I had the chance to chat with actress and filmmaker Mariah Owen about her latest short film, Daddy’s Playground, which releases on No Budge this month. Focused on two sugar babies working to avenge their sugar mamas and daddies in a plan to overthrow the patriarchy this is an original short that will draw you in. I also chatted with her about some of her other upcoming projects. Thank you to Mariah Owen for answering all of my questions.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Hey! I’m Mariah and I’m an award-winning actress and filmmaker. I started my own production company when I was 21 and have had films play at some of the largest festivals in the world; SXSW, Stiges, Cannes and Fantastia to name a few. In addition to working with some of the biggest names in the biz such as Eastwood and Roberts and on projects that spark conversations around the globe. When not making movies or TV, I can be found hanging out with my dog, playing sports, being outside or volunteering.
In October your short, Daddy’s Playground, is releasing on NoBudge. How would you describe the film and what inspired it?
Daddy’s Playground is a short film that we are developing into a feature. It is a vigilante thriller about two sugar babies who attempt to overthrow the patriarchy by avenging their sugar mama’s and daddies. We will be going into production on the feature length film in 2020.
The film is actually inspired by a true story (minus the murder haha) by our two leads and co-writers, Ashley Morgan and Boni Mata. Using their insight into the Sugar world, helped create this adventurous tale that is set to initiate some interesting conversations. I think it is an awesome topic that needs to be explored as it is WAY more common than we think. Not only is this film a thrilling journey into one of the world’s most wondered activities, it sheds light on it in a way that is both engaging and chilling.
Could you describe M.F.A., the feature you produced?
M.F.A. is a vigilante thriller about campus rape starring Francesca Eastwood that premiered at SXSW. It was my first feature film and will always hold a massive piece of my heart. This film is not for the faint of heart, it raises a lot of questions about women, our bodies and our judicial system… or lack there of. This film is definitely one with a message, it blurs the lines or right and wrong and forces the viewer to really think about what they would do if they were in the same situation. It’s available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Apple TV in North America.
How did working on this project differ from Daddy’s Playground?
I actually was introduced to one of the writers and leads, Ashley Morgan by our lead in M.F.A. Francesca Eastwood who also stars in this film. Daddy’s Playground is a vigilante thriller about sugar babies attempting to overthrow the patriarchy by killing off their sugar mama’s and daddy’s in a gamified hunt. It is much more of an aesthetically driven film that sheds light on a very taboo culture group; the Sugar world. I think the biggest difference is the size of the project, it was a completely different team other than Francesca Eastwood and I. I really hope people check it out as it premieres on NoBudge on October 9th!
You also have another feature, Dance Together, set to premiere on Amazon and Super Channel, could you discuss this project?
Dance Together follows Holly, an injured dancer, and Alex a shy girl who is audio-impaired who discover that they’re more alike than they are different. Together they help each other achieve their goals. I was an Executive Producer and CMPA producing mentor on the project. It’s a really sweet film that gave me the opportunity to help out another young female-filmmaker named Kira Murphy who wrote and stars in the film.
What can you tell me about your upcoming feature, Pamela and Ivy?
All I can say right now is that it’s female driven and BADASS!
You also, very impressively, founded a production company, GTE Productions. Could you discuss the goals of your company and your current role in it?
The goal with GTE has always been to tell stories that other people weren’t. I’m currently our CEO and an Executive Producer on all projects. I really want GTE to be a filmmakers stomping grounds. Where they can come to us with a project and feel heard, seen, appreciated and given the creative support at any stage of development needed in order to see it shine. We want everyone to know that they deserve to have their stories told and that everyone deserves a seat at the table!
Do you have any other projects you’d like to discuss?
I’m in development for a feature of mine titled Grace which I wrote and will star in. In addition to a few optioned television projects (fingers crossed they’ll be green lit!) and a short film I wrote, will direct and star in called The Brunch Club.
Where can our readers keep up with you online?
Please connect with me online on Instagram and Twitter @mariahowen, Facebook.com/officialmariahowen and at www.mariahowen.com!