Review of “Wildlike” at the Sarasota Film Festival #SFF2015

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Review by: Rodger Skidmore

Wildlike is an apt title for this film, as the main character, Mackenzie (Ella Purnell), is not as wild as the persona she first emits, therefore is more wild-like. This drama, by Frank Hall Green, takes place in both the urban and completely wild sections of Alaska – the city of Juneau and the wilds of Denali State Park. Both have predators and nether is a great place for a wounded rabbit. Getting out of the snare is one thing, staying out long enough to make it home is another. Mackenzie does this, not with the help, but with the reticent acceptance, of a recent widower (Bruce Greenwood) who is trekking through his own troubled past. He and Mackenzie meet up with not just the ghosts of his past and her present but with Joe Boxer, a resident of the woods on the slopes of Denali. The fact that Joe Boxer is the stage name for a not very domesticated grizzly bear does not take away from the shock and awe of their meeting. But cute “Bear meets wounded rabbit, bear paws the air, bear goes back into the woods” sequences aside, this is a film of high drama with great moments of tension and release.
During the Q and A one question (of importance to the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council and to Florida taxpayers) was “In what way did the state of Alaska participate in the funding of the film”. The answer was that it gave tax credits equal to a percentage of the cost of the money spent on the film in Alaska. The film company could not use the tax credit, but it could sell the tax credit to some corporation for 90 cents on the dollar, thus reducing it’s direct cost. If I remember correctly, this came to roughly 30% of the costs of production. A good reason to film your next Caribbean adventure in Alaska. This film has been entered into 75 competitions so far and has, according to its director, won 16 in one category or another. I think the film deserves all the acclaim it has received. Did I say that the Alaska shown in this film is dramatically gorgeous? Well, it is.


For a description of every film’s plot, as well as show times, please go to:

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Feature | 104 Min
A beautiful trek into the stunning Alaskan wilderness, WILDLIKE follows troubled 15-year-old Mackenzie on her first visit to the last frontier. When her stay there with her uncle takes a traumatic turn, Mackenzie begins a hapless journey through the Alaskan wilds alone. Along the way, she encounters a solitary backpacker with scars of his own. They offer one another something that cannot be found on any map: a chance at salvation.
Film Info
Genre: Narrative
Women’s Interest
English Title: Wildlike
Category: Narrative Feature
Through Women’s Eyes
Release Year: 2014
Runtime: 104 minutes
Type of Film: Narrative Feature
Through Women’s Eyes
Production Country: USA
Original Language: English
Cast/Crew Info
Cast: Ella Purnell
Bruce Greenwood
Brian Geraghty
Ann Dowd
Nolan Gerard Funk
Diane Farr
Director: Frank Hall Green
Executive Producer: Christine Vachon
Produced By: Frank Hall Green
Julie Christeas
Schuyler Weiss
Joseph Stephans
Co-Producer: Joel Blanco
Julia Oh
Screenwriter: Frank Hall Green
Cinematography: Hillary Spera
Editing By: Mako Kamitsuna
Production Design by: Chad Keith
Music By: Daniel Bensi
Saunder Jurriaans
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