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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 06.19.15] thriller drama

Rose McGowan has long been an indie darling. From her first major role in Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation to her two hander in Death Proof and Planet Terror, she's generally played outside Hollywood expectations. Of late, McGowan has made a splash by speaking out against the sexism in Hollywood and she's so fed up with the entire thing she's decided to mostly leave acting behind and step behind the camera to tell the stories that are important to her and her debut, the short film Dawn which debuted at Sundance last year, certainly got people talking.

Written by Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin, the short is a 1950s set story of an impressionable young girl named Dawn whose overbearing mother has a very specific idea about what makes a good girl and she's determined to keep her daughter on the right path. At any cost.

Dawn catches the attention of Charlie, a charming young man who works at the local gas station. He's smitten and goes out of his way to charm her and with Dawn's parents out of the picture for the night, the pair, along with Charlie's friends, engage in a night of fun and adventure that ends... not so well.

Admittedly the story of Dawn isn't new but the movie is well shot, expertly edited and perhaps most surprisingly considering the limited running time, manages to build a great universe, great characters and an impending sense of dread.

Dawn was shortlisted for a Sundance award and has since garnered a lot of attention, particularly for McGowan who has managed to turn the success of the short into directing her first feature, a thriller called The Pines.

Dawn will premier online on McGowan's YouTube channel on Sunday. It's well worth your time.

Recommended Release: The Doom Generation

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