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The Retrieval (94m, U S A) dir. by Chris Eska


Set on the outskirts of the U.S. Civil War, The Retrieval follows a fatherless 13 year-old boy sent north by his bountyhunter gang on a dangerous mission to retrieve a wanted man. During their journey towards the unwitting wanted man’s reckoning, the initially distant pair develops unexpected emotional bonds. As his feelings grow, the boy is consumed by conflicting emotions and a gut-wrenching ultimate decision.



Country: U.S.A.

World Premiere: 2013 SXSW Film Festival

Language: English

Running Time: 94 minutes

Shooting Locations:            Texas – Gonzales and Tyler Counties, Angelina National Forest and Martin Dies State Park in East Texas, historic sites near Houston, Gonzales, and Washington-On-The-Brazos, Palmetto State Park

Format: Red One camera, 1.78:1, color

Production Co: Doki-Doki Films, Arts + Labor, and Sixth Street Films

Sales/Booking Contact: Chris Eska;


On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man.



On the outskirts of the Civil War, The Retrieval follows a fatherless 13 year-old boy sent north by his bounty hunter gang on a dangerous mission to retrieve a wanted man under false pretense.  During their journey towards the unwitting man’s reckoning, the initially distant pair develops unexpected bonds.  As his feelings grow, the boy is consumed by conflicting emotions and a gut-wrenching ultimate decision: betray the father figure he’s finally found or risk being killed by his gang for insubordination.


AWARDS (only played 3 festivals so far)

SXSW Film Festival

-Special Jury Award for Best Acting


Phoenix Film Festival

-Best Ensemble Acting

-Best Directing

-Audience Award


Ashland Independent Film Festival

-Best Film



Ashton Sanders                   Will

Tishuan Scott                       Nate

Keston John                         Marcus

Bill Oberst, Jr.                       Burrell

Christine Horn                      Rachel

Alfonso Freeman                 Isaac

Jonathan Brooks                 Royce

Raven LeDeatte                   Abby



Director/Writer/Editor:          Chris Eska

Executive Producers:          Alan Berg, Tom Borders, Sibyl Avery Jackson

Producers:                          Jason Wehling, Jacob Esquivel

Cinematographer:                Yasu Tanida

Production Designer:           Caroline Karlen

Sound Designer:                  Eric Friend

Music:                                Matthew Wiedemann, Jon Attwood



Chris Eska, Writer/Director/Editor
Chris Eska was raised in the village of Ottine, Texas (pop. 98). He studied sociology and art at Rice University before attending UCLA’s MFA film directing program. His short films have screened on PBS, at the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Competition, the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase, and at film festivals worldwide. Doki-Doki, his UCLA master’s thesis film, premiered on the national PBS series Independent Lens with an introduction by Susan Sarandon. His first feature, August Evening, won the $50,000 Target Filmmaker Award was nominated for two 2008 Independent Spirit Awards, where it took home the Cassavetes Award.

Jason Wehling, Producer

Jason’s producing credits include: August Evening, awarded top prizes at the Los Angeles and Woodstock Film Festivals and winner of an Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award; the PBS doc, A Place to Dance; Paul Gordon’s 2010 SXSW and Venice Film Fest standout, The Happy Poet; Jonny Mars’ 2012 SXSW premiere America’s Parking Lot; and Spencer Parson’s 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere Saturday Morning Massacre.  He also produced the feature anthology film Fourplay, currently playing a national theatrical tour.  From 2002–2005, he served as a programmer on PBS’ Independent Lens series and he current works as a senior producer with Austin’s innovative Arts + Labor creative community production company.

Jacob Esquivel, Producer

Jacob Esquivel grew up in San Antonio, Texas and attended The University of Texas at Austin, earning his BS in Radio/Television/Film in 2005. Along with a few other members of The Retrieval crew, he worked on Eska’s first feature, August Evening, as the film’s location sound recordist. Currently based out of Los Angeles, Jacob has worked on the production side of commercials, music videos and independent features.

Alan Berg, Executive Producer
An award-winning documentary filmmaker and native Texan, Alan co-founded Arts+Labor in 2004 with his wife, Kristin Johansen-Berg. His films have screened at Cannes, SXSW, and The Los Angeles Film Festival, and he’s had two documentaries nationally distributed by PBS. He has won more than twenty state and national awards for his reporting and worked on the PBS Best Practices in Journalism project. Alan has also taught reporting and long-form narrative storytelling at the University of Texas.

Tom Borders, Executive Producer
Tom Borders received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. from the University of Michigan. He was co-founder and former CEO of Borders Books Shop, Inc. He is currently President of Sixth Street Films Inc. Borders is a Director of the Bank of Ann Arbor and is on the Board of Directors of the Tapestry Foundation. He is former Chair of the Harry Ransom Center Advisory Council, and has been a member of the Council for ten years.

Sibyl Avery Jackson, Executive Producer
Sibyl Avery Jackson is an author/screenwriter and a member of the Writers Guild of America West. She has vast experience as a writer, editor, researcher, public and media relations specialist in the corporate/private sectors, as well as in public television and radio. Her background also includes being a researcher and editor at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, and a spokesperson for one of the largest wireless service providers where, in addition to public and media relations, she also developed and managed government relations and corporate giving. The latter experience inspired Sibyl to write an award-winning suspense/thriller novel, Degree of Caution. She has been active for many years in securing funding for various projects and has served on several boards, including the Houston Museum of African American Culture. Sibyl has a B.A. in English from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Alfred.

