Between Worlds: An interview with powerhouse director — Maria Pulera

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Between Worlds opens with iconic actor Nicolas Cage in a super fun character performance and the excellent and vulnerable Franka Potente  — directed by Maria Pulera. Check it out!

1428 Elm interviewed the multi-talented Maria Pulera, who wrote and directed Between Worlds, a thriller with paranormal elements released at Cannes this year. Being a huge fan of women directing and writing their own films, I was particularly giddy about speaking with the inspiring artist.

In addition to Between Worlds, Marie Pulera directed the 2016 film Falsely Accused starring Rosanna Arquette, a story about a woman who hunts down a murderer to clear her good name. Pulera creates stories with strong women who contend with a difficult world, but who somehow manage to survive and even…win.

Between Worlds is a mystery thriller about the loss of loved ones, magic, healing, trust issues, and dope women in their 40’s dating men — who may or may not be good for them— starring Nicolas Cage, Franka Potente, Penelope Mitchell, and Lydia Hearst, produced by Pulera, Eric Banoun, and David Hillary.

Julie, played by the superb Franka Potente, is a psychically gifted woman, who can travel to the world beyond death, but after a strange incident she accidentally brings ‘something’ back. And that ‘something’ proves to be a pretty terrible ‘something.’

Between Worlds- Courtesy of Rise Up

Joe, played by Nicolas Cage, is a bereaved trucker who lost his wife and daughter; he helps Julie after saving her from a creepy situation and they begin a relationship that’s troubled by the paranormal. In many ways, this felt like a horror film for mothers, without giving anything away — the most horrible thing a woman could imagine happening with her new boyfriend — happens.

Nicolas Cage gives a fun performance as Joe, his character is a sad, lovable slob with secret abs trying his best to get by after the loss of his family. But I really felt for Julie, who is a serious woman in a bizarre situation, but she handles her struggles with dignity: what else can you do when horrible things manipulate those around you with lies and tricks?

Also: the film has a lot of campy sex scenes involving poetry and booze and tattoos galore, and a scene with a water hose, so get ready for it!

Fascinated with the Afterlife

1428 Elm: I saw that you were both the writer and director of Between Worlds. What inspired you to write the story?

Maria Pulera: Fascinated by the afterlife, and years of exploring mediums; there was a medium who came to the set. I’ve had fascination with the other side, and everyone has the ultimate fantasy of bringing someone back that you love, but here we end up bringing the wrong person back, it’s a story between worlds.