plain, and there’s no effort put into it. It’s a fitting and well suited environment for this character, and the story that develops.

Kaufman delivers a first-rate performance as Roger, nailing both the lax, detestable character we see at the beginning and the Roger we get a glimpse of towards the end of the film. I won’t go into spoiler territory in this review because I implore you to seek out this film when you can to watch it for yourself. Roger is definitely a character I would love to have seen a bit more depth to, especially towards the end of the film. Granted, the film’s runtime will have been a major factor here as we also had to be introduced to a number of different characters – but I would watch a feature-film based on this screenplay and characters in a heartbeat.

Kim Paris’ brief performance as Sadie came off very natural, and whilst I would have loved to have seen more of her, her limited screen time was well utilized as she helps develop the plot, as well as give us some more information about Roger and his life.¬†Joshua St. Leger plays the role of Junior, and whilst his lines are very limited, the rest of his performance draws out the more heartwarming moments in the film when he shares the screen with Kaufman.

Another mention has to go to Terrence Keen, who plays Doctor Riccard. Riccard is called to Roger’s house when Junior falls ill, and it’s he who is the voice of reason to try make Roger understand the detrimental effect his refusal to be a parent will have on young Junior in his future life. The character of the Doctor was a very brave and ambitious inclusion, but the character and his scenes were executed well enough in this short to not feel out of place in such a story. I’m sure once you watch for yourself, you’ll understand what I mean.

It’s evident from the bloopers and behind-the-scenes footage that play alongside the credits that the cast and crew had a lot of fun making this film, and this is evident in the end product, which is well shot, acted, and edited. These were a great addition and personally I love the inclusion of behind the scenes stuff in film’s credits so it ticked yet another box for me.

‘Maturing Youth’ definitely has taken some inspiration from films before it (one example that instantly sprung to mind was ‘Big Daddy’), but as a ‘dramedy’ short it works incredibly well, leaning more on the drama aspect aspect than the comedy. This works in the film’s favour as the humour it does provide doesn’t feel shoe-horned in.¬† The strong performances from it’s cast, along with a solid screenplay and direction, make this a truly wonderful short film that has a lot of heart… and it left me wanting more!

TOM’S RATING:

4

You can find out more about ‘Maturing Youth’ on their official website, Facebook, and Instagram

You can also keep an eye on R&F Entertainment’s work on their official website, Facebook, and Instagram