Indie Spotlight: THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE co-writer/director Justin D. Hilliard
Filmmaker Justin D. Hilliard is one of Texas' best kept secrets. Three years ago, his film THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE made its world premiere at the AFI Dallas Film Festival. Fast forward those three years, and I've suddenly given myself a palm-sized bruise on my forehead for not catching this in theaters when I had the chance. I rarely watch screeners and I only own about 10 DVDs (it's crucial to note UNIVERSAL SOLDIER is one) and Blu-rays together. I'm the guy who likes seeing things on the silver screen - it's all about the experience.
PARADISE follows Rose Hewitt (Arianne Martin in an excellent performance) in a coming-of-age story about a young lady who goes on a road trip of self-discovery, literally and emotionally. The film is an all-Texas cast, and even at their young age, they act like veterans. Arianne Martin is so darling and the camera loves her. This is what makes this road trip movie so wonderful - all of the characters are charming, especially the dog. You need a good balance of comedy, conversation, and likable characters to make a road trip movie an enjoyable watching experience.
Co-writer/director Hilliard takes us on the road and gives long takes with great music (by Stanton) that fits every scene its used in. Very rare do I get sucked in a movie, but I got lost in PARADISE looking for paradise with our protagonist. There's a cinematic movement happening in Texas and Hilliard is in the heart of it. Getting the chance to this film is one of the main reasons why we love attending film festivals.
You can purchase TOSOP at their official website. Support indie filmmaking!