Ozark’s Sofia Hublitz and Outer Banks’ Madelyn Cline star in coming-of-age thriller.
NEW YORK—Goldcrest Films/Saboteur Media’s coming-of-age thriller What Breaks the Ice will make its premiere at a special drive-in theater screening, October 3rd, at the 21st Woodstock Film Festival in New York. The film, about a pair of 15-year-old girls who become unwitting accomplices in a fatal crime, marks the directorial debut of Rebecca Eskreis and stars Sofia Hublitz (Ozark), Madelyn Cline (Outer Banks), Joel Allen (The Purge) Shakira Barrera (Glow), Erik Jensen (For Life), Catherine Curtin (Orange Is the New Black), Aimee Mullins (Stranger Things) and Lukas Gage (Euphoria). The screening will be held at the Overlook Drive-In Theatre in Poughkeepsie on a double-bill with Ammonite, Francis Lee’s new film starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
Set in 1998 at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, What Breaks the Ice follows Sammy (Hublitz) and Emily (Cline), who, despite their divergent backgrounds, form a deep friendship over a summer in a small New England resort town. Poised between the innocence of childhood and an adult world of simmering temptations, they share an untroubled bound until events take a sudden and drastic turn. Both a heart-stopping suspense story and a deep meditation on friendship and love, the film recalls a now lost teenage experience, absent technology, where connection was intense, pure and evanescent.
What Breaks the Ice marks the first feature starring roles for both Hublitz and Cline. The two young actresses deliver subtle, nuanced performances as the introverted, working class Sammy and the brash, pampered Emily. Their chemistry blooms through every conversation and glance.
Eskreis, who also wrote the screenplay, drew on her own experience growing up in the 1990s, and skillfully deploys the Lewinsky affair as the story’s psychic backdrop. “My generation came of age viewing women’s rights through a certain lens,” she says. “This film explores the liminal space of female adolescence at that moment in time, when the realization of lost innocence transforms into the painful, but beautiful empowerment of adulthood.”
Eskreis developed What Breaks the Ice under the mentorship of Richard Linklater and James Ponsoldt through Austin Film Society’s invitational Artist Intensive program. She was also the recipient of a Sandra Adair/Empowering a Billion Women Grant for promising female filmmakers. Eskreis served as associate producer on Jonathan Demme’s documentary Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids and as producer on Bob Byington’s Infinity Baby.
What Breaks the Ice is produced by Dustin Duke Dlouhy, Michael Cuomo, Courtney Jones, Michael W. Gray, and Katie Leary; executive producers include Bob Leary, Krysanne Katsoolis, Ronald and Amy Guttman, Andrew and Carolyn Lituchy, and Dan Rice. Cinematography is by Greta Zozula. Production design is by Megan Elizabeth Bell. Post production services were provided by Goldcrest Post, New York.
The film was shot primarily in New York’s Hudson Valley. “As a New York-based company, we are proud to support New York filmmakers and the film industry in our state,” said Saboteur Media executive producer David Kennedy. “We are extremely excited about this film, which benefits from an incredible cast, and tells a powerful and timely story.”
Goldcrest Films head of production Gretchen McGowan added that Woodstock Film Festival is an ideal choice for the film’s premiere. “The Woodstock Film Festival consistently presents exceptional films and has been a devoted supporter of independent filmmakers for more than two decades,” she said. “We are very proud to have What Breaks the Ice take part in that tradition.”
About Goldcrest Films
Operating from London and New York, Goldcrest is a long established and privately owned integrated filmed entertainment company. Highly skilled talent, expertise and experience underpin the company’s activities in three distinct operational areas:
Goldcrest Films oversees the production, distribution and marketing of films produced by Goldcrest and third-party acquisition in addition to monetizing Goldcrest’s celebrated library of over 100 titles.
Goldcrest Post is a market leading supplier of Academy Award and BAFTA winning postproduction services.
Goldcrest Finance raises funds and structures transactions in the media sector and has funded films ranging in budget from $3 million to $98 million, of which four have opened at number 1 at the US box office.
About Saboteur Media
Saboteur Media is a fully integrated filmed entertainment company that is part of the Goldcrest family and based in New York. Along with producing and financing feature films and television, Saboteur has built one of the premiere documentary companies in the United States, while leveraging their international sales infrastructure and expertise to sell titles on a territory-by-territory basis worldwide.
The latest releases from Saboteur Media include I Want My MTV which aired on A+E September 8, and the upcoming title Blood on the Wall, from directors Nick Quested and Sebastian Junger, which is set to air on September 30th on National Geographic.