Joshua Powell believes adamantly in the power of film to impact society. As producer of Backlog, Powell invested all of his skill in the vision that Director Jacqueline Elyse Rosenthal had for this film. With its festival run as an official selection of the Cleveland IFF, Burbank IFF, LA Shorts, and others, Backlog has left audiences aware of and compelled to take action against injustices found in the judicial system. In the most benevolent definition of the word, this film is provocative. In the hands of talented professionals, the medium of film proves itself to be far more than simply entertaining; it is the catalyst for improving the ills allowed by a society on some of its members. As a talented filmmaker and an ally, Joshua empowered this director and film which makes another grand confrontation by placing audiences in the emotional vantage of those whom have been pushed aside. Backlog is much more than a great film; it is an important one.
As lead producer of Backlog, Joshua began collaborating with the film’s director on story development in its early stages. Because of this, he not only had a hand in shaping the story but also the insight into what manifesting it required. Running the production team, coordinating location scouting, casting sessions, transportation, lodging and meetings; all these are the less glamorous but equally vital parts of producing a film. Due to the nature of the heinous acts portrayed in Backlog, filming some scenes required a strong sense of control and sensitivity. Through the experiences of one woman who is date raped at a college party, Backlog illuminates how the justice system has allowed many perpetrators to go free. This film and its creators have placed a specific face on victims of this crime in the person of Mallory Newell (marvelously portrayed by actress Jill Renner). Mr. Powell informs, “Jacqueline was determined not to gloss over, or sugar-coat, the scene in question, and so as a Producer I went to great efforts to create an environment that would provide all the space, comfort, and leeway needed. For Jill’s (Renner) comfort and peace of mind, no male crew members were present in the location where the rape scene takes place. All preparation, Production Design, and Lighting was done ahead of time. Jill was also given a room at the location just for herself so she could prepare in private. At the safety meeting for that day, both the 1st AD and the Producers reiterated the sensitivity and vulnerability of the scene about to be shot, and encouraged any crew members who might be uncomfortable with it to stay outside. We regularly checked in with both Jill and the actor playing the assaulter to make sure they were comfortable with performing in the scene. It was a very difficult and emotionally challenging day for everyone.”
Much is made of “who” is able to tell a story in the media, both in a positive and negative light. However, instances such as this testify to the important part that a talent like Joshua Powell can have in the presentation of these types of stories. Backlog is a film that resonates when told from a female perspective, as it should be told. It also benefits greatly from the skill, talent, and understanding of its incredible producer who invested so much of himself in seeing this story reach fruition. Backlog has already been the recipient of immense praise for the story and its powerful delivery. Joshua Powell declares, “Having the opportunity to work on a film that resonated with so many people was so rewarding. Both during and after the shoot, Jacqueline told me of many people who had come to her to thank her for telling this story, and revealed their own personal experiences with the film’s subject matter.”