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Lo fi pandemic comedy shot in Hi-8 "New Strains" on VOD next week

The charming Hi-8 shot indie flick "New Strains," directed by husband and wife duo Artemis Shaw and Prashanth Kamalakanthan, is set for release on July 19th. The film has received high praise at recent festivals, earning the label of a must-see "weirdo rom-com."

"New Strains" follows the story of Kalia and Ram, a couple vacationing in New York City just as the COVID-19 lockdown begins. Despite Ram’s concerns, Kalia is determined to enjoy their vacation. As the city shuts down, their plans are ruined, and they find themselves spiraling into absurd jealousy and co-dependence. Is their behavior merely cabin fever, or is it something deeper?

The film was shot entirely on Hi-8 during the lockdown, using improvised dialogue and a decades-old camcorder without an operator. Shaw and Kamalakanthan, both teachers and filmmakers, wrote, starred, directed, shot, and edited the film, featuring a cast of non-professional talent.

Produced by Shaw and Kate Stahl for Parori Productions, "New Strains" premiered at the 2023 Rotterdam International Film Festival, winning a Special Jury Award in the Tiger Competition. It also screened at the inaugural Los Angeles Festival of Movies and MoMI’s First Look film festival in NYC.

Check out the trailer and clip from "New Strains" ahead of its release on July 19th.

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