Leslie Lewis debuts indie film ‘With Child’ at SOHO festival May 16


Top: Accomplished theater actress and certified yoga instructor; a scene from ‘With Child’

Top: Accomplished theater actress and certified yoga instructor; a scene from ‘With Child’

After being shortlisted in the prestigious 2014 Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, the independent film “With Child” will now be headlining the 2015 SOHO International Film Festival NYC at the Village East Cinema, Auditorium 1 on May 16, Saturday from 4:20 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. The festival will feature a Q&A with the cast and crew after the screening.

Directed by Titus Heckel, the film tells the story of a blue-collar construction worker, Auden Price (portrayed by Kerry van der Griend) and his journey after his wife’s death. Despite protests from his sister-in-law, Auden chooses to raise his 4-month old daughter alone. He encounters challenges as a single dad looking for work, and then soon finds himself spun around by the romantic advances of his eccentric new employer, Petra Dell (played by Leslie Lewis). The film has been described as an “indie gem that touches on loss and grief, with humor and heart.” with child

“Three years ago, Titus Heckel wrote ‘With Child’ with my friend Kerry van der Griend in mind to play the lead. Kerry suggested me for the role of Petra, and when I read the script, I thought it would be a good fit for my first film as lead producer. It has been an utter joy to work with this team, and I love the message of the film: What we choose now affects our past,” says Lewis, the elder daughter of CEO and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis.

Leslie Lewis is best known for creating and starring in “Miracle in Rwanda,” a one-woman show based on the life of Immaculée Ilibagiza, who survived the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Over 10,000 theatergoers in six continents have seen the show. Lewis is also passionate about fitness, being a certified yoga instructor and co-author of the “Athlete Mindset Workbook.” Her role as Petra Dell in “With Child” is her first appearance as a lead in a feature film.

“There is a thin line between comedy and tragedy, and I am fascinated with the odd appropriateness of comedy in the light of sadness and vice versa. My film straddles this line,” says Heckel, who is also co-producer with Lewis. Heckel’s wide-ranging education, which includes a degree in physics and a Master’s degree in theology, gives him a unique perspective on the stories he tells. “With Child” is his first feature film, which began its festival run at the largest Asian Film Festival in Busan 2014.

The SOHO International Film Festival provides an opportunity for filmmakers and cineastes from the U.S. and around the world to showcase their films, and also draw audiences to New York City in a way that will help boost its economy. The festival accepts full-length features, short films and documentaries from professionals and amateurs alike. Its executive director and head of programming is Sibyl Santiago, daughter of Filipino veteran actress and director Lorli Villanueva, and a recipient of The Outstanding Filipino Americans in NY, Arts & Culture Award at Carnegie Hall.

To purchase tickets to the May 16 North American Premiere visit http://childbridge.eventbrite.com
You may also support their Indiegogo Campaign here: http://bit.ly/withchild

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