The Frontier

Sean, a retired literature professor and civic activist, writes a letter to his estranged son, Tennessee, a ranch hand. Tennessee is uncertain how to respond, but knowing he should see his aging father, he decides to go home. Tennessee arrives just as Nina, Seanʼs personal trainer fresh off a bad breakup, accepts Seanʼs offer to move in and help him write his memoirs. The tension between Sean and Tennessee is ever-present. As Sean and Nina work, Tennessee avoids his overbearing father with fix-up projects around the house. One evening after Nina has gone out, Sean and Tennessee find themselves alone in the house for the first time.

  • Matt Rabinowitz
  • Carlos Colunga
  • Matt Rabinowitz
  • Jeffry A. DeCola
  • Max Gail
    Key Cast
    42, Barney Miller
  • Coleman Kelly
    Key Cast
  • Anastassia Sendyk
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Narrative
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 29 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 13, 2013
  • Production Budget:
    200,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SXSW
    Austin, TX
    March 7, 2014
    World Premiere
  • Silver Springs International Film Festival
    Ocala, FL
    April 4, 2014
    Best Feature
  • Massachusetts Independent Film Festival
    Boston, Mass
    August 6, 2014
    Max Gail - Best Actor Feature
  • Phoenix Film Festival
    Scottsdale, AZ
    April 3, 2014
Director Biography - Matt Rabinowitz

Matt Rabinowitz is co-owner of Itʼs Terrific Pictures. His directing experience includes the documentaries WEST OF THE WORLD on the band Infantree, and THE RIDES about the titular rock group, plus music videos for several bands including Infantree and Everest.

His work as a cinematographer includes Neil Young’s Kickstarter campaign for Pono Music for which he interviewed Steve Martin, Jack White, T Bone Burnett, Marcus Mumford, Mo Ostin and the Foo Fighters.

Rabinowitz is also a working actor with upcoming roles in Paul Thomas Anderson's INHERENT VICE and an untitled Cameron Crowe feature opening Christmas Day 2014. His past acting work includes roles in Jonathan Demmeʼs RACHEL GETTING MARRIED and Cameron Croweʼs ELIZABETHTOWN. He attended The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles.

He is currently in pre-production on his second feature film, THE SELLOUTS.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

THE FRONTIER is a film about communication. Or mostly at times, lack thereof. Itʼs also a film about fathers and sons, young love, disappointments and triumphs. Itʼs a film about life. These are all important themes to me so when it came time to make my first feature I threw everything at the wall to see what would stick. wrote the film with my friend Carlos Colunga, we were both at similar points in our lives where we were fed up with working on other peopleʼs passion projects and wanted something of our own. We gathered in coffee shops and apartments and had long discussions on the human condition, eventually the characters and plotting of THE FRONTIER popped out at us. We didnʼt really even notice it happen, one day they were just there.

Iʼve known Max Gail since as long as I can remember. I was best friends with his daughter in kindergarten, and Max would drive us home after school. Even at a young age I loved his work, mostly through watching reruns of Barney Miller on Nick at Nite. So decades later when it came time to cast the character of Sean, an aging former professor whose opinions and vociferousness can sometimes get him into trouble, I called Max and asked him to please give the script a look. Thankfully, he agreed to join our eager team. Working with Max was great and he brought so much richness and life to the character, I donʼt know what we would have done without him and his contributions.

Shooting an independent film is of course difficult; shooting one on a shoestring budget seems impossible at times, especially if youʼve never directed a feature film before. We had 18 days and somehow got everything we wanted, it would have been nice to have more time, but we made use of what we had. Needless to say, I learned a lot.

Tim Mirkovich is our amazing editor; he opened my eyes in so many different ways to the magic of editing. Whether it was recontextualizing scenes or simplifying scenes that didnʼt need quite so much exposition, Tim was a master at work and watching him do his thing was an absolute pleasure.

Making a film is one of the most rewarding, invigorating, confusing, dispiriting, euphoric, exhausting, gleeful experiences Iʼve had so far in life, and hopefully all that is captured in THE FRONTIER. I canʼt wait to do it all again.

-Matt Rabinowitz