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Local independent film attracts A-list talent

William Baldwin (Photo:

William Baldwin (Photo:

William Baldwin is making his first major foray into Hollywood South, starring in the independent psychological thriller Cut-Off, currently in principal photography in and around New Orleans.

Baldwin (The Squid and the Whale, Backdraft, Flatliners, Internal Affairs) said he was immediately struck by the screenplay, written by the film’s director, Jowan Carbin.

“After I read the material, and I realized Jowan had written and directed it, I was kind of curious to work with him,” said Baldwin. “I think he’s a very unique talent.”

Cut-Off follows Clive Stone (John Robinson, Elephant, Lords of Dogtown), a tormented man who struggles with his new southern life in New Orleans. He follows an old friend, Trevor De Blanc (Jean-Marc Barr, Europa, The Big Blue, and Big Sur) to a cabin on the bayou where he must face the truth about his marriage and escape some serious mind games.

It was Baldwin’s portrayal of Ivan in the acclaimed independent film The Squid and the Whale that caught the attention of Carbin. In Cut Off, he said, Baldwin will play the roll of the tattooed Haskell “against type.” A Directors Guild Award winner and Sundance alumnus, Carbin said he has set out to make a thriller where “reality is just a nightmare away.”

Fans of The Walking Dead will recognize Lew Temple (Axel) in Cut-Off’ as Bobby, the right-hand man/muscle to the charismatic Trevor, who leads Bobby and a group of other disaffected men in a cultish collective called the Morning River Group.

Like the rest of that group, Bobby is “a little broke, a little disenfranchised, a little disconnected,” said Temple.

Even though he’s the group’s leader, that description applies to Trevor as well. “He’s really kind of a victim of what America’s going through right now – hopelessness and also disgust and witnessing corruption,” said Jean-Marc Barr. “We’re drugged up, we’re psyched up, and we’re living in a period where things are happening very quickly and we no longer have control.”

Not unlike, Barr said, post-Katrina New Orleans.

“Here in New Orleans, you have been abandoned, and you’re trying to figure out how to do it for yourselves, and there’s nothing stronger than that.”

Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winner Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dune, Blue Velvet’,The Lord of the Rings) rounds out the main cast, playing Herman “Diggs” De Blanc.

The film is being produced by Carbin and Carol Bidault de l’Isle, who has worked with such iconic filmmakers as Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, Dino De Laurentis and recently produced Peter Greenaway’s ‘Walking to Paris’; and Jon Vogl (’12 Years a Slave’, ‘El Gringo’).

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