By Christopher Prince
American film director Rebecca Thomas possesses a unique outlook on society. Raised as a Mormon and a native of Las Vegas, Thomas uses her work to explore the challenging aspects of living a life between two entirely different environments.
Thomas’s directional debut Electrick Children screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. Filmed on a micro-budget, Electrick Children began during her fourth year studying at Columbia University School of the Arts Film School. The film follows the character of Rachel (Julia Garner), a resident of a fundamentalist Mormon household in Utah on her path to discovery in Sin City. Thomas drew inspiration for the film from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, as well as citing the studies of real life fundamentalist Mormon communities to aid her script. The film gained Thomas a nomination for Someone to Watch at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards and won her the FIPRESCI Award at the 2012 International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera in Kraków, Poland.
Electick Children was received well by critics, noted for its stunning cinematography and its ability to fuse the bright lights of Las Vegas with the harsh reality of Utah’s Mormon community. Thomas’s next project entitled Miss New York investigates the competitive beauty pageant circuit of New York, released in the spring 2015. The horror-thriller is about a PHD student who becomes obsessed with what she believes to be her doppelgänger, who just happens to be competing in the Miss New York pageant.