By MICHAEL GINGOLD
The chilling short film is world-premiering as part of the venerable Small Gauge Trauma showcase at next month’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
THUMB marks the directorial debut of Alexandra Pechman, who scripted the Blumhouse movie INTO THE DARK: TENTACLES and has written for the celebrated Syfy series CHANNEL ZERO. Kate Adams (NO MAN OF GOD) and DeMorge Brown star; the synopsis: “THUMB opens with the recent death of a controversial performance artist, whose daughter, Thumb [Adams], has been left to care for her mother’s artistic estate…until an unexpected visitor comes to claim the most notorious work.”
Pechman and Adams executive-produced the short, with Jesy Odio producing through her Teenager Entertainment. The director took inspiration from her time as an arts writer for magazines like Artforum, W and Vogue. “There are so many aspects of the art world that, to me, lend themselves to horror,” she explains. “The blankness of a white-cube gallery, an artist’s home left as it was when she died, artists who bleed or die for their work: they’re ideal tropes for ghost stories.”
The specific inspiration for THUMB came from an interview with a MoMA curator, who recounted her attempts to gain access to the work of a long-dead artist whose sister owned the estate and forbade the art from view. “I was fascinated by the story,” Pechman says. “Why would someone keep her family member’s legacy locked away? I tried to imagine what personal grievance could motivate her, or what horror might reside in the art itself. Maybe it was cursed.”
THUMB will screen virtually in the Small Gauge Trauma block on Tuesday, August 10 at 9:30 p.m. EST and Thursday, August 12 at 9 a.m. EST. For more info and tickets, go to Fantasia’s official website.