Gearing up for a 2020 release, VOLITION is thrilled to land on multiple BEST FESTIVAL FILMS OF 2019 LISTS! Thank you HorrorHound.com, SliceofSciFi.com and ThePeoplesMovies.com, among others, for the shout outs! We’re thrilled to sit alongside such films as Us, Midsommar, Freaks and Parasite!
To top it off, the reviews on these list have been absolutely stellar, as you can read below!
“Volition – by Tony Dean Smith (Frightfest)
One of the few films found on my favorites list this year to play more than the top tier festivals, Tony Dean Smith’s Volition is one of the truly, best hybrids of horror and science fiction this year and perhaps this decade. Anchored by a series of stellar performances that lays a human foundation to the complex storytelling, the film features lead actor Adrian Glynn McMorran as ‘James’ and the character ‘Uncle Ray’ played by the versatile John Cassini. Volition, tells the story of James, who is afflicted by clairvoyance. Going down a wrong path since he was a teen, James one day, witnesses a bunch of events that may lead to his death. As a mysterious woman and a former friend enter his life, James’s world is turned upside down as he puts the pieces together in search of the meaning behind these events as well as who he can trust. One of the most surprising films this year, the Smith Brothers (Tony and Ryan) craft a complex narrative that weaves a mystery that compliments the emotional weight, flawed characters, stellar cinematography, and circular storytelling. Tied up nicely with the strong edit by Tony Dean Smith, Volition just hooks you with the humor, horror, and heart from moment one. (TBA 2020)”
“Thematically Volition is a rich and diverting experience, with moral and ethical conundrums orbiting the central concept of the pliability of fate. The choices finally made by the likeable James, as he seeks to break from the white knuckle grip of inevitability, are compelling and unexpectedly moving.
Movies with this much intelligence and finite logistics are often prone to smug self-aggrandising. They seem to relish the Machiavellian headlock they have inflicted on the viewer, forcing them to acquiesce in the sheer cleverness of it all. Where Volition is crucially different is that it presents its elegant narrative as a case for cherishing the present we live in as connected humans, rather than a celebration of its own hubris.
Volition is an exceptional genre flick with a shit ton of ideas and the limitless heart to express them in a way that charms rather than bulldozes.”
Born in South Africa and living in Vancouver since his teens, Tony Dean Smith is a Director & Writer – known for his visual and elegant camerawork, grounded performances and sharp sense of story. His feature-film directorial debut, VOLITION, is an elevated sci-fi thriller that has swept up awards across the world, receiving rave reviews – and has been flatteringly compared to MEMENTO, LOOPER, and BLACK MIRROR. He was the youngest director on the acclaimed television series ROBSON ARMS (3 episodes), helmed the series pilot for HEALTH NUTZ and has written and directed multiple long form movies, including “Love Under The Rainbow” for Hallmark, the stylish Lifetime thriller “The Killer Downstairs” along with the upcoming “Guesthouse Affairs” and “The College Killer.” A life-long camera nerd and storyboard artist, his ability to see the edit before the shoot allows him to save hours of production time, doubly aided by his background as an award-winning picture editor. As an actor of stage (yes, jazz hands) and screen (X-FILES, POLTERGEIST), Tony’s sense of character, precision and playfulness are always present, giving him unparalleled comfort on set – allowing truly authentic and courageous collaboration between his fellow producers, actors and crew.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ryan is a writer for film and television, living between Los Angeles and Vancouver. Recent credits include: Adapting a confidential political drama feature for Anonymous Content; writing on the animated feature, “Next Gen,” starring John Krasinski and Constance Wu (Netflix Original); Co-writing and Producing the feature sci-fi thriller, “Volition” (Smith Brothers/Paly Productions) with his brother, Tony Dean Smith, the film’s Director; writing and serving as Senior Story Editor/Writer for “ReBoot: The Guardian Code” (Netflix Original); serving as Supervising-Producer/Writer on “Some Assembly Required” (Netflix Original); and as Senior Executive Story Editor/Writer on “Mr. Young” (Disney). Between the above series, Ryan has written on over 150 episode of television, and received two Leo Awards. He is also the winner of the ScreenCraft Fellowship and an Austin Film Festival Semifinalist for his historical thrillers, “Jacaranda” and “Black Messiah.” Ryan and his brother Tony are also winners of the Superchannel Super Catalyst Award for their screenplay, “The Sensational.”
We are thrilled to announce that Giant Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to VOLITION! The film will premiere on Apple Movies, Amazon Prime Video, and other Digital Outlets in the U.S. and across the globe on JULY 10th. Read more in the coverage from Variety.
