Independent Filmmakers Showcase (IFS) Film Festival – Pie in the Sky

The Independent Filmmakers Showcase (IFS) Film Festival is a celebration of independent filmmaking held in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, featuring screenings from emerging and established filmmakers. The festival (held at the beginning of the month) is dedicated to screening and awarding the best works submitted to the IFS over the past year. In the 32nd annual festival, Pie in the Sky (2021) was screened. It is directed by Maria Gobetti from an adapted screenplay by Lawrence Thelen, based on his play. Pie in the Sky stars Dallas Texas born K Callan (Knives Out, “How I Met Your Mother”). She has a career in film, television and theater and her performance as 85-year-old Margaret is excellent. Her skills bring a very accurate portrayal of a woman facing life at this stage, knowing the end can be in sight any day. As most mothers would be, she is concerned about her daughter.

Margaret and her 65-year-old daughter Dory (Laurie O’Brien, Harry and the Hendersons, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” TV Series) live together in Abilene, Texas. The two talented actresses deliver a realistic portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship, not just any one, but that of two women who are quite independent and yet depend on each other while living as roommates.

It is Dory’s birthday and Margaret wakes up at 4am to get started on making a pie – the one made from a secret family recipe – and with all the noise from the kitchen, Dory soon joins her. Dory starts the day in an unhappy mood, but soon after the coffee is brewed, the conversation gets deep when Margaret starts to share unsolicited advice. Dory doesn’t want to hear it and Margaret is even more determined to get her points across. Margaret still wants Dory to live life to the fullest.

I do have to admit, it didn’t take long after the two women are together in the kitchen that personal memories came to mind and slowly dropped out in a tear or two. The film does feel like it is a play with only these two characters in the one setting, but that does not mean it is a bad thing. The film has a certain sense of intimacy as if the viewer is allowed to peer into the lives of these two women and then the elder achieves her goal to prepare her daughter for the next stage of her life without her.

Of note, this film has won several awards and one of them is “Best Senior Film” last year. I think that this film will be enjoyed by the AARP Movies for Grownups group, if it is screened at some point in the future. Among other notable awards are for K Callan for her acting and one for the director.

The film is scheduled to continue the festival circuit and is next set to be at the San Diego International Film Festival. For details on how to view it, visit

Source: SD Film Festival, IFS Film Festival, IMDb

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