There is a stunning new film that will soon be making its world premiere virtually. Originally scheduled to have its first showing at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic AVIVA will open online on June 12, 2020. This is a film filled with romance, nudity, and sex, but more importantly it is filled of beautiful dance sequences that star three amazingly talented former members of the Israeli Batsheva Dance Company. It is not a musical, far from it! The dancing is serious, fun, sensual, and when necessary irritated and repressed. The choreography is, however, so seamlessly blended into the narrative that it becomes part of the conversation between the characters and it is, as promoted, a dance drama with “dancing in the streets, sheets and bars.” This is a unique and psychological take on a what we have come to think of as a movie romance.
Set in New York, AVIVA was directed by Israeli-American screenwriter, producer and Director Boaz Yakin, and released through Outsider Pictures with partner Strand Releasing. The dance sequences were choreographed by Bobbi Jene Smith, star of the 2019 film Mari, and the winner of Best Doc Feature, 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Smith, a former Batsheva Dance Company member, is one of the main characters in the film along with former Batsheva dancers Zina Zinchenko, Or Schraiber, and actor Tyler Phillips.
The character of Aviva, played by Zina Zinchenko (and at times by Or Schraiber), is a young Parisian who develops an online romance with native New Yorker Eden, portrayed by Tyler Phillips (and at times Bobbie Jene Smith). After a long distance courtship through letters and lengthy telephone calls, Aviva travels to New York, they meet, fall in love, Aviva gives up her life in Paris to be with Eden and the emotional rollercoaster begins. They marry, but their relationship is shattered by insecurities and conflict.
AVIVA is so much more than a romance movie. Writer-director Boaz Yakin (Fresh, A Price Above Rubies, Remember the Titans) has crafted a new category for movies about a relationship. AVIVA is cinematographically beautifully and shot in a series of gorgeous but often stark spaces. Yakin has woven a tale that rips apart how the majority of the world looks at gender and exactly how a man or a woman should think, feel, and act. He digs deeper than most filmmakers into the psyche of his main characters Aviva and Eden, stripping bare what makes them both strong and vulnerable; what helps them survive and what emotional scars have the potential to destroy them.
AVIVA is not always easy to follow, but it is sensual, vibrant, thought provoking and the dancing is excellent. This is a film that must be seen and experienced.
AVIVA is in English is Unrated and runs for 116 minutes.
WATCH THE TRAILER BELOW
Free live stream Q&As will take place on Saturday, June 13 and Saturday, June 20 at 7pm EST, with director Boaz Yakin, and cast members Bobbi Jene Smith & Or Schraiber.
Also, Sunday, June 14 at 4pm EST, with director Boaz Yakin, and cast members Zina Zinchenko & Tyler Phillips.
Moderated by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and film programmer Robert Rosenberg.
To learn more about this beautiful film and to register for these Zoom events, click HERE.
When you get to the Outsider Pictures website, scroll below to MOVIE SHOWTIMES to find a list of the theaters screening the film online, and click on BUY TICKET for the one you choose.
Written by Jeff Slayton for LADC, May 18, 2020.