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Into the Spotlight

USA 2023
produced by
Paul Rasmussen, Thaddeus D. Matula, King Hollis, Michelle Cox (executive) for Out of the Shadows, Double Life Films
directed by Thaddeus D. Matula
starring Erin Anderson, Nancy Appelman, Leah Battalora, Scott Beard, Caroline Beverly, Kinsey Boozer, Jason Carter, Esther Craven, Nicholas Ensminger, Jake Eubank, Luke Forehand, James Gulley, Shannon Harrison, Davis Hecksel, Christi Hockel-Davenport, Cindy Johnston, Jacob Kunko, Constance Lewis, Efrain Lopez, Christian Munguia, Abby Munn, Stephanie Newland, Andrea Parton, Katie Passmore, Lisa Lee Schmidt, Sally Smith, Scott Spitler, Michael Susens, Mary Claire Teeter, Chris Thompson, Daniel Wade
music by Sam Marshall


review by
Mike Haberfelner

Every year, the Spotlight Musical Theater Program puts on a play, one that has been developed by all involved on and back stage, that has been rehearsed for roughly half a year, and that features not only a relevant plot but also song and dance and the like, with music written by cast- and crewmembers. What makes the Spotlight Musical Theater Program so special is that everybody involved in the play are special needs people of one sort or another, who really see the theater as their means to express themselves as people rather than being reduced to their special needs. However, the 2021/22 season proves to be especially difficult, as for one Covid restrictions don't necessarily facilitate things, but also a troupe regular has died only shortly before the start of rehearsals, and during rehearsals, the co-director dies as well, with now sole director Lisa Lee Schmidt finding it difficult to cope with things on her own. And there's also hundreds of other little issues, but also backstage romance, and an unbroken spirit to bring the play over the finish line ...


... and part of what makes Into the Spotlight so good is that it remains positive throughout, doesn't make its material into a giant sob story but shows the growth of its main personnel, both on and off stage. Also it treats all of those portrayed with tremendous respect, never for a moment reducing them to their special needs but focussing on their undeniable talents and on overcoming obstacles, whether or not they have to do with their individual disabilities. And the result is a very engaging backstage story, one that's of course also achieved by a very well crafted narrative structure that's as much drama as it's documentary, and that makes for fascinating viewing for sure!

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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from