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Opening Night at the Harlem International Film Festival

Another film festival in the island of Manhattan and this time it was in Harlem. Our first trip of the international film festival and we was impress with the opening films. Most films will be showing at the Magic Johnson theater on 2309 Frederick Douglass Boulevard or online. For information go to

The first film was a short science fiction film titled Invade. Using Philadelphia as the focal point a scientist who creates a drill that can pentrate the core of the Earth and with the help of his son tries to stop a corporation from using it and causing major catastrophes. The performance by Elvis Nolasco as the undocumented scientist is magnificent as he tries to make sense during each event that reaches closer to when the machine operates. Eunice Lewis as the director keeps the audience hanging with a great end scene but also great descriptions of when corrupt power gets more corrupted. Definitely looking forward to seeing this film in more festivals and maybe streaming services.

The main film titled "Blow Up My Life" directed by Ryan Dickie and Abigail Horton where a pharmaceutical employee who gets fired for going on a bender on social media finds out his old company is using his app to keep people addicted. As he digs deep to find out the reason his ex employer tries to kill him to keep the secret hidden until their company gets a IPO. Throughout the ordeal Jason gets his cousin and ex girlfriend involved and they would face consequences because of his actions. A brilliant noir thriller comedy for today's times. Now that whistle-blowers have become more in the public area this movie fits the term perfectly with a swerve here and there. The concept of app development and addiction is prominent throughout the film where you get a sense that in the wrong hands technology and addiction will go hand and hand soon if society is not paying attention. There was great dialogue between Jason and his cousin Charlie as they get themselves going into the ex boss computer and hacking into it to cancel the app. All the while they are getting chased, shot at and almost exploded.

The cinematography was great and the backdrop of hacking culture was brilliant. The audience definitely get a sense that hackers can be helpful for good when it comes to it. Even the choice of music takes the viewer through twist and turns of Jason from developer of the year to where he ends up at the end of the film. The two directors tackled some of today's issues and gave a little spin with the comedic side. It was a great way to kick off the festival. A great film thar check the boxes for what the festival represents. Hopefully we'll hear more about this film in the future.


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