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'COAST' Ensemble Drama with Fatima Ptacek, Melissa Leo, Cristela Alonzo. Theaters & VOD April 8.

COAST, a coming-of-age drama about a chance encounter that turns into a journey of self-discovery, will release in theaters and on VOD April 8, 2022. The film’s vibrant ensemble cast is anchored by Fatima Ptacek (longtime voice of Dora the Explorer); stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo (Cars 3); and Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter).

Set in a Central Californian farming community, COAST revolves around 16-year-old Abby, who is desperate to escape the trappings of small-town life. When she falls for the lead singer of a touring rock band, Abby must decide whether to leave her family and friends behind in search of a better life. Mia Frampton (Bridesmaids), Mia Xitlali (Max), Ciara Bravo (Cherry) and former Portugal The Man member Kane Ritchotte round out the cast.

Directed by Jessica Hester and Derek Schweickart from a screenplay by Cindy Kitagawa, who was inspired by her own childhood experiences, COAST blends the explorative experience of self-discovery with the untarnished filter of youth.

The film’s energetic live performances and original score feature music by Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper (Grouplove), Alex Walker, Kane Ritchotte (More), The Ceremonies, Black Match, and others. Coast is a Journey Home Film in association with Big Vision Empty Wallet and Gemini Team (

"What a glorious piece of filmmaking.” - Unseen Films

I had the opportunity to watch a screener for COAST.

A 'coming of age' film that highlights the coming of age of teenage girls. It has the intimate tension and camaraderie of 'Stand By Me' but deals with female issues, teen pregnancy, little opportunity for financial stability, adults preoccupied with their own problems. sexuality, why am I here, what am I doing? It poses a profound question for Abby and the girls such as: What is happiness? How do I honor the traditions of my life? How do I break free and forge my own path? All the emotional tough stuff.

A big hint to survival for teenage angst is music. Music is a big part of this story and gives it an extra dimension of emotion.

COAST is an appropriate title. The coast of California is famous for its rich farming land and migrant workers. During WW11 the Japanese were interned to work on the farms. This provides an opportunity to portray cultural diversity as these girls live in a town where their backgrounds are varied but they all share the same confusion about the future and they are friends that love and care about each other.

The cast is a rich group of characters. Fatima Ptacek stands out as the troubled Abby with a nuanced performance of the pressure of being a teenage female from a nowhere town. Melissa Leo always shines, looking good and delivering the goods even while she's dying.

“The pure energy of the live music performances and booming soundtrack sets apart COAST

from other coming-of-age films.” - Josh @ The Movies

In Theater's and VOD April 8.

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