SABBATICAL is a feature film written and directed by Brandon Colvin. A work of rigorous form, the film stars Robert Longstreet as Ben Hardin, a morose, middle-aged scholar. Robert is joined by fellow cast members Rhoda Griffis, Kentucker Audley, Rebecca Koon, Thomas Jay Ryan and Frank Mosley.
SABBATICAL follows Ben as he returns home to care for his ill mother and work on a new book. While home, Ben's relationships with family and friends -- his mother, his brother, his lover, his high school pal -- are tested, and he grows increasingly alienated. Ultimately, he is forced to confront his looming responsibilities and choose whether to engage or detach.
Both screenings will be followed by talk-backs with Producer/First AD Michael Sellers and Editor/Post-Production Supervisor/Editor Tony Oswold!
"The honed-in, supremely focused attitude that it emits is reminiscent of master craftsmen such as Ingmar Bergman or Robert Bresson . . . An understated film like this requires a subtle performance, and Longstreet carries SABBATICAL effortlessly, playing a tormented figure who refuses to release his demons out into the world . . . SABBATICAL stands tall as an outlier of the micro-budget scene."
- Christopher Bell's rave review at IndieWIRE (A-)
"SABBATICAL looks nothing like the contemporary indies its plot recalls. Colvin works in a method much closer to Bresson, using static close-ups that disjoint his characters . . . As it reaches its final sequence, Colvin cuts to the core of the film's central relationship - an ending that is both tragic and humanizing."
- Peter Labuza, RogerEbert.com
Number 3 Best Undistributed Film of 2014 (Peter Labuza, The Cinephiliacs)
- IndieWIRE and Village Voice Critics Polls
About the Artists
BRANDON COLVIN - WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
Originally from Kentucky, Brandon began plying his skills at filmmaking in high school by writing scripts and making shorts. At Western Kentucky University, he met Tony Oswald. When he moved to Madison, WI for graduate school, he met Aaron Granat. The three of them made Frames (2012), the first film from Moss Garden Productions. Sabbatical is the group's second collaboration.
In addition to being a filmmaker, Brandon is a PhD student in film studies and a film production instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On this site, he blogs periodically about Sabbatical.
TONY OSWALD - EDITOR/POST-PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR/PRODUCER
Tony Oswald also grew up in Kentucky and began writing, directing and editing short films in high school. After graduating from WKU in 2008, he was accepted into the International Radio and Television Society Summer Fellowship, which paid his way to NYC and placed him as an intern at Grey Advertising.
He has since developed a successful career as a freelance editor for advertising, television and film, and has taken on the roles of producer and editor for Sabbatical. Tony lives in Brooklyn and visits Kentucky as frequently as possible.
AARON GRANAT - CINEMATOGRAPHER
A Massachusetts and Minnesota native, Aaron Granat is a freelance videographer, avant-garde filmmaker, and documentarian. Currently a lecturer in film production at the University of Wisonsin-Madison, Aaron was instrumental in jumpstarting Moss Garden Productions. His current projects also include Executive Committee, an experimental hip-hop group in which he is the lead MC and lyricist.