VOLITION’s New York City Premiere was a huge success, playing to packed crowds at the NYC Horror Film Festival! To top it off, the science-fiction thriller took home three top prizes, including the awards for BEST SCIENCE-FICTION FEATURE FILM (to Tony Dean Smith & Ryan W. Smith), BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (to Byron Kopman), and BEST SOUND DESIGN (to Sharpe Sound, Gregorio Gomez and composer Matthew Rogers)! Congrats to the entire team, and thank you NYC Horror Film Festival for the warm reception.
After a whirlwind week of VOLITION playing in three over-lapping festivals (Whistler Film Festival, Other Worlds Austin, and NYC Horror Film Festival), Director Tony Dean Smith takes home the prestigious Best BC Director Award at Whistler! We couldn’t be more proud! Thank you to Whistler Film Festival and all the others for screening our film to packed crowds. We so appreciate the support! Below is Tony’s acceptance speech from the Whistler Film Festival Award Ceremony.
The 20th Annual Flickers’ Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival wrapped with the annual award ceremony. The Grand Prize Sci-Fi Feature Film award went to Volition directed by our very own, Tony Dean Smith. We’re thrilled to have be awarded this prize and thank the Rhode Island Film Festival (Flickers/Vortex)!
Read more about it here!
What a week it’s been! VOLITION took home TWO awards after its recent run in Los Angeles. VOLITION is now the WINNER of the BEST SCIENCE-FICTION FEATURE FILM AWARD at the 11th Annual Burbank International Film Festival. It is also the WINNER of the BEST SCIENCE-FICTION FEATURE FILM AWARD at the 19th Annual Shriekfest Film Festival. Thank to these two wonderful festivals for the honors!
After a wild run at London’s FrightFest, the VOLITION buzz is gaining momentum, as reviews come in:
★★★★★ “Volition is an exceptional genre flick with a shit ton of ideas and the limitless heart to express them in a way that charms rather than bulldozes.” —The People’s Movies
“Tony Dean Smith expertly keeps many story plates spinning in order to combine the pace of the crime thriller in progress with the sci-fi mystery VOLITION reveals itself to be. When the fragmented pieces of truth he’s given you begin to fit together the cerebral slight of hand of the Smith brothers script come into their own a la COHERENCE or THE INVITATION. You’ll feel smarter for the experience of watching it.” —Britflicks
“As the Smith Brothers work their way through this paradoxical conundrum, the result is Volition itself, an ingenious product as much of optimistic will as of entrapping design, with a miraculous, impossible ending.” — SciFi Now Magazine
“Winner of the best feature award at The Philip K. Dick Film Festival, where it fittingly made its world premiere earlier this year, director Tony Dean Smith’s Canadian indie gem (written by him and his brother, Ryan W. Smith) thrives not only on an enthralling, fast-paced narrative but also on the chemistry of its two stars, McMorran and Apanowicz, who you’re compelled to root for from the get-go. A no lesser contribution from Bill Marchant as James’ foster father completes the all-Canadian cast.” —HorrorDNA
“Thematically Volition is a rich and diverting experience, with moral and ethical conundrums orbiting the central concept of the pliability of fate. The choices finally made by the likeable James, as he seeks to break from the white knuckle grip of inevitability, are compelling and unexpectedly moving.” — The People’s Movies
“[A] script that borders on perfection stands out. The Smith brothers (Tony Dean, Ryan W.) have undoubtedly found a way to intrigue the viewer, leave him stunned, make him open his eyes wide and end up wishing for light in the thick plot with characters drawn to perfection… Apart from all this, it highlights the way it is shot. The director, Tony Dean Smith, opts for doing it in a murky way, alternating the action, in meritorious close-ups, with moments of necessary pause to digest everything.” —TerrorWeekend
“[I]t has you continuously guessing where everything is heading while never throwing in a twist just for the sake of it. As you keep watching, each step seems logical and will keep you glued to your seat.” —Nerdly
“The story is the key to Volition‘s success. Sibling duo Tony Dean Smith (who also directs) and Ryan W. Smith have clearly spent a lot of time and effort trying to achieve the perfect balance of several elements. All of their hard work pays off, and it’s a very special moment once the penny drops as to what is really going on. One that demonstrates the duo’s writing talents, and great promise for future projects. Visually, Volition has echoes of early David Fincher; think Seven meets The Game, as well as Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys. The style adds a layer of gritty realism to the film, helping to make it a grounded science-fiction story such as Looper and The Terminator.” —The Hollywood News
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With London’s FrightFest wrapped along side New York’s Buffalo Dream Fantastic Film Festival, VOLITION has walked away with more honors! VOLITION took home the BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD at Buffalo Dreams. Meanwhile, the film’s lead, Adrian Glynn McMorran, is sitting pretty alongside Elijah Wood as a nominee for BEST ACTOR in Total Film’s Best of FrightFest Awards. Congrats to all!