Actress Haley Lu Richardson, 19, has managed to capture two of the prominent spots at this year’s LA Film Festival. The two films, The Young Kieslowski and The Well, join 59 other independents in full-length, non-documentary categories. Both films will have their world premieres at the 20th anniversary of the festival held in downtown Los Angeles June 11th through 19th.
The Young Kieslowski, directed by newcomer Kerem Sanga, casts Richardson as Mallard with Ryan Malgarini (Freaky Friday) as Brian Kieslowski. The two college students welcome their coming of age when Kieslowski learns Mallard is pregnant after the first time he has ever had sex. The film appears in the Narrative Competition and will screen June 14th and 17th.
In The Well Richardson stars as Kendall, a survivor left behind after devastating drought. This gritty post-apocalyptic thriller is the debut film for writer-director Thomas Hammock and writer Jacob Foreman. Cinematographer Seamus Tierney captures the stark, yet beautiful imagery of land and life when water is nowhere to be found. The film is entered in the special Beyond Category for films that are daring and different. The Well screens June 12th and 17th.
"These are two very special and different movies,” said Richardson. “There were a lot of ‘firsts’ for me in both films.” Indeed, the young actress began shooting The Well at age 17 shortly after leaving her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona to pursue the American dream in Hollywood. Her role required firearm training, endurance and almost endless days covered in sand, mud and gooey makeup made to appear as oil. “My mom told me many times that it’s hard work to be beautiful," notes Richardson reminiscing about the harsh days and nights on the Mojave Desert location. “Shooting The Well was really hard work and I am anything but beautiful and glamorous on screen!" For The Young Kieslowski it was another kind of endurance, learning how to fake giving birth.
Richardson has amassed a list of TV and film credits including the Lifetime movie Escape From Polygamy and a recurring role on the ABC Family show Ravenswood. In two short years, with nothing to her name as she started out, she joins a very short list of actors who have ever appeared in lead roles in two full length features to screen at the LA Film Festival.
Both the The Well and The Young Kieslowski were produced by Seth Caplan. Richardson is represented by Gersh and Coast to Coast.
Visit www.lafilmfest.com for more information