The Versatile Vision of Harley Wallen
Nick R. Murphy
Harley Wallen is an actor, writer, and director with an enduring passion for bringing stories to the screen. 2018 has brought no less than three of his films to the VOD scene with many more around the corner. His persistence has paid off, giving him the opportunity to direct screen legends such as Tom Sizemore (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, HEAT) John Savage (THE DEER HUNTER, THE THIN RED LINE), and cult figures such as Tara Reid (AMERICAN PIE), Richard Tyson (KINDERGARTEN COP) and Dennis Haskins (SAVED BY THE BELL).
After a series of short films shot between 2013 and 2016, Wallen took the leap into feature filmmaking, writing and co-directing MOVING PARTS, which won the Castell Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2017 Barcelona Film Festival, and Best Actor for the film's star T.J. Storm at the 2017 Royal Starr Film Festival. After its festival run, MOVING PARTS had its VOD release on March 27, 2018, and can now be watched instantly via Amazon Prime.
Following the success of MOVING PARTS, Wallen hit the ground running and jumped into his next project as the director and star of BENNETT'S SONG, a family dramedy about a widower with seven adopted kids who meets a divorced dentist who also has seven adopted kids. Together, this large family adjusts to their new life and learn to accept the challenges that come with it. BENNETT'S SONG went on to win multiple awards on the festival circuit, including: The Van Gogh Award for Best Feature Screenplay at the 2018 Amsterdam Film Festival, Best Director Leading Actor (for Wallen), and actress (Calhoun Koenig) at the 2018 International Independent Film Awards. And it also snagged the Special Jury Award at the Mexico International Film Festival. BENNETT’S SONG was written and co-executive produced by Wallen's business partner, Nancy Oeswein and was acquired by Sharry Flaherty of Vision Films and released on VOD on August 14, 2018. Due to its great word of mouth, a sequel is already in development.
Not to be outdone, Flaherty also acquired Wallen's follow up, the much darker toned BETRAYED starring John Savage as a Detroit mayor whose daughter is sent into human trafficking by a drug cartel after they push the Russian mafia out of town. Going from a light-hearted family comedy to an intense crime thriller shows Harley Wallen's range as a filmmaker who can balance lighter tones and darker themes in his repertoire.
Harley Wallen "Bennet's Song"
Harley Wallen and Tom Sizemore "Betrayed"
BETRAYED was written by Wallen, who also co-stars alongside T.J. Storm, Richard Tyson, and Billy Wirth. The film was also a hit on the festival circuit, nabbing the July awards for Best Feature Film, Best Actor (John Savage), and Best Producer (Painted Creek Productions) at the Gold Movie Awards Goddess Nike (2018). The Hollywood premiere of BETRAYED took place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on September 26, 2018, and it was released to VOD on October 2, 2018. So definitely take the time to check it out.
2019 promises another crop of Harley Wallen pictures. Harley wrote and directed ABSTRUSE an intense crime thriller starring Tom Sizemore and Dennis Haskins. About a senator's son who gives into his murderous urges, and faces retribution at the hands of his victim's father. Like Wallen's previous efforts, ABSTRUSE swept up numerous awards on the festival circuit including Best Feature Film at the 2018 Colorado Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at the International Independent Film Awards, the Special Jury Award at the Nevada International Film Festival, and Golden Lion Award at the 2017 London Film Awards. ABSTRUSE was acquired by Green Apple Entertainment and is set for an early 2019 VOD release.
Also coming next year is a treat for horror fans with the release of AGRAMON'S GATE, a mysterious supernatural thriller written and directed by Wallen and starring Laurene Landon, Kris Reilly, and Calhoun Koenig. It centers on the unleashing of both literal and emotional demons after a terrifying seance at a house party. Specific details of the release are under wraps for the moment, but with the trailer recently dropping online, Harley Wallen is aiming for a release around February of next year.
Kaiti Wallen, Angela Roberts Johnson and Whitney Wagner "Abeyance"
TJ Storm and Brian Kasgorgis "Moving Parts"
Earlier in 2018, Wallen wrapped production on ABEYANCE, a technological thriller starring Scout Taylor Compton (Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN), Richard Tyson, and Billy Wirth. About a revolutionary invention that falls into the hands of a corrupt corporation, and the kidnapping plot that ensues when the invention is stolen. The film is nearing the end of its post-production, and is set to make its rounds all through the coming year.
Also be on the lookout for Harley Wallen's ENIGMA in 2019, a mystery centering on a murder investigation. Starring JT Storm, Kati Wallen, and Dennis Haskins. ENIGMA won Best Feature Film at the 2017 Frostbite International Film Festival, and looks to be a pulse pounding suspense thriller that will not disappoint.
With such a prolific filmmography over just a few years, we can be sure to see a lot more from Harley Wallen in the future. So be sure to keep this auteur on your radar.
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