Woodinville High School alumnus Zach Visvikis partnered up with fellow New York University student Austin Hall to co-write and produce “Molly Robber,” a 15-minute film focused on the importance of family.
The film is up for an Audience Choice Award this month at the virtual Austin Film Festival, according to Visvikis. This year, the festival is available online Oct. 22-29 and viewers can watch a variety of flicks for $12. “Molly Robber” becomes available for viewing on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 6:15 p.m.
The film follows a high school dropout who gets fired from her job and is about to get kicked out of her house. Visvikis said the main character attempts to steal from her drug dealer and things get thrown for a loop when her anime-obsessed stepbrother tags along for the ride.
“Despite the fun and chaotic plot, the storyline is all about the heart of the characters and their relationship to each other in terms of family,” Visvikis said. “Because at the end of the day, that’s all you really have with each other. You have to work out your differences one way or another.”
Hall said the idea for this film stemmed from “crazy, outlandish stories and legends,” some from his own hometown of Yuba City, Calif., where the filming took place. It’s a personal story covered with all these “crazy ideas,” combined with a sense of family that “tugs at the heartstrings,” he added.
Visvikis said this film emphasizes the importance of family, even though they can cause more harm than good on occasion, such as tagging along for an armed robbery.
“If you want to sit back and have a good time for 15 minutes, this film is definitely fun and crazy and has an ending that I think most people will enjoy,” he said.
The film features six cast members, including leading actors Chelsea Lopez and Elim Uraimov. Barry Bostwick, best known for his role in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” is one of the film’s executive directors and also stars alongside Lopez. Visvikis said about 20 people made the movie, which was filmed in March 2019 and finished around September 2019.
Hall and Visvikis met in the editing lobby at NYU and have been friends and film partners ever since. Hall grew up in Yuba City, outside Sacramento, before attending boarding school in Monterey and going on to film school in New York. Currently, he is getting his Master of Fine Arts at University of Southern California for screenplay.
Growing up, Visvikis and his family moved from San Antonio to Woodinville when he was about 9. He attended Woodin Elementary in Bothell, Leota Junior High and Woodinville High School. Visvikis said he “grinded it out” for a year at Santa Monica Community College before transferring to NYU as a sophomore.
During COVID-19, Visvikis said they have been shooting with a green screen in a garage in Los Angeles and participating in remote shoots with friends in New York. To pass the time, the two friends have been reading, writing and getting as many scripts done as possible, he added.