Kimberly Jentzen is an award winning acting coach, writer, and director in Los Angeles. She has directed over 18 plays, and in the last several years has been lending her talents to films as well. She has been coaching actors for more than 20 years in Los Angeles, and is the author of “Acting with Impact”.
“Reign” is her second dramatic fictional short film. The film is about three Marines serving in a unit in Iraq. The story centers on the decision the three Marines must make after “baiting” insurgents with ammunition, and the sole survivor is a woman. It has won several awards as of this writing; most notably for Best Director from Actors Film Fest, and Best Short and the Audience Award from Louisville International Film Festival.
She wrote, produced and directed Reign, which was additionally produced by Will Wallace, Andrew Fognani and Mark Rickard. Sheetal Sheth plays the women in distress, Fadwa. Andrew Fognani plays Delano, Will Wallace is Cooper, Clayton Hoff is Gates and Caroline Macey rounds out the cast as Raine Delano. Academy Award nominated cinema photographer, Jack N. Green, and three time Academy Award winning sound mixer David MacMillan lend their talent to the film.
How did you come up with the idea for REIGN?
“There were lots of ideas thrown around. I realized it needed to be a military story. I had written two other military scripts, and worked with and coached actors who served in the military. Often the stories that fascinate me are about the strangers we meet and the encounters we have, and moments that we share that are so fleeting. I’m fascinated most with stories that relate to the human condition.”
“I went online looking for news and found incidents about our military ‘baiting insurgents in Iraq’. Baiting is, when you can’t identify the enemy and the enemy is in civilian clothing, baiting measures have been taken. It isn’t condoned but it happens. It was part of the influence on this script. It’s also about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
What else influenced you?
“I was also moved by the challenges women have in Middle Eastern countries and their lack of having a voice, the powerlessness of their fate.”
Can you describe what REIGN is about for us?
“The lead character’s moral compass is tested when an Iraqi woman is discovered alive in the aftermath of a battle. The film exposes what happens when circumstances force us to make decisions. The Sergeant has to follow orders is very much by the book. You have to follow what your leader says, or you will be in trouble. There is no explaining or philosophizing or defending. There is only black and white in his thinking. The second, Marine, says, ‘well she’s going to die anyway’ and suggests the unmentionable, but the third, Delano wants to help her.”
Why did you make the film a short instead of a full length feature film?
“I wrote Reign as a short in about three days. It was the start of the journey of making movies. Making a short is faster and easier to make because you don’t need as much cash or capital. Everything always lands in the budget.”
How did you find the people who became part of your film production? So many wonderful professionals were a part of this, did they volunteer or did you seek them out?
“I went to Panavision to beg for equipment for shooting on 35mm, and Bob Harvey helped us greatly. Bob Harvey asked me ‘if you are going to shoot on 35 who is going to be your Director of Photography? I said “I don’t know” and he said ‘Who would you like to shoot it?’ And I said the guy that shot “Unforgiven”, Jack Green, he is amazing. Bob said, ‘well I can help you get him your script to him’ and the rest is history. The script is what brought so much talent to the film. It helped us get Sheetal Sheth. My feeling is that if you have a good script, everything will follow. Another mentor of mine is director Michael Nankin. I learned so much from both Jack and Michael and am so grateful for having worked with both of them.”
How did Accomplished Composer, Susan Marder , come on board?
“Susan Marder, is a wonderful composer. We were lucky to get her. We were out of money. We were desperate to find someone really talented. She did an incredible job, and we are so grateful for her talent and contribution to this film.”
What do you hope or what do you expect from this film?
“I Hope people feel something, that they are moved when they watch the film.” Check out the trailer on the attached link to this article.
“There are just too many people to thank. REIGN is currently making the festival circuit right now.” If you have to opportunity, please see it.
Ms. Jentzen expresses that there were well over a hundred people who devoted their time and expertise, and all of whom she has acknowledged and thanked previously. However, she did request that we thank the cast and crew again in this article. She continually expresses her gratitude to the cast and crew who worked tirelessly to bring this film together.
Ms. Jentzen’s recent projects include directing the comedic short, Grounds, which she wrote with Michaelanne Cervantes and Peggy Lane. Also, Temper’s Karma an intense love triangle which Ms. Jentzen has directed and produced. Kimberly is now focusing on writing full length features, several television series, and her next book for actors. You can read more articles about Ms. Jentzen’s upcoming projects for free here by clicking the (+) sign at the top of the page next to subscribe.