Remaining independent, and being seen and valued for their personalities instead of their appearance, are vital qualities that everyone strives to maintain, no matter what circumstances they’re facing in life. That’s certainly the case for filmmakers Kristen Abate and Steven Tanenbaum, who are infusing their own personal medical experiences into their new comedy-drama, ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right.’

The movie’s story focuses on an excruciating illness most people have never heard of: Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a type of arthritis that affects the way patients walk. The film is a powerful examination into how people who live with the little-known form of arthritis are constantly battling to be appreciated for, instead of being judged on, their abilities.

‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’ is premiering at this year’s festival, where it won the Unstoppable Feature Grand Jury Prize. The comedy-drama’s virtual screenings at the Slamdance Film Festival will be available to passholders until tomorrow, February 6. In honor of the movie’s World Premiere at this year’s Slamdance Slamdance Film Festival, ShockYa is debuting an exclusive clip from the feature.

Abate and Tanenbaum.wrote, directed, produced and starred in ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’ together. In addition to the two filmmakers, the features also stars AJ Cedeno, Mehret Marsh, Modesto Flako Jimenez, Marianna McClellan, Kerryn Feehan and Lawrence Jansen.

Besides Abate and Tanenbaum, the movie was also produced by Lindsey Cordero and Armando Croda, the latter of whom also served as the cinematographer. The duo also edited the film.

‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’ shows that Kristen (Abate), a physically disabled New York woman, is in a funk. She walks dogs for a living, but dreams of being a writer. When her life starts to unravel, she must make a choice to fall apart or straighten up.

Writers-director-producers-stars Kristen Abate and Steven Tanenbaum appear in the comedy-drama, ‘Straighten Up And Fly Right.’
ShockYa's Exclusive Straighten Up and Fly Right2022 Slamdance Film Festival Clip
ShockYa's Exclusive Straighten Up and Fly Right2022 Slamdance Film Festival Clip

ShockYa is debuting an exclusive clip from co-writers-directors-producers-stars Kristen Abate and Steven Tanenbaum's comedy-drama, 'Straighten Up and Fly Right,' which is premiering at the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival.

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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