Sunday, January 3, 2016

An Agoraphobic Indie

Two of the most striking celluloid portraits of agoraphobia were released within close proximity of each other, two decades ago. In 1992's The Fear Inside, Christine Lahti played agoraphobic children's author Meredith Cole, and in 1995's Copycat, Sigourney Weaver starred as agoraphobic psychologist Dr. Helen Hudson.

The titular sufferer in indie drama Fear, Love, and Agoraphobia, currently in post-production, is male. The character of Chet is played by Dustin Coffey, and as he recently explained in his California hometown newspaper the Ventura County Star, the subject matter hits close to home:

As a teenager, I suffered from severe anxiety disorders and depression, so this is a passion project for me. This is a micro-budget Screen Actors Guild feature and has been completely shot and edited.

This is a grassroots project about an important subject by a local actor-filmmaker... Our goal is to make agoraphobia better understood through our film.

The project fell well short of its Indiegogo December goal of $22,000 in post-production funds, raising just 10%. But the film will no doubt be completed and has an additional calling card in the form of Coffey's co-star.

Lori Petty, who plays a homeless Marine who becomes intertwined with Coffey's character, is known these days as Lolly Whitehill on Orange Is The New Black and has a long list of film credits including the original Point Break, Free Willy, Cadillac Man and A League of Their Own. Her presence should definitely boost the fortunes of the movie going forward.

Coffey, who is also a producer on the project, has previously studied with writer-director Alex D'Lerma. The making of the film was framed, for the Ventura native, by some tough personal circumstances:

Right before the film I lost my grandmother who I was very close with and right after the film my agent for five years died tragically. It has been a very emotionally charged year.

Two other films last year featured agoraphobic strands: Big Sky with Kyra Sedgwick and Bella Thorne, and horror film Agoraphobia, starring Cassandra Czerbo.

[Fear, Love, and Agoraphobia]

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