Event Report: Film Premiere of Ben Jehoshua’s “THE CHOSEN”
For those familiar with the new wave of celebrities spawned from platforms such as YouTube, they will see why Anaheim’s annual online video conference, Vidcon was the perfect setting for THE CHOSEN to hold it’s premiere last weekend. Kian Lawley is a bona fide social media sensation and plays the lead in this supernatural kiddie horror. Boasting over 2.7 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, hysteria swept over the black carpet when Lawley made his appearance, as an excitable throng of girls jostled to meet or get a photo with the boyish wunderkind.
THE CHOSEN is a film of firsts: not only is it the vehicle for Lawley’s acting debut, but it was also director Ben Jehoshua’s first time at the helm of a full-length feature. Add to that the fact that THE CHOSEN is produced by Terror Films in conjunction with Supergravity pictures, a company created with the purpose of producing feature films as vehicles for YouTubers, and you have somewhat of a unique production.
Director Jehoshua had initial reservations of working with Lawley, however. “I was hesitant at first,” said Jehoshua, “but when [Lawley] auditioned, I knew he had the presence and ability to carry the film.”
The film itself follows protagonist Cameron, played by Lawley, who is given the task of taking care of his sweet young niece Angie (Mykala Sohn) when his mother is out of town. Things take a turn for the worse when a child-stealing Demon sets her sights on Angie. The only way to save one from the clutches of the demonic fiend is to have six members of the same bloodline be sacrificed. Being the good uncle that Cameron is, he finds himself in a battle not only with a persistent Demon, but a struggle with his own conflicts as a family guy that must ultimately pick which six members of his family should be obliterated in order to save his niece.
Lawley managed to have a few words with FANGORIA in between appeasing his anxious fans. “This was a weird transition for me cause I was so used to comedy,” stated Lawley. “But I absolutely loved it. I am a huge fan of horror. Recently, I saw THE BABADOOK and thought it was badass”.
Lawley’s attendance, as well as audience numbers, made it clear that the level of fandom associated with online talent is reaching considerable proportions. The 300-person fan screening in Anaheim was sold out, as did its other screenings across the country. This is just one of many horror productions that you can expect to see released from Terror Films in the near future, and a sure sign that many other internet stars will be making their way to the big-screen sooner rather than later.
THE CHOSEN is showing at selected cinemas across the country as well as on VOD.