Featured Short

The Cage

A young man’s survival on North Philly’s streets entangle him with violence, anger, and death.

A film that depicts shear cinematic brilliance, created by Ricky Staub, founder of the critically-acclaimed Neighborhood Film Co. notoriously known for its commercial work, but also brought us the memorable narrative ‘Carved in Mayhem‘. Capturing the raw authenticity of North Philly streets, we are carried through a young man’s survival with a vivid melange of realistic and metaphorical pictures, the entangling of violence, anger, and death.

An honest picture of redemption in the face of overwhelming darkness.

The Cage is a tribute to second chances, to the profound transformation that can come from one kid deciding to walk toward the good, even when society has labeled him the opposite. The cast of this film – people from my own neighborhood in North Philly – are very connected to the vulnerability and suffering at the heart of the film. They were so present and so honest. They had an almost childlike playfulness about getting into character.

Despite some picture perfect and inspiring cinematography, along with some rather impressive visual effects (credit to Jeremy Fernsler, the celebrated digital compositor behind films like The Girl on the Train and The Road), the film’s biggest surprise comes through the incredible performances from the cast, all non-actors from the North Philly neighborhood. An asset that truly helped Ricky achieve the rawness and authenticity of the story he was trying to tell.

With The Cage, Staub and everyone involved in the film were driven by their belief in the story’s inherent message and desire to make something beautiful together. Their process ultimately mirrored the film itself: artful, deliberate, and the product of genuine community.

We highly encourage you to watch The Making of The Cage below, which is a true and bonus treat for filmmakers!

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