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October 4, 2019 — “Tillie” which marks the writing and directorial debut of 13-year-old Olivia Anton[now 15}, will screen at the 15th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival on Thursday, October 17th at 12PM. The film was conceived as the first episode in a proposed teen thriller television series, similar to shows like “Stranger Things” and “Riverdale” and was shot in Asbury Park and pays homage to the city’s historical and mythical landmarks.
Produced by Asbury Park Films, “Tillie” centers around Julia, a typical teen, except for her deadbeat father and the murder of her best friend, which has made her fearless and brave beyond her years. When Julia and her friends secretly visit the abandoned “Tillie” mural at the old Palace Amusements in Asbury Park, they seem to disturb something. As they spend the day at the local Carnival, Julia’s friends start to go missing one by one and she will have to get to the bottom of the disappearances before same fate befalls her.
Anton intends to ride the horror popularity wave with her fresh take on the teen horror genre. And with Asbury Park’s recent resurgence as a destination spot of the Jersey Shore coupled with its iconic history, the teen filmmaker felt she had the perfect setting for a thriller.
“I feel reality television has shaped a very inaccurate and crude perception of typical Jersey Shore communities, where in actuality, generations have fostered long-lasting relationships that strengthen through the years,” Anton said. “Listening to my parents tell stories of Asbury Park and its decrepit, unfinished architecture and its live music and art scene, I knew it would provide the perfect setting for a horror film. Moreover, I’m so excited to be part of the LA Femme International Film Festival, with all the other women/young women in the festival.”
Anton, as young female filmmaker, is also bucking the trend of a male dominated profession. Out of 1,100 films made in the last 11 years, only 4% were directed by women or roughly 22 male directors for every one female director, according a study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Anton, who is a Manhattan native and spends summers in Asbury Park, studied acting at the The Lee Strasberg School of Film and Theater for five years. She landed her first role at the age of 11 as the young version of the title character in “Ava's Possessions,” a 2015 supernatural horror comedy film written and directed by Jordan Galland.
After her experience on the film, Anton quickly realized that she preferred to behind the camera and is now currently participating in a prestigious two-and-a-half year film fellowship with the Ghetto Film School in New York City.
Her first student short film entitled “Cheat Day” was recognized by a jury of industry professionals as one of the top films of her class and was recently screened with classmates at The Landmark Theater in New York City. Anton is in the 10th Grade at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and a competitive swimmer. She is also the CEO and founder of a 501c3 not-for-profit organization called Birdhaus of Interlaken, NJ which is a well-known community building initiative which give back to the Jersey Shore. She has donated funds and hosted art therapy to Mary’s Place by the Sea, replaced a fence at a Cemetery in Neptune & is now working with Covenant House in an initiative to help homeless teens.
“Tillie” will screen on Thursday, October 17, 12PM at the Regal Cinema 14 at LA Live, 1000 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles 90015. For ticket information, visit http://www.lafemme.org/tickets/
For more information on the film or to arrange an interview with Olivia Anton, please contact Deborah Gilels, LA Media Consultants, at 818-648-9513.