VIOLET, the feature film written, directed, and produced by Justine Bateman, and edited by partner/editor Jay Friedkin of Union Editorial, will screen in competition at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, which runs parallel programs in film, music and interactive media. Friedkin previously cut Bateman’s Tribeca Film Festival entry FIVE MINUTES, starring Rob Benedict and Rae Dawn Chong. VIOLET stars Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, and Justin Theroux, and follows a woman who realizes the voice inside her head has been lying to her - for her entire life.

“For many years I, like others, made fear-based decisions,” Bateman related on “The truth was that the critical inner voice that caused me to make those fear-based decisions was actually lying about everything. Because this realization freed me from those decisions that masked who I really was, I then wanted to tell everyone else who might be in the same situation, so they could more freely be themselves as well.”

“Working with Justine is like catching a ride holding onto a tiger's tail. She wrote it and directed it from the heart and I just found myself on a day to day basis trying to cultivate and protect her vision,” said Friedkin, who received an Oscar nomination (alongside Marcus D'Arcy) for his work on Babe. “Justine had a powerfully strong idea about how this film should be and it was an incredibly fun challenge helping her bring it to fruition.” 

Bateman added that VIOLET is meant to be a personal experience. “The audio and visual components are assembled as a visceral coat that the viewer can put on to walk through the film.”

Press materials for the film note that the voice heard by the film’s protagonist is not “the one that tells you, ‘You can do it. Go for it!”’ It’s the voice that tears you down. You call it your conscience or your ‘committee.’ It’s the voice that tells you, ‘Change that shirt. If you wear that to the party no one will talk to you.’ Consciously or unconsciously, you register this worst-case scenario, of no-one-talking-to-you-at-the-party, and you change your shirt. You keep making those choices, trying to avoid this voice’s ‘worst-case scenarios.’ You do it in your professional life, your romantic life, your social life, until you are so far away from being yourself that you start to forget what that is.’”

In addition to Friedkin, whose recent spot projects include work for Amazon and UBER, Union staffer Mannix Rickenbacher contributed graphics and titling.  

SXSW runs Friday, March 13 - Saturday, March 22, 2020, in Austin, TX. Screening times for VIOLET can be found here.

(Artwork by Archan Nair)

About Union
Union Editorial has offices located in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content through its Union Entertainment Group banner. Other Union companies include Resolution, which provides finishing services, vfx, graphics and mix for commercials, features and gaming. Union is presided over by Partner/Managing Director Michael Raimondi in LA, Partner/Managing Director Caryn Maclean in NY, and Executive Producer Vicki Russell in Austin. The Union roster is comprised of Partner/Editors Jim Haygood, Einar Thorsteinsson, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, Merritt Duff, and editors Chris Huth, Daniel Luna, Laura Milstein, Jason Lucas, Karen Kourtessis, Kevin Ray, Nicholas Wayman-Harris, Rachael Waxler, Zach Kashkett, Andrea MacArthur, Amanda Perry as well as select projects with Teddy Gersten, Tim Thornton-Allen, Matt Chesse, John Mayes, Spencer Ferszt, Paul Plew and the Marshall Street roster.