Tara Westwood’s OSCAR® qualified short TRIGGERED questions senseless acts of gun violence

TRIGGERED directed by Tara Westwood tells the story of Ohio (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and Virginia (Caitlin Mehner), two people who have lost family members to tragic and senseless incidents of gun violence. After succumbing to their grief, they seek retribution against an influential senator (Tara Westwood) and her husband David (Robert John Burke), whom they hold responsible for their loss. 

A US Senator faces her greatest challenge when a home invasion takes a shocking turn.

After screening at HollyShorts, this important film will now screen in New York Indie Shorts Awards, Woodstock Film Festival and will be considered for an Academy Award®.

Director Tara Westwood (THE GRUDGE, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, FBI) has the ‘Untitled Gerard Butler Action Thriller’ coming out in 2023. She has produced the television pilots HIT MAN and HUDSON FALLS and TRIGGERED is her directorial debut. This talented director shares “The U.S. averages more than one mass shooting a day. Gun violence is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is an American one. I hope that TRIGGERED galvanizes the conversation on the importance of gun violence prevention.”  

The stellar cast includes Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Da 5 Bloods, Your Honor, The Wire), Caitlin Mehner (Dopesick, East New York, Ocean’s 8). Robert John Burke, (Law & Order Special Victim’s Unit, Boston Strangler, Rescue Me,) and Tara Westwood (Fleishman Is In Trouble, The Grudge, FBI).

The film is also Executive Produced by the writer Thomas C. Dunn (Assassin Club, The Body Tree, Stevie). Triggered is produced by Nick Goldfarb (The Informer, Opposite Field), Elias Plagianos (Hit Man, Hudson Falls) Tara Westwood and co-produced by Marie Therese Guirgis (Summer of Soul, MLK/FBI, Keep the Lights On).

The stunning cinematography was created by Edd Lukas (Whiplash (short), Shriver, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase), whilst the film was composed by The Newton Brothers (The Haunting of Hill House, X-Men 97).

John Leguizamo(The Menu, Latin History for Morons) who serves as Executive Producer shares “TRIGGERED is exceptional in that it doesn’t preach and never hits you over the head with a message – but I don’t know how anyone can watch it and not agree that we need to do things differently. Most Americans, even NRA members, already support basic changes such as improved background checks and this is a conversation that we must have. I’m so excited to be a part of this powerful piece directed and starring Tara Westwood.” 

TRIGGERED premiered at Cleveland International Film Festival, then played at Tribeca and went on to win Best Drama Short and Best Performance in a Short for Isiah Whitlock Jr. at Cordillera International Film Festival.  

The OSCAR® live action shortlist will be announced on December 21st.

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