Yasu Tanida, Director of Photography
Named in the 2010 International Cinematographer Guild’s Generation Next 5 DP’s Under 35 and Variety’s 2008 Top 10 Cinematographers to Watch lists, Yasu Tanida brings his unique style to every production. Yasu shot two seasons of the single camera style TV series “The Wannabes Starring Savvy” for the Starz Network. He also just wrapped the A&E pilot directed by Joe Carnahan, “Those Who Kill” starring Chloe Sevigny, a coming of age film with director Quentin Lee, “White Frog”, and his feature starring Zoe Saldana, “The Heart Specialist” just came out on over 500 screens. He is currently shooting his second collaboration with Joe Carnahan on the NBC pilot, “The Blacklist” in New York.

Caroline Karlen, Production Designer
Caroline Karlen has worked as a costume designer and production designer on numerous feature films (GRETCHEN, THE HAPPY POET, LOVERS OF HATE, FOURPLAY, SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE, THE BOUNCEBACK) and music videos (ARCADE FIRE, HERMAN DUNE). She has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Matt Wiedemann, Original Score
Matthew Wiedemann is an Austin, Texas based composer. He has a degree in music composition from The University of Texas, and has written three full-length feature film scores, music for national ad campaigns (Schick, Toyota), underscores for TV shows on Fox and MTV, and instrumental tracks with Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, The Flatlanders). In the music technology arena, he has written articles in Keyboard Magazine and worked with artists ranging from Stevie Wonder to The Smashing Pumpkins. He continues to perform with Austin-based singer-songwriters and compose for visual media.

Jon Attwood, Original Music

Guitarist, keyboardist, composer and programmer originally from Essex (UK), now living in Leicestershire (UK). He started as a punk musician, and in 1996 he started to record solo work under the name Yellow6 with his first release in 1998. Till now he is still composing minimal atmospheric music.


Tishuan Scott, Nate

Tishuan was born October 27, 1979 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA where he matriculated towards earning his Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Psychology. He then attended the University of California – Los Angeles School of Theater, Film & Television where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Acting. Tishuan can currently be seen in Andrew Bujalski’s film COMPUTER CHESS as Ghanaian Guru, Keneiloe, and in his SXSW 2013 Special Jury Recognition for Acting performance of NATE in Chris Eska’s Civil War Western, THE RETRIEVAL.

Ashton Sanders, Will
Ashton has performed in the theatre since the age of eight years old.  His experience includes lead roles at the Los Angeles Theater, Nate Holden Performing arts Center and Central Los Angeles High School of performing Arts in several productions: Footloose, Dream Girls, Moon Over Buffalo, Crucible, La Lorona, Peter Pan, Westside Story, SARAFINA, Life Isn’t A Game, It’s raining Cats and Dogs, Stomp the Schoolyard, A Soulful Christmas, Beauty & the BEAST…Too, The Journey Continues and It’s a Beautiful Life.  Ashton continues to receive professional training in acting, voice and dance at Amazing Grace Conservatory under Wendy Raquel Robinson and Central Los Angeles High School of Visual and performing Arts.

Keston John, Marcus

Keston John trained at the University Of Central Florida Conservatory Theatre, where he graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Acting. John is based in Los Angeles, where he works in the film, television, and commercial worlds – including recurring roles on “24” and “Lincoln Heights”.

Bill Oberst, Jr. Burrell
Bill Oberst Jr. has been a working actor for 16 years, the first 12 on the east coast stage. His Jesus Of Nazareth played 1,100 venues, and his portrayal of John F. Kennedy in JFK toured 20 states and the Kennedy Library. Since moving to LA in 2008 he has amassed 96 film and TV credits including lead roles in the award-winning docudrama Sherman’s March, The Hallmark Channel movie The Shunning and a multitude of independent films.  In 2012 Bill’s performances were recognized with a Daytime Emmy Award, a Golden Cob Award for Best Rising B-Movie Actor and the Shockfest International Film Festival’s Best Actor Award.

Christine Horn, Rachel
Christine Horn is actress, producer, director and singer/songwriter. She has performed with the Broadway, Las Vegas and both US National Touring companies of Disney’s “The Lion King” and has extensive regional theatre credits. Most recent film credits include: “Blood Done Sign My Name” and “Stomp The Yard.”  In addition to acting, Christine runs her own record label and production company, (Chocolate Superstar Productions) and is currently working on her 3rdstudio CD release and a children’s cooking show.

Alfonso Freeman, Isaac
Alfonso Freeman is an accomplished actor, singer, and voiceover artist with twenty years in the industry. He is known for his starring role in the cult film, Ten ‘til Noon. He has also starred in a number of films and television shows, most notably, his starring role alongside Jack Nicholson and Alfonso’s father, Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List. Currently you can hear Alfonso as the international voice of the Uncle Ben’s products. He can also be seen in a number of and high profile commercials across America.



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