The espionage thriller “The East” premiered to a packed house at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, January 20th. The film which was co-written by actress Brit Marling and director Zal Batmanglij and stars Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgaard, Shilo Fernandez, Aldis Hodge and Hillary Baack is based (according to Fox Searchlight) on “an elite private intelligence firm whose objective is to ruthlessly protect the interests of their A-list corporate clientele” and will go to any lengths to do so.
The film’s co-writer and star Brit Marling plays Sarah Moss, an operative for the firm, who is “assigned to go undercover and infiltrate an anarchist collective known for executing convert attacks upon major corporations.” What she doesn’t plan on is falling in love with the group’s leader.
During a Q & A session at the famed film festival for “The East”, actress Ellen Page (who rose to fame in her role as a pregnant teen in the Academy Award nominated film “Juno”) stated “I remember going to the meeting and I was like ‘Ellen, just be cool, just be cool.’ And really, the how time I was like ‘Please just put me in your movie.’ And I just wouldn’t have been more grateful than to have been involved with this wonderful group of people.”
Actor Alexander Skarsgaard who plays “Benji” in the film was much like his co-star Aldis Hodge “Thumbs” in that he waited to see the film with his co-stars- “I could have seen it in L.A. at a screening, but I wanted to wait and watch it with Zal, Brit and Ellen and everyone today. I can’t tell you how excited I am, it was a really special one to work on.”
The film’s co-writers hope that the audience is moved by the film that was based on New York Times articles, and news that broke throughout the nation. Director Zal Batmanglij stated “The only thing I want them to take away is to have a thrill ride and entertaining experience, but also to ask questions. We ask a lot of questions, and we want them to go home and ask their friends questions, ask their parents questions, ask each other questions.” Co-writer and star Brit Marling hopes that the audience stays “in their seats all through the credits and that their heart is racing a little bit because it’s an espionage thriller and it’s fun, but it’s also about some things. I think a film that both makes you think and it also sends your pulse racing.
Look for the movie to hit theaters nationwide in limited release this year.
Images of “The East” cast at the Sundance Film Festival:
Footage of the stars of “The East” on the red carpet at the Sundance Film Festival:
Ellen Page at “The East” Q&A session at the Sundance Film Festival.