Directorial Debut of Jim Akin: "After the Triumph of Your Birth" Hosts Feature Film World Premiere

Maria McKee as Millicent

Film Soundtrack Also Available Featuring Renowned Lone Justice Front Woman Maria McKee

Shootist Films presents the World Premiere of the independent film “After the Triumph of Your Birth,” the directorial debut of musician/record producer Jim Akin.  The feature-length film is a surreal, dark-humored portrait of the outsider; a poetic and philosophical musical-driven celebration of uncertainty, as a melancholy desert dweller takes a seven-day journey toward the promising sands of Santa Monica beach.  The World Premiere will take place on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., at the Aero Theatre (1328 Montana Avenue) in Santa Monica, California, as part of the American Cinematheque’s ongoing film series. 

The film will be available worldwide for download on Friday, September 14th, streaming on demand from at Shootist Films, Maria McKee's official website and the film’s fan page (“After the Triumph of Your Birth”) on Facebook

On Tuesday, September 18th, the DVD will be available via Film Baby and  (DVDs can also be ordered via the Shootist Films and Maria McKeewebsites.)

The film’s soundtrack is also available now via iTunes, CD Baby, and its affiliate distributors.

Tom Dunne as Eli Willit

The main character, “Eli Willit,” is played by Tom Dunne, who plays drums and percussion on the film's score.  Dunne has played together with Akin in bands for several years.  Versatile vocalist, songwriter and live performance star Maria McKee (Lone Justice, “Pulp Fiction“ Soundtrack) has recorded and toured together with Jim Akin, and they’ve released several acclaimed albums.  Multi-talented Tessa Ferrer (“Eva”) can trace the roots of her powerful singing and acting style back to her grandparents who were the beloved Rosemary Clooney and Jose Ferrer.

Tessa Ferrer as Eva

Writer/director and L.A. native Jim Akin made “After the Triumph of Your Birth” with a crew of zero, for a total of $550.00, running 3 cameras and capturing sound before doing all editing and post in his home studio. The film also marks the feature film debut of acclaimed singer/songwriter Maria McKee who plays the role of “Millicent,” and also co-wrote the score with husband, Akin.

Akins says, “Every day, I simultaneously try to wake up and go to sleep. This film, I think, discusses the transition between those two states.”

At age 40, and “half-way to the infinite dirt nap,” Eli Willits embarks on a seven-day, 100-mile philosophical quest—from the barren emotional state of the high desert to the hypothetical promise of the ocean. Using a forgotten Los Angeles as a backdrop, four story lines converge in a tone poem that explores intent, expectation and the crossover between desperation and tenderness.  Midway through the journey, a six-inch tall female asks the questions: "Who are we? What are we doing?"  A five-inch tall female with wings provides an answer.

Akin adds, “I think this film is for the scratch and dent crowd. We tell ourselves that next year the pain will subside with a new discovery, conquest, love. Time passes, and maybe we'll just numb ourselves, chase an obsession, harden our heart, drink more. We are told that love is all we need. But where is it? What is it?”

Rob Zabrecky as The Answer Man

Through a series of dream-like vignettes—and a variety of musical numbers—the film asks questions about the uncertainty of life: from faith, love and happiness to broken dreams and death.  A reoccurring character, “The Answer Man” (Rob Zabrecky) pops-up with ironic musings on life, such as: “Love is a vortex of need, dancing behind a dazzling smokescreen of death.”

The production for “After the Triumph of Your Birth” began as a series of camera tests and experiments. Filming commenced with no shooting schedule, budget, or deadline.  For Akin, pushing the limits of the tools also meant pushing the form and language of film, and the boundaries of self.  He hopes the film will be a catalyst for discussion and revelation.

Akin’s stated goal at the start of the project was to fully explore the joy of creation in a new format and medium, while achieving maximum use and mastery of digital tools.  He undertook the full exploration of obsession while questioning everything during production from every point of view.  The final film was spun through a process of technical, spiritual, intellectual, and mechanical assessment.

“After the Triumph of Your Birth” is a compressed allegory. It captures the absurdity of the way life unfolds, allows elements of chaos and random experience to direct the plotting of character movement and the shape of the production. It grants access to the deep focus, shared experience, feelings and thoughts of writer/director Jim Akin as he stretches form and style to open something new and different in his portrayal of people.

It is a movie of quiet ambition, one that questions itself as it plays. The beauty and inspiration of the imagery come from the real locations and people of Los Angeles. The driving and joyous search of the director results in a movie of found places and people living together in simultaneous disjunction and harmony.

A movie that says:  Time is. We are. I am.


About Jim Akin

Jim Akin was born in Laguna Beach, California. Jim's father raced motorcycles for a living and his mother was a substitute teacher.  In the summer of his junior year in high school, Jim was asked to join a neighborhood garage/surf band. That day he bought a bass guitar from a pawn shop in Santa Ana for $50, and rehearsed with the band the same evening. Dropping out of school, music and photography were all that mattered.  To survive, Jim worked in a shipyard.  Years passed and then money and music came together.  Jim wrote, toured, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered albums until 2010, when a series of breakthroughs in technology allowed for a shift in creative expression.  For the feature-length film, "After the Triumph of Your Birth,” Jim was the director, cinematographer, sound recordist and production department.  In post, he served as editor, mixing and mastering final sound/picture and co-created the soundtrack and score.  Jim currently resides in Los Angeles with wife, Maria McKee.


After the Triumph of Your Birth Trailer


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