Topside is a riveting feature set deep in the underbelly of New York City. Underneath the streets of New York City, a five-year old girl and her mother live among a community that has claimed long-abandoned subway tunnels as home. When the pair is forced to flee above ground into a cold winter night, mother and daughter are plunged into a challenging world. City officials raid their encampment, and mother and daughter are forced “topside” into a nocturnal world that is even more chaotic, menacing and unpredictable than their subterranean routine. Topside deftly weaves escalating suspense with sharp bursts of humanity in a nocturnal urban tangle. An affecting tale of the deep love and sacrifice rooted in the parent-child bond.

Featuring an astonishing central performance by Zhaila Farmer, making her feature-film debut, filmmakers Logan George and Celine Held (who also stars as Nikki) cast a child’s-eye gaze onto two very different environments —one unspooling in muted darkness, the other in harsh and blinding light —eliciting wonder, fury and suspense out of a mother’s desperate and heartbreaking attempts to keep her child safe from harm across one frantic and frigid wintry night.

The film premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2020, taking the jury award for Best Director, and went on to play the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, where it was awarded the Mario Serandrei Award for Best Technical Achievement. Vertical Entertainment opens in select theatres and on digital and VOD platforms on Friday, March 25, 2022.


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.