(Release Info London schedule; December 11th, 2020, Curzon Viktoria, 58 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 6QW, United Kingdom)
In the terrifying thriller "Songbird", 'The COVID-23' virus has mutated, and the world is in it's fourth year of lockdown. Infected Americans are ripped from their homes and forced into quarantine camps known as 'Q-Zones', from which there's no escape, as a few brave souls fight back against the forces of oppression. Amid this dystopian landscape, a fearless courier, Nico (KJ Apa), who's immune to the deadly pathogen, finds hope and love with Sara (Sofia Carson), though her lockdown prohibits them from physical contact. When Sara is believed to have become infected, Nico races desperately across the barren streets of Los Angeles in search of the only thing that can save her from imprisonment; or worse.
In 2024, during the COVID-23 pandemic, the wealthy continue to live comfortable, privileged lives, while the rest of the world suffers. The haves in "Songbird" are 'The Griffins'; William (Bradley Whitford) and Piper (Demi Moore); whose wealth protects them from the everyday terrors of a raging pandemic. But it doesn’t shield them from marital discord, betrayal, and corruption. William is a morally bankrupt showbiz guy, a music executive. How horrible it would be to be in a dead relationship, and stuck together, when the world suddenly shuts down. It would be excruciating for those involved, and that’s what’s going on with William and Piper. 'The Griffins' are a wealthy couple who may hold the key to Nico’s mission. William is involved in a furtive affair, if you can call it that, with a wannabe singer, May (Alexandra Daddario). With her career going nowhere, thanks to the virus. May must resort to singing online to a coterie of fans from her seedy motel room. One of May’s most appreciative fans is Michael Dozer (Paul Walter Hauser), a disabled veteran who’s isolated in his own small apartment. Dozer doesn’t know much about life outside the military, but he's accustomed to loneliness.
He has a lot of self-doub and feels he has little to offer anyone else. So, Dozer uses his only friend, a drone he named Max, to help deliver packages and keep a watchful eye on the road warrior couriers. Max is Nico's best friend, his eyes and ears to a world that has left him behind. Max is Dozer’s person until he makes a surprising connection with May. Dozer’s and Nico’s boss, Lester (Craig Robinson), is the owner of a fulfillment operation that supplies both necessary and luxury items to those who can afford them. Lester has some rich clients, and some shady stuff goes on with them. Lester is terrified of the virus, so he goes to extreme lengths to stay disease-free, even donning a full Hazmat suit when he goes outside his warehouse while using a flamethrower to sterilize discarded packaging. While Lester, and much of the rest of the world, are terrified of the silent plague, those select few who've immunity enjoy unrestricted privileges and access. Some, like the city’s sanitation engineer (Peter Storemare), take it to the next level, accumulating unlimited power. He's is the corrupt head of the city’s sanitation department, which seizes those infected and transports them to 'The Q-Zone'.
The first feature film to be made during 'COVID-19' in Los Angeles, and about the pandemic itself. What does a plague-ridden Los Angeles look like in the year 2024? It’s pretty empty, grungy, and nature is slowly taking over. You can see through the city’s fragility; it’s degrading little by little due to the pandemic and being unable to sustain itself. Opportunistic footage has a privileged point of view into the world of the characters, but it’s not intrusive. It has a production scale that you can never recreate because the film captures what's taking place outside of our doors. "Songbird" is a scary, hypothetical look into our future. The film depicts increasing isolation, militarized enforcement, fear and loss. It also champions values like love, courage, bravery and compassion. It's ultimate message is one of human redemption and hope. Set in Los Angeles, four years in the future, 'The Covid Virus' has mutated, culminating in a more infectious and deadlier strain; 'COVID-23'. Lockdowns are now mandatory, curfews, food shortages, and broken supply chains are a fact of life. It’s what we think would happen if the lockdown we experienced continued for another few years. But at the film’s heart, "Songbird" is a love story about two people who can’t be together; star-crossed lovers who must figure a way out of their dire circumstances to be together. It has all the thrills of a popcorn movie, but with a lot of heart and relatability.
But the film not just trying to scare audiences; it's a film that will have audiences root for the heroes, hiss the villains, and realize that we’re all in this together. It’s not a dark or bleak story. "Songbird" is about the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It has scope and scale, is deeply romantic, and is, in the grand tradition of 'Hollywood', making movies about momentous and dangerous times. Movies can sometimes be escapism, or hold a magnifying glass to the world we’re living in. We're completely immersed and lost in this world of "Songbird" so that every emotion is palpable and real. Limitations can foster ingenuity and this film is certainly rich with ingenuity. It’s a time capsule of the world we’re living in right now. But most of all, the film wants to be an entertaining, action-packed love story that takes audiences on a ride.