Some Hollywood film studios produce big budget action flicks. Others create movies for children, and still others craft thrillers. But no single studio exists to explore peer pressure, bullying, social acceptance, and other problems relevant to young adults today. A 18-year-old director, Michael Tanner Cusumano, aims to fill that void with Tanner Films, an up-and-coming film house devoted to the issues teens most want and need to explore.
A junior at Sierra Canyon School, Michael Tanner Cusumano founded Tanner Films out of a desire to speak to people his age through the popular medium of film. Beginning at age 12, Michael Tanner Cusumano attended summer learning programs at the New York Film Academy, working on his art all the way through high school, where he presided over his school’s first film festival event.
For its inaugural project, Tanner Films released Sage, a mystery-horror-thriller movie that follows three friends partying aboard The R.M.S. Sage on spring break. The mood goes from fun to frightening when one of the group disappears on the ship, leading to a chilling mystery involving the remaining two friends. After Sage, Michael Tanner Cusumano directed Amanda, the story of a teenage girl buoyed by her family’s wealth and popularity. Following a night of hard partying Amanda gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, crashes the car, and kills her two closest friends. The story follows Amanda as her dream life comes crashing down around her and she is forced to pay for her actions and deal with her guilt.
Anticipation continues to mount for Tanner Films’ next project, Impetuous, a story about two hot topics among teens today: bullying and peer pressure. Sage and Amanda have received resounding praise. Amanda was named Best Youth Film by the Queens World Film Festival, and Sage was the Official Selection at the 2010 Red Rock Film Festival. Tanner Films’ work has also been honored at New Filmmakers New York and the Amsterdam Film Festival.
Visit www.tannerfilms.com to learn more about Tanner Films and Michael Tanner Cusumano.