Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Manhattanville Alum Has First Feature Film Picked Up for Theatrical Release

Jessica Caldwell On SetJessica Caldwell '08 on the set of Electrick Children.The movie Electrick Children, written and directed by Rebecca Thomas and produced by Jessica Caldwell' 08 and Richard Neustadter, has been picked up for limited theatrical release.

"It's incredible, humbling, and overwhelming," Caldwell '08 said. "We never expected this to happen. Our highest hope was for it to play at good festivals. This film has had a wider reception than we ever expected."

Electrick Children is the story of Rachel, a rambunctious teenager from a fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah. On her 15th birthday, Rachel discovers a forbidden cassette tape with rock music on it.

Three months later, Rachel is pregnant and claims to have had an immaculate conception from listening to the music. Rachel's parents arrange a marriage for her, but she runs away to Las Vegas to search for the man who sings on the cassette tape, believing he has something to do with her mysterious pregnancy.

Rebecca Thomas and Jessica CaldwellRebecca Thomas (left), writer and director of Electrick Children and Jessica Caldwell '08 (right), producer, at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival."It's a really unique story and there isn't any film out there that's quite like it," Caldwell said. "It's a beautiful story. It's hard to compare it to anything else."

The film stars Julia Garner as Rachel, Rory Culkin, and Billy Zane. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and SXSW Film Festival in 2012.

Electrick Children is Caldwell's first feature film. Caldwell studied communications at Manhattanville College before getting her MFA in film producing from Columbia University. She had a short film she produced, AWOL, selected for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.