“It’s not just another psychological horror film—it has some other issues it deals with as well,” said Phedon Papamichael, director of From Within, which premieres tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival. The stars of the film—Mad Men’s Elizabeth Rice, celebrity-spawn Rumer Wills, and Thomas Dekker will sashay down the red carpet outside of the AMC movie theater at 19th Street and Broadway.
From Within is set in a small, deeply religious town that gets shaken up after a series of suicides. Some insiders have speculated that the film has a decent chance of finding a distributor at the festival this weekend.
The Greek-born Mr. Papamichael has had a long career as director of photography on films like Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, and—hey!—Patch Adams, but From Within marks his first time in the director’s chair.
“To me, it’s less pressure than shooting,” he said. “When you shoot, you telling someone’s story and you want it to be their vision. That’s why my work varies from picture to picture. So to be the director, is actually less pressure because I’m responsible for my own mistakes.”
Mr. Papamichael’s crew were all experienced with big Hollywood movies (his cinematographer had been his gaffer for his last 20 films), but his cast—for the most part—was fairly green.
“Not having stars makes a really big difference,” he said. “I think it really helps to the overall feeling of we’re all doing this together. It’s not about egos.”
He laughed remembering when he was at work on Sideways, a set he described as being remarkably relaxed and friendly, with stars Thomas Hayden Church and Paul Giamatti hanging out and joking around between camera setups.
“I had an intern and I told her, whatever you are experiencing—don’t get into the film industry because of this. This never happens! But on From Within, it was a similar experience.”