by Luke Martin
“If you can’t buy love, steal it.”
In the world of director Justin Zsebe’s Hold Up Heart, that is exactly what Jeff, played by CalArts alumnus Edward Kiniry-Ostro (Theater BFA 03), attempts to do. Described as a “hilariously dark look at unrequited love,” Jeff, a bumbling, nice-guy assistant manager, decides to rob a liquor store to get enough money to win back his ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately for him, the cashier at that liquor store ends up being his Ex.
Armed with a gun, things quickly spiral out of control when Jeff loses his cool and other people begin entering the liquor store. This dark comedy was an official selection of several film festivals, including HollyShorts, KAHBANG, Concorto and the Festival of Pelagia, in addition to being nominated for Best Comedy at the Action On Film Festival.
The project features several CalArts alumni both behind the scenes and on screen. Kiniry-Ostro has a dual-role in the film, both as the lead and writer/producer. Since graduating from CalArts, he’s worked on numerous films and TV shows including: The Soloist, How I Met Your Mother, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Happy Endings and Greek. He also has a comedic web-series, Roomiess, which is now entering its second season. He is also a founding member of The Silver Lake Chorus.
Carla Nassy (Theater MFA 04) is another producer on the film and Sasha Smith (Music BFA 03) serves as the composer. Both have worked extensively in their respective fields, Nassy in various production roles on projects such as Battle Scars, Urge and The Big Meet, and Smith as keyboardist on several Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning projects.
Hold Up Heart is now available to view for free.