The neo-noir short film The Other Woman—written by and starring Megan Penn and directed by Emily Elizabeth Thomas— will premiere at Pictures Up Film Festival at The Marilyn Monroe Theatre in West Hollywood this Friday, July 9th.
This is a story of female revenge; about a modern-day femme fatale who takes us on her revenge rampage and interrogation of a woman who was wronged by the men in Hollywood.
Traditionally in the film noir genre, the femme fatale is a fleeting enigma who drifts on and off the screen as a male fantasy and sometimes even a nightmare, but she’s rarely a fully developed human. No such case here in The Other Woman.
Megan Penn gives a strong and leading lady performance as the sexy, alluring and dangerous, Miss Vera Vague. Penn deftly handles Vera’s percolating rage. Her performance is silent, slow, and filled with mounting tension as she waits for the perfect moment to attack. Watch the trailer below:
And there’s an intriguing and mysterious poster as well.
From One Woman to The Other Woman
The writer side of the talented Penn decided to explore this femme fatale fascination in 2018 when she was on a solo road trip and ended up in a motel room in Arizona. Inspired by the #MeToo Movement and her own personal experiences of power abuse in the industry, Penn says she wrote the first draft of the script alone in one weekend.
“At the time I wrote this I was heartbroken, enraged, and exhausted by all the times men in positions of power who have held the promise of a role over my head as a manipulation tactic and didn’t follow through because I refused to stroke their ego, get on the private plane or go to the hotel room suite. This script was written out of my own personal frustration that I was constantly subjected to in Hollywood,” she told Reel 360.
Penn added that she was, “interested in the woman behind that femme fatale mask who has to endure that stereotype in a man’s world and industry.”
Armed with a first draft, Penn reached out to director Emily Elizabeth Thomas to collaborate. She knew Thomas was a woman with a similar creative hippocampus and a talented director who could execute her vision.
They began a collaborative creative journey, becoming writing and producing partners on this new passion project. Penn explains, “it was very important to me to work with a female filmmaker, but I didn’t want to work with someone just because they’re a woman. I also wanted a worthy partner – an artist who was fiercely passionate and talented and happened to be a woman. Emily is just that.”
The result is a neo-noir fantasy thanks to Thomas’s highly skilled, retro-directing style. The film feels like a cross between a female Tarantino and a Texan Terrence Malick‘s Badlands, the perspective of the woman is all too real.
Thomas, whose other credits include breakout short film Lola: Girl Got a Gun, banner film for the 2019 Brooklyn Film Festival The Gathering, and a branded campaign for the launch of Disney’s The Mandalorian had similar kindred sentiments on working with Penn.
When asked about working with Megan, Thomas replied, “Megan and I share an intense dedication to the craft of movies and a lifelong reverence for the history of our medium. Megan is a fiercely dedicated actress, both in her craft and in the study of acting. She brought that to this project, and that’s always a joy to work with behind the camera.”
She also noted, “The Other Woman was a true labor of love from so many women — from script to prep, to production, and through post. I am lucky enough to an incredible collaborative community of talented women that have collaborated with me from the beginning of my career.
The Other Woman also boasts a predominately female crew. These talented women include female DP, Bianca Butti, female AD, Cameron Holly Dextor, female production designer, Lo Gordon, female editor, Stephania Dulowski, female colorist, Kath Raisch, and the list goes on.
This passionate crew also had some very supportive and cool guys on board including Producer Anthony Pedone (An American in Texas) and their two leading men, Tarantino favorite (The Hateful Eight, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, etc.) Craig Stark and Bo Jesse Christopher (Point Break, True Detective) play the film’s foils.
The film is also an official selection at the Los Angeles International Film Festival’s Indie Short Fest, nominated for Best Noir Short.
To attend The Other Woman festival premiere at Pictures Up Film Festival on July 9th at 8:30 pm and the two-weekend festival at The Marilyn Monroe Theatre in West Hollywood July 9th-11th and July 16th-18th. Purchase tickets here.