Teaser Trailer for Dystopian Thriller 'Level 16' Playing at Fantastic Fest

September 21, 2018
Source: YouTube

Level 16 Trailer

"All your training has lead up to this moment." The first teaser trailer has arrived for a dystopian thriller titled Level 16, which is premiering at Fantastic Fest starting this week (and it will play the Vancouver Film Festival next in October). Here's the pitch: The teenage girls of Vestalis Academy are meticulously trained in the art of being "clean girls," practicing the virtues of perfect femininity. What exactly are they being trained for? Vivien intends to find out. Katie Douglas stars as Vivien, with a cast including Celina Martin, Sara Canning, Peter Outerbridge, Amalia Williamson, Kate Vickery, and Kiana Madeira. This is a very short trailer, but there's some intriguing footage in here. Plenty of mysterious "what's going on?" scenes and more. I'm curious to hear the initial reactions about this out of the festivals, maybe there is something to it.

Here's the first teaser trailer for Danishka Esterhazy's Level 16, direct from YouTube (via Quiet Earth):

Level 16 Movie

Sixteen-year-old Vivien (Katie Douglas) is trapped in The Vestalis Academy, a prison-like boarding school, keeping to herself and sticking her neck out for no one. Until she is reunited with Sophia -- the former friend who betrayed her. Together the girls embark on a dangerous search to uncover the horrifying truth behind their imprisonment. Soon running for their lives, the girls must save themselves or die trying. Level 16 is both written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Danishka Esterhazy, of the films Endings, Black Field, Suddenly Ever After, The Trials of Rasputin, and H&G previously, as well as a number of shorts. This is premiering at Fantastic Fest this month, then playing at the Vancouver Film Festival next. Level 16 has no other release dates yet, it's still searching for a distributor. Stay tuned. First impression? Who's interested?

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Dystopia is just a fear of utopia. Just like the feminism can be a fear from man. That's how shallow this looks ...

shiboleth on Sep 21, 2018


Those viewpoints sound way more reductionist and shallow than the trailer, shiboleth. I see promise in the teaser we've been given: the cinematography looks good; the tone is coherent... but only a proper full trailer will allow me to decide whether to keep an eye out for it.

Terry Craig on Sep 21, 2018


That's what I said, dystopia is reductionist and shallow and that's what this trailer shows, nothing more. As for the longer, or, proper full trailer, I have my doubts in anything new or better. Of course, I'll join you in belief for something better. But the cinematography and the tone look more like a good exercise in form, which is much less than a good film. It is even reductionist view, I might dare myself to say ...

shiboleth on Sep 26, 2018


I was talking about your inept critique of feminism as "fear from man," unless that was not meant to reflect your viewpoint? Anyway, I don't see what makes dystopias different from utopias in terms of reductionism; just two sides of a coin. If you don't like either, sci-fi probably isn't for you, mate, and you should've passed on this trailer from the start.

Terry Craig on Oct 1, 2018


Simply, dystopias are unaccomplished utopias and generally overemphasizing style over substance, more or less pure aestheticism while utopia is more comprehensive in relating both of those things, producing much more than a form. So, not the same coin since dystopia is only half way on the way to become an utopia. There's nothing to like or dislike there, that's just what those things are. As for the feminism, just like with so many things, there's hardly ineptness of critique. For many, feminism has started in an atmosphere where feminism itself was considered to be inept. Not any more, right? And of course, nowadays, there's no feminism, only so many feminisms and some of them give a lot of effort to present themselves as a 'fear from mean'. And yes, that's a critique, and a legitimate one. All you said about it, which is nothing, is more inept than what I did. I'm not a feminist, but I'm much less anti-feminist and I think that many feminisms look too much as some inarticulate essentialism nowadays, nothing more and therefore deserve criticism of all kinds ...

shiboleth on Oct 4, 2018


I understand your viewpoint regarding dystopias better now, and it's a fair viewpoint. It necessitates an optimistic outlook on the world, and/but(?) I cannot argue against it. You're right about the aestheticism aspect, too. However, I do think that utopias make for less interesting stories than dystopias, and I'd say that the latter is often more relevant; people do live in bad conditions, and a dystopia can point out the things that lead to such conditions, or even point out that they are bad in the first place. Utopias on the other hand tend to overlook the repercussions of their vision, so my own opinion remains unchanged on whether one is better than the other (they both have their place). Ironically, what you are saying about feminism is a rather dystopian view. Just because there's many feminisms and some may be misguided, it would be unwise to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I do, however, understand better why you would've reacted with a comment like that under this trailer.

Terry Craig on Oct 10, 2018


But I don't see these two parts, utopia and dystopia, divided or separated. They come together in my view. My problem with dystopia is that it comes usually separated, apart from utopia. Utopias themselves come almost bland without dystopian element, in my view. The tension between those two is the only productive thing since each of them is somehow emptied of their possibilities. If you have only dystopia, then you have only bland reaffirmation of existing conditions, troublesome and tedious in many aspects where nothing ever change (which is what we mostly get in films these days), but, on the other side, if you have only utopia, all you have is just blindness of sunny and shining perspective without the foundation related to mentioned conditions. However, in other words, that might be also what you are saying, so up to some point, I might start to agree with you. Same works for feminism, it's welcomed sensibility in our world (nobody reasonable accepts the violence to women, or based on sex and gender), but I think it deals only with parts of it. It overessentialize one thing and looses the perspective where it relates itself with others. So, I think that perspective of feminism should be broadened and not suspended at all. That's why I think criticism is necessary. So, what do you say, are there some perspectives that we could agree on? Cheers ...

shiboleth on Oct 13, 2018

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