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Ebertfest 2023: Studio Head Jason Michael Berman and Director Edson Oda Open Festival with Nine Days

EBERTFEST 2023: DAY ONE

I. "NINE DAYS"

"Nine Days" screens at 6:30pm on Wednesday, April 19th, at the Virginia Theatre, as part of Ebertfest 2023. Below is an excerpt from the review of the film penned by Sheila O'Malley, followed by the bios of each guest scheduled to attend the screening.

If you didn't know that "Nine Days" was the feature debut of director Edson Oda, you would assume Oda had many films under his belt. He presents his bold vision with confidence (he also wrote the script), and he's courageous enough to have at the center of his first film the eternal issues of the human condition: What does it mean to be alive? How do we appreciate life while we are here? Is it even possible? Oda does not shy away from these crucial questions, and finds a format to address them with a minimum of hokum, and a minimum of New-Age bromides. "Nine Days" got raves when it premiered at Sundance last year. It's such an exciting debut.

The writer director, Edson Oda, and the Producer, Jason Michael Berman, President of Mandalay Pictures will appear on stage to participate in a Q&A with Film Critics Brian Tallerico and Sheila O'Malley of Rogerebert.com

Click here to read the full review.

GUESTS SCHEDULED TO ATTEND SCREENING AT EBERTFEST 2023 

EDSON ODA, writer/director

Edson Oda is a Japanese-Brazilian writer/director based in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of São Paulo - bachelor's in Advertising – and completed his Master of Fine Arts in Film and Production at the University of Southern California.

His first feature film "Nine Days" - staring Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Bill Skarsgard and Tony Hale - premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2020 (U.S. Dramatic Competition), winning the Walt Salt Screenwriting Award.

Oda also wrote, directed and supervised projects for Amazon, Philips, Telefonica, Movistar, InBev, Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Honda, Nokia. 

JASON MICHAEL BERMAN, producer

Jason Michael Berman is the President of Mandalay Pictures. 

Berman was named in the 2016 Variety Dealmakers Impact Report, and in Variety in 2011 as one of the Top Ten Producers to Watch.

Berman currently has "AIR" in release for Amazon and Skydance, directed by Ben Affleck, written by Alex Convery, and starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Viola Davis, and Jason Bateman

Berman recently produced "Surrounded", directed by Anthony Mandler and starring Letitia Wright, Jamie Bell and Michael K. William, awaiting release from MGM/Amazon.

His other recent producing credits include Edson Oda’s Sundance award-winning film "Nine Days", starring Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Bill Skarsgård, and Benedict Wong. 

FILM CRITICS: 

BRIAN TALLERICO

Brian Tallerico, the Managing Editor of RogerEbert.com, has covered television, film, video games, Blu-ray/DVD, interviews, and entertainment news for two decades online, on radio, and in print.

In addition, he is a TV writer for Vulture.com, a contributor at The Playlist, and freelancer for multiple outlets, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and GQ. 

He also serves as President of the Chicago Film Critics Association, co-produces the Chicago Critics Film Festival every May, and is a regular guest on radio stations and podcasts. 

You can follow him on Twitter @Brian_Tallerico. Read his answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here.

SHEILA O'MALLEY

Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. Along with Rogerebert.com, her work has also appeared in Film Comment, The Dissolve, Masters of Cinema, Movie Mezzanine, Flavorwire, Capital New York, Fandor, Press Play, and Bright Wall/Dark Room.  

She has contributed video and print essays for various releases from The Criterion Collection. O’Malley wrote the narration (read by Angelina Jolie) for the Governors Awards Lifetime Achievement tribute reel to legendary actress Gena Rowlands. O’Malley also wrote the narration for the Governors Awards tribute to editor Anne Coates’, played at the 2016 Governors Awards. O’Malley writes about actors, movies, and Elvis Presley at her personal site, The Sheila Variations. A short film she wrote, "July and Half of August,” premiered at the 2016 Albuquerque Film and Music Experience.

Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here.

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