The Sirens won the jury award for Best Screenplay at last night’s Topanga Film Festival. The Sirens is an independent film directed by Sarah Adina Smith, produced by Jonako Donley and Mary Pat Bentel for Friend of a Friend productions, and featuring Lily and Abigail Chapin of the Chapin Sisters. It has started screening at discerning film festivals around the United States. The Chapin Sisters release their second album this Fall, having spent the year touring as members of the She & Him band and opening dates for them.
The Sirens is a story about three sisters, the youngest of whom has a terminal illness and is determined to end her life on her own terms rather than suffer through more treatment. To this end, the sisters travel to a suicide compound on a mysterious lake, run by a clan of women. They have one last day together until they must let go, if they can…
The director explains, “This is a film about grief with mystical undertones. I’ve never been satisfied with the notion that there is life, death, and nothing else. This film is a rebellion against these terms. I wanted to make a film about a mournful wail so powerful, a window to a third world might open.”
The music of The Chapin Sisters played a significant role in the how the story came about. The director had heard them play before she wrote the script and instantly knew that she wanted to collaborate with them. She listened to their mournful and haunting tunes and otherworldly harmonies over and over as she worked on the script. Later she decided to cast them as the sisters in the film, alongside actress April Eckfeld. “We had an intense rehearsal process together which I think accounts for the depth and stillness we were able to achieve on screen,” says Smith. “I have immense respect for the work they did as actors and I hope I’ll get to direct them again someday, as well as use more of their music in my films.”
To date, The Sirens has been screened at: Zero Film Festival (LA, NY, and on tour). Stepping Stone Film Festival in India (took home the “Screen Magic” award), Northern Wave Film Festival in Iceland, Newfilmmakers screening series at the Anthology Film Archives in NYC, Santa Cruz Film Festival, Female Eye film Festival, Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival (Woods Hole, MA).
For more information on The Sirens, contact [email protected]
[Official Press Release]