The specialty box office and streaming space is ringing in 2021 with a peppering of new titles starting with Shadow in the Cloud starring Chloë Grace Moretz, which opens in select theaters and drops on VOD and digital starting January 1, 2021.
Directed by Roseanne Liang who co-wrote the script with Max Landis, Shadow in the Cloud is part war pic, part horror and part women empowerment. Set in World War II, the film follows Captain Maude Garrett (Moretz) who joins an all-male crew of a B-17 bomber with a top-secret package. Caught off guard by the presence of a woman on a military flight, the crew tests Maude’s every move. Just as her quick wit is winning them over, strange happenings and holes in her backstory incite paranoia surrounding her true mission. On top of all of this, there’s something lurking in the shadows — something sinister is tearing at the heart of the plane. Trapped between an oncoming air ambush and an evil lurking within, Maude must push beyond her limits to save the hapless crew and protect her mysterious cargo.
The film made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year before screening at AFI Fest. The Vertical Entertainment pic is the first movie to enter the box office fray in 2021. In Pete Hammond’s review, he said “Shadow in the Cloud kicks it off on Day 1 in great style thanks to director Roseanne Liang, a real discovery, who clearly knows how to deliver a wild and unpredictable ride in the skies that will, if nothing else, put a much-needed smile on your face as we exit an awful year in hopes of a better one dawning.”
Shadow in the Cloud also stars Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith, Callan Mulvey, Benedict Wall, Joe Witkowski and Byron Coll. Watch the trailer below.
Thomas Balmès’s documentary Sing Me a Song tells an internet love story that isn’t your typical romance. Participant Media is set to release the feature docu on New Year’s Day via virtual cinemas and on VOD platforms.
The docu debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and follows teenage Peyangki (eight years after being featured in Balmes’ Happiness) as he experiences the brave new world of technology and smartphones as it lures him away from the ancient practices of monastery life. The new integration of this new discovery of communication leads to an unlikely romance.
Peyangki lives in a rural — yet wi-fi equipped — monastery in Bhutan. He lives his daily life of rituals and prayer but is absorbed in the culture of smartphones, TV — and apps for dating. Although none of this is quite on-brand for the traditional vows of the monks, Peyangki continues to partake in the technological fare.
He develops a passion for love songs which leads to a relationship over an app, WeChat, with a young singer (Ugyen) in the city of Thimphu. Distracted and disinterested in study, and often scolded by his masters and mother, he sells medicinal mushrooms to make enough money to leave the monastery and travel to Ugyen. Balmès’s Sing Me a Song paints a portrait of a young man’s introduction to the world, offering us an eye-opening snapshot of the effects of technology, and challenges us to reassess our perceptions of self-worth and beliefs in an age of unparalleled connectivity.
Watch the trailer below.