On the Red Carpet in front of the Plaza Theatre, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Director Bret Wood and actress Christen Orr about their film “The Unwanted,” which was playing at the Atlanta Film Festival.
The film is about Carmilla (Christen Orr), who comes to a rural town where her mother mysteriously disappeared years earlier, she is meet with resistance from the townsfolk. She is aided in her quest by an emotionally troubled local girl (Hannah Fierman), with whom she becomes romantically involved. Their relationship ignites the wrath of the girl’s father, who holds the key to the dreadful truth Carmilla is seeking. The film was inspired by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s famed Gothic novella.
Tell us about “The Unwanted.”
Bret: We sort of playfully call it a Gothic-lesbian-vampire movie to cover up that it’s sort of hard thing to boil down. It’s kind of a heartfelt romantic tragedy. We are excited to be here and hopefully the audience will find it a strange and provocative film.
Have you been to the Atlanta Film Festival before?
Bret: Yes, this is the third time I have been here. I brought my first narrative feature here was “Psychopathia Sexualis,” so you can a trend in my work. And my second feature here was “The Little Death” which is set in a turn of the century brothel. So you can see that I am working through some issues in my work.
You have also produced many documentaries, many of which were on the history of film and it’s filmmakers. Does that background help you with your narrative work?
Bret: Yeah, I am really into silent films. A lot of the filmmakers reference films made in the last twenty years. My references and influences go back to the silent era because that what I do in my day job, producing Blu-rays and DVD’s of the silent movies. I strong believe that if you look to those films, where language is just being written up on the screen. That there is a lot to be discovered there.
What inspired you to write the script?
Bret: I just read the story because I like Gothic literature, and I always have an eye opened in the back of mind to look for a story that has film potential. So I read this one and it was sort of a straightforward vampire story. And I thought, maybe I could tell it in a way that if we don’t believe in vampires, how would that change the story. It doesn’t matter if someone believes in vampires or there is such a thing as vampires or not. If someone does believe that you are a vampire, that’s someone to be afraid of and that what’s in our movie.
Thank you so much and good luck with your film.
Hi Christen. How was your experience with making this film?
Christen: It was amazing. It is my first film in the Atlanta Film Festival and it was my first time working with Bret Wood. Bret made me really comfortable as a director and I had a great time making the film.
Tell us about your character.
Christen: My character is based on Carmella in the Sheridan Le Fanu’s story. Her name is also Carmilla, but we put her in a modern day situation. Carmella is looking for her mother and she happens to come to this southern town. She goes to the house of Troy Pickett and finds out many, many things about herself and everyone else in the story.
It sounds like this film has a little bit of a sense of humor in it
Christen: It does. You are going to find a little bit of every genre imaginable in this film. It’s a great ride.
Thank you so much.
The Atlanta Film Festival continues through Sunday April 6th.
You can find out more information on Bret Wood’s work at IMDB.com.