Zero in the System, a feature film by Tim McCann, visiting assistant professor of film, will debut this weekend at thePollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas.
The film tells the story of Earl Coleman, a vigilante ex-con intent on protecting the residents of the crime-ridden neighborhood he grew up in, while pursuing vengeance for his late sister. In this day-to-day fight against poverty and despair, he meets Keisha, who is struggling to raise her son. But to build a future with her, he must be able to leave behind the cause that has given his life meaning. Zero in the System explores the line between the idealistic fight for justice and a destructive Messianic complex. The film was cast primarily with non-actors and ex-convicts from Spring Valley, N.Y., and features extensive use of improvisation.
PollyGrind is an underground film festival that considers any and all independently produced and non-distributed movies that are slightly off-kilter. This includes horror, gore, sci-fi, fantasy, exploitation, sexploitation, underground, arthouse, cult, experimental, dark, documentary, creepy, and campy features and shorts.
McCann is a New York–based independent filmmaker whose work has often been noted for its "naturalistic and emotionally charged performances." His award-winning feature films include Desolation Angels (1996),Revolution #9 (2002), Nowhere Man (2005), Runaway (2006), and The Poker Club (2008). McCann has taught at Purchase since 2001.
Larry O'Neil, a part-time lecturer in the film program, is the producer of Zero in the System.
See the film on November 5, 7:30 p.m., at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y. A Q&A with McCann, cast members, and JBFC senior programmer Chris Funderburg follows.