A new film shot in central New York is finally hitting screens five years later.
“As Long As We Both Shall Live,” shot and set in Utica, was released on Video On Demand and digital platforms on Friday February 26th. Directed by Ali Askari, the romantic thriller stars Josh Helman (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), Yael Stone (“Orange is the New Black”) and Paul Sorvino (“Goodfellas”).
Helman plays Malcolm, whose wife Sarah (Stone) tragically dies. A year later, he gives love another chance when he meets Nya (Jennifer Allcott) but he begins to see his deceased wife, haunting him and making him doubt his sanity. With the help of his sister-in-law Dee (Yvonne Cone) and mentor Jim (Sorvino), Malcolm must come to terms with his past with his present in order to forgive himself, to cry properly, to hold on to his new love – and not to lose your mind in the process.
According to Observer-Dispatch, “As Long As We Both Shall Live” (originally titled “Falling”) was filmed in Utica in 2016 and features scenes at Utica Zoo, Utica Coffee Roasting Company, The Tailor and the Cook, The Green Onion, Union Station and Mohawk Valley Community College.
Golan Ramraz, a producer and screenwriter for the film, told the Utica newspaper that they originally wanted to put it in Los Angeles and film it in Phoenix, but envisioned Utica when his wife, co-executive producer and costume designer Emily Sinnott Ramraz suggested her hometown. They spotted places with Askari and rewrote the script to make it unique to Utica.
Ramraz, whose credits include being a production assistant on “Jerry Maguire,” a creative executive for “The OC” and a development manager for the 2008 Marvel movie “Iron Man,” said Utica also facilitated the cast of actors from New York. and keep the budget small.
“The film is definitely a film that should have cost a lot more to make than it did,” he told Observer-Dispatch. “Not only because of Utica’s kindness, but also because of the kindness of everyone involved.”
The independent romance was acquired by Gravitas Ventures after winning multiple awards at the 2019 Hollywood Film Festival, including Best Newcomer for Allcott.
“Rooted in the layered and tortured performance of Josh Helman, Ali’s film is a haunting thriller that will leave audiences guessing and wondering what’s real,” said Tony Piantedosi, vice president of acquisitions at Gravitas. Ventures, in a declaration.
“As Long As We Both Shall Live” is available to rent or purchase through Youtube, Apple iTunes, cable subscription services and other platforms. The film could also move to streaming services if VOD sales and reviews are strong, Ramraz said.
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