We are excited to announce that Camouflage, an independent film that tackles the weighty topics including bullying, gun control and mental health, will release worldwide on Nov. 25, after making its debut at the Open Wound Film Festival as part of Santa Fe Comic Con in October.
Cinema fans will be able to watch the film, the first feature from writer, director and star, Kyle T. Cowan via Project Studios 505 on Vimeo. Camouflage will be made available for free, with the filmmakers asking that viewers instead donate the price of a movie ticket to a mental health, gay and lesbian, bullying or gun control organization of their choice.
“If we released the movie through normal platforms and went through a sales agent, it is likely that our film would not be available in many regions. I have had people tweet me about the movie from all over the world including places like Sudan, Mexico, Argentina and Ethiopia,” Cowan said of the choice to release via Vimeo. “Our message is universal, and I think fans all over the world deserve the opportunity to see this film. Vimeo is the perfect platform for a movie of this nature, and people all over the world will be able to watch the film on the same day.”
Earlier this year the now-infamous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge blew up on social media, and the team behind Camouflage has taken a queue from that massive success and created #TheCamouflageProject, a challenge designed to encourage awareness of the social conversations that influenced the film, and the movie itself.
Here are the details: Watch Camouflage and make a donation to the organization of your choice. Then, commit a random act of kindness and make a quick video explaining what you did and why, and finally, nominate three friends to watch, donate and make a video of their own. More information is available in the video clip above.
Cowan added that he hopes word of mouth will help spread awareness of the film and the social challenge it has issued.
“I just hope everyone who watches the movie will help to spread the word about the project. From the beginning this project has been about the message, social issues, and making an impact, it has never been about money.”
Many moviegoers, even the most devout cinephiles among us, don’t have the opportunity to see very many truly independent films as they are either very narrowly released, seeing only the festival circuit or limited roll-out in major markets, or are made widely available, but word doesn’t spread to a wide audience. With this release plan, it looks as though Camouflage has been positioned to combat both of those pitfalls, and if it does, that’s a great thing for film fans who want to see something that is truly a passion project.
As a film critic, this author has had plenty of opportunity to see small projects striving to tell a big story, with mixed degrees of success. Camouflage is perhaps, the most ambitious of them all, but even with a total budget that would probably not cover the food costs for a single day on a big budget production, it never feels limited.
A small, but passionate cast turns in performances that negate the limited locations. Through their conversations we glimpse their world and reality. It often proves true that some of the most innovative and creative storytelling methods in the movies are born of budget limitations. Camouflage is an example of smart execution in writing and acting to communicate a clear vision. Everything here is substance, there are no diversions or distractions, just a story that is purely told.
Camouflage shares the independent spirit and unflinching dedication to telling a difficult story as past films such as Bang, Bang, You’re Dead and We Need to Talk About Kevin, but is ultimately quite unlike anything else out there. If Cowan’s ultimate aim was to provoke thought and encourage discussion, he has a fine shot of achieving that here.
For more information and updates visit the film’s Facebook and Twitter. For further reading see our exclusive first look with cast interviews here.
Official synopsis for Camouflage:
The film Camouflage explores the motivation behind a school shooting. The film stars Kyle T. Cowan (WGN America’s Manhattan), Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones), Jimmy Bennett (Star Trek), Lew Temple (The Walking Dead), Drew Van Acker (Pretty Little Liars, Devious Maids), newcomer Adriana Leonard, Rodney Eastman (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4), Jesse Henderson (MTV’s Finding Carter) and Kadan Rockett (Dark Skies). The film is a social movement piece geared towards opening people’s eyes to the many issues surrounding the recent onslaught of gun violence including mental health, gay and lesbian equality, bullying, and gun control.
Disclousure: The author knows the filmmaker personally.