Alexandra Pechman’s ‘THUMB’ To Have World Premiere At Fantasia Film Festival 2021

An infamous artist’s home becomes rife with ghostly horror in the new short film THUMB, directed by Alexandra Pechman, world premiering at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival in the “Small Gauge Trauma” shorts block on August 10th and 12th, 2021. With echoes of Gothic narratives and Giallo films, THUMB presents a chilling, female-forward look at how those close to artists try to free themselves of their influence… and their madness. Starring Kate Adams as “Thumb” (Mike Mills’ I AM EASY TO FIND, Amber Sealey’s NO MAN OF GOD) and DeMorge Brown as “Red” (THE DRESS UP GANG, CORPORATE), the 10-minute short takes an eerie, unsettling look at the intersection of art, fear, and family.


Synopsis for THUMB

Pechman, who wrote Blumhouse’s 2021 thriller TENTACLES for Hulu and has written for SyFy’s CHANNEL ZERO, makes her directing debut with this art-world-inspired mystery. THUMB opens with the recent death of a controversial performance artist, whose daughter, Thumb, has been left to care for her mother’s artistic estate…until an unexpected visitor comes to claim the most notorious work.


Pechman, a former arts writer for magazines such as Artforum, W, and Vogue, took inspiration from artists such as Chris Burden and Marina Abramovi?, who harmed themselves in their performances, as well as from famous artist estates such as the Judd Foundation. “There are so many aspects of the art world that, to me, lend themselves to horror,” Pechman explains. “The blankness of a white-cube gallery, an artist’s home left as it was when she died, artists who bleed or die for their work: they’re ideal tropes for ghost stories.”


The film’s concept came from an interview with a MoMA curator, who told Pechman about trying to gain access to a long-dead artist’s work because a sister owned the artist’s estate and forbade the art from view. “I was fascinated by the story,” Pechman explains. “Why would someone keep her family member’s legacy locked away? I tried to imagine what personal grievance could motivate her, or what horror might reside in the art itself. Maybe it was cursed.”

After an intensive research period with Adams, during which the two women crafted the story and world of THUMB, Pechman wrote the script, examining a mother-daughter relationship. The short features a female-led creative team, with Julia Swain (LUCKY, SPEED OF LIFE) as DP, Adams, and Pechman as executive producers, and producer Jesy Odio, whose Teenager Entertainment served as the production company.

THUMB screens virtually at Fantasia on August 10th at 9:30 PM EST and August 12th at 9 AM EST. Tickets on sale now: 

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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