Supernova Media’s newest film, “Awakened,” will thrill audiences next year with the story of a woman named
Samantha Winston who returns home after 14 years to figure out the truth behind her mother’s death. ShockYa was able to speak to the writer/producer of the film, Joycelyn Engle, as well as stars of the film Julianne Mitchell (Samantha) and Stelio Savante. Learn more about the film below.
What attracted you to the script?
Julianne Michelle: It was very character driven with an intricate plot and a strong female lead. Samantha is a great role because she is so complex and there is so much going on. She’s endured a lot of pain and hardship in her childhood and struggles to grapple with it all. She suffers from PTSD which is something I think many of us can relate to but in different degrees.
How did you get into character?
Julianne Michelle: I watched a few films with similar female leads to gain inspiration but mostly I used substitution and really just tried to imagine myself going through what Samantha went through. I feel that’s the only way I can make it authentic.
What do you hope audiences take away from this movie?
Julianne Michelle: The film is an emotional journey seen through the eyes of a troubled girl who has to cope with a lot. When one is faced with so much adversity all at once, it can be unbearable to consciously acknowledge it so as a defense one shut down. It happens to millions of people. I think a lot of her symptoms are analogous to those of PTSD which is very prevalent amongst war veterans or anyone who has endured a terribly frightening, traumatic experience.
How did you come up with the idea for “Awakened”?
Joycelyn Engle: I came up with the idea because life is not a bowl of cherries. We all suffer at times, in all different ways, emotionally, psychologically and physically; however, most of us get through on hope and love. Samantha Winston was ‘tormented’ from a young, tender age to put it lightly.
What was it like to direct the cast?
Joycelyn Engle: I have always loved directing actors, especially when working with such outstanding talent.I like observing and discussing in depth what makes people do good, do evil, help others in need, laugh, cry, experience pain and great joy, and the best way to share this magic is through movies!
What advice do you have for others who are aiming to write and produce their own film?
Joycelyn Engle: Just do it. If you feel you can, you can. Of course- study, st udy, study and do, do, do.
What attracted you to play a character like Benny?
Stelio Savante: He’s ominous and unpredictable in his relationships and his actions. I’ve always been drawn to those kind of characters. Always a chance to explore and take leaps of faith. Go against the grain and make non obvious choices. Benny is that kind of character.
What makes The Awakened different than other thrillers?
Stelio Savante: It has a strong female lead and we need to see more of those kind of films. It doesn’t feel like a thriller to me because it is so character driven. More like a psychological thriller and so few of them really are.
You’re going to be in quite a few films next year. How does it feel to go from a film like The Awakened to a film like “Where The Road Runs Out?”
Stelio Savante: Yes, 2012 has been busy, “Awakened” was my 5th film of the year. The journey is always intruiging. I just returned from filming “Where The Road Runs Out” in Holland, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea and was playing a white collar scientist in that film. And then I got the offer for “Awakened.” It’s easier to play back to back roles that are nothing alike.
“Samantha Winston (Julianne Michelle) returns home after 14 years to unravel the truth about her mother’s death. She suspects her father (John Savage) and seeks guidance and answers from her mother’s close friend Lucas Drake (Steven Bauer), Harriet Bendi (Sally Kirkland), her newly discovered uncle Thomas (Edward Furlong), and befriends Liam Dawson (Bryan Dechart). Drake’s business partner (Stelio Savante) is more than displeased and seeks to destroy Samantha’s plans before the entire town is awakened.”