The film Life After You, will be showing at The Moviehouse in Millerton NY Saturday, February 11th at 2pm and at 5pm.
Directed by Sarah T. Schwab of Cardinal Flix Inc., (CFI) this original independent feature is centered around a suburban family’s struggle with the death of their 19 year-old son, following an overdose of heroin that was laced with fentanyl. The film explores the questions of who and what is responsible for this tragedy and follows their journey to answer these questions as their family unravels from grief, guilt and anger. The film is inspired by the book, “Life After You: What Your Death From Drugs Leaves Behind” by Linda Lajterman.
CFI is proud to be partnering with local organizations and nonprofits to educate and bring awareness to the challenges surrounding the opioid epidemic. For the Millerton, NY screenings CFI will be teaming up with The Council on Addiction Prevention & Education of Dutchess County (CAPE) https://capedc.org. In tandem with the screenings, CAPE will have Community Educator Dora Celestino present at both of The Moviehouse screenings as part of the post-show talk-backs.
Life After You has received numerous accolades which include WorldFest-Houston: WINNER Best Lead Actress (Florencia Lozano) & Special Jury Remi for First Feature Film; Nice International Film Festival: WINNER Best Feature & Best Lead Actress (Florencia Lozano); Madrid International Film Festival: WINNER Best Director (Sarah T. Schwab) NOMINATED Best Original Screenplay, Best Feature, Best Lead Actress (Florencia Lozano), Best Lead Actor (Gary Perez), Best Editing; FLICKERS Rhode Island International Film Festival, Cinequest and the Buffalo International Film Festival.
The film stars Florencia Lozano (Keep Breathing, Narcos), Gary Perez (The Blacklist), Kathryn Erbe (Law and Order: Criminal Intent), Craig “muMs” Grant (Oz) and Tina Benko (The Avengers).
Interview with the Director, Sarah T. Schwab
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised on the farmlands outside of Buffalo, NY, and now I split my time between New York City and the Poconos in Pennsylvania. I’m a writer first and foremost. I landed in the film world in 2016 – prior to that I had been a journalist for the longest time, but then I fell in love with film. I’ve done three feature films in the past three years. Life After You was the first feature film that I co wrote and directed. It was an intense first feature film to direct because of the subject matter, but we had a great cast and crew, it felt like everyone was holding each other up.
Tell us about this film.
The film was inspired by the book Life After You written by Linda Lajterman shortly after her son Danny overdosed and died in his bedroom. Neither Linda nor her husband Tito had any idea that Danny was using, they had always had an open and trusting relationship, so it was a horrific shock when they found him. Linda wrote the book as a warning to kids about what can happen if you use fentanyl just once as well as a warning to parents about the signs to look for that their child might be using. We tried to tell as much of the Lajterman’s story as possible, although we did fictionalize some parts. We wanted to show what happens to the family and loved ones when someone dies in this way, and we tried to show their grief realistically – there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Linda and Tito decided to stay together, to not blame each other, but instead to love each other and try to get the word out.
Why did you make this film?
I met the parents Linda and Tito and listened to their story and the different ways they had grieved after losing Danny, it was heartbreaking. I knew the subject matter was important, and I felt that I could tell the story authentically because I’ve also lost people that were close to me. It was a story about not just grieving, but looking for hope and finding awareness, and finding and establishing community.
The film deals with tragic, difficult subject matter. How did you help prepare and support your actors to create the best, most realistic performances?
It was great working with Florencia Lozana (co writer and star of the movie), she had been attached to the project for a few years prior to me coming on board, and she’s a very close friend. As we wrote the screenplay, we spent a lot of time talking about the different characters and their emotions, and how Florencia was going to bring her character to this traumatic place and how she was going to realistically find the hope to go on. We were all doing it for the same mission, to get the awareness of the message about addiction out there. The entire cast and crew really felt like a team. There was a lot of trust and respect amongst the team, everyone trusted and respected one another so that really helped.
What is your hope for this film?
My hope for the film is that it will inspire people to communicate more and have direct conversations to really take down the stigma of addiction. A lot of people are feeling hopeless and it’s important that people have challenging conversations with one another. I hope the movie inspires people to create safe environments to have conversations.
How did you become interested in showing the film in Millerton at the Moviehouse?
My producing partners Brian Long and Madison Perkins from Cardinal Flix basically travel around to areas in the northeast. We look for movie houses that are willing to support and screen our films and get awareness out about our subjects. Then we look for professionals in the community who can support the film during the talk back.
For tickets and more information about the screenings, please see: https://www.themoviehouse.net/