“Night Rain,” the indie thriller from Jeanne Marie Spicuzza, Seasons & a Muse and the award-winning producers of “The Scarapist,” will make its festival debut at the 16th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival on Thursday, October 15th.
The story surrounds a group of independent filmmakers unwittingly hired by their stalker to make a low budget period movie about Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia, who begin to see their lives dangerously intertwine with the events leading up to Short’s tragic murder. Spicuzza, who penned the screenplay, co-directs with her editor, Synthian Sharp (“How I Became an Elephant”). “Night Rain” marks the second feature from Spicuzza.
“Following ‘The Scarapist,’” says Spicuzza, “I wanted to make a movie about indie filmmaking and the 1940s. I knew that there would be challenges on a low budget. I earned a certificate in film noir studies from TCM and Ball State University during the course of my research and writing for ‘Night Rain.’ I was helped by historians like… Harnisch… and Glen Creason [of the Los Angeles Central Library].”
Shot on location at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Pacific Dining Car, Crystal Pier and other historic sites in and around Los Angeles and San Diego by director of photography Jay Lopez, with additional photography by Henry Power, “Night Rain,” stars Spicuzza, Adam Lesar, Clarissa Thibeaux, Thessa M’loe and Mattia Chicco. Other cast and crew include legendary drummer Guy Hoffman, of BoDeans and Violent Femmes fame, John Neff, celebrated sound editor for David Lynch, actors Scott Javore and J.L. Forbis, industry maven Heidi Honeycutt, Cinefemme founder Michelle Kantor, LA Femme Film Festival’s Leslie LaPage, designer Michael A. Barnum and creator Jessamyn Prince.
“The title comes from my granddaughter, Amaya, whose name in Japanese means ‘Night Rain,’” says Spicuzza. “I was inspired by the words of Muriel Short, Elizabeth’s sister, who said that their mother ‘does believe that someday the truth will come out and [Elizabeth] will be exonerated.’
“Since we may never know… the identity of the killer,” says Spicuzza, “my goal was to offer a very authentic, dignified treatment… a bond of mothers and daughters. It’s a dark redemption.”
Amaya Spicuzza makes her acting debut in “Night Rain.” Executive producers include David and Stephanie Spicuzza.
Night Rain make its festival debut at the 16th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival on Thursday, October 15th at 6 PM PDT on the CYA platform. Following the film, there will be a virtual Q&A with special guest Larry Harnisch, L.A. Times writer-editor, author and expert on the Black Dahlia murder case.