Michael Glover Smith’s ‘Handle with Care’ Wins Top Honors in Florence

HANDLE WITH CARE, a new short film written and directed by Michael Glover Smith (MERCURY IN RETROGRADE), has won the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival‘s “Best of Show” award, its top honor, following the world premiere in Florence, Alabama on February 29. Described in a director’s statement as Smith’s “most autobiographical film to date,” the 8-minute romantic dramedy stars Alyssa Thordarson (AFTER: A LOVE STORY) and Mickey O’Sullivan (CHICAGO PD) as a woman and man who go on a blind date, both for the first time in years. According to the official synopsis, “Each faces the dilemma of how open and honest they should be.”

Here’s a sneak peek at the film courtesy of production stills from Smith and his team…

Busy Spring Ahead

This festival win kicks off a busy spring for Smith: HANDLE WITH CARE will have its Illinois premiere at the Afterimage Film Festival in St. Charles, New York premiere at New York CineFest in Hell’s Kitchen and Wisconsin premiere at the Beloit International Film Festival. Exact dates and times for each screening are TBA but all will occur in April and Smith is expected to be present for each. Additionally, Music Box Films recently announced it would be distributing Smith’s most recent feature, RELATIVE, on streaming and VOD platforms beginning in May. This follows a lengthy roadshow theatrical tour across North American theaters in 2022-2023. 

Smith spoke about this flurry of activity to SCREEN: “It was thrilling to return to the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival after five years and be included in a lineup of such great films and meet a bunch of interesting filmmakers. Winning an award was just the icing on the cake. I think this bodes well for a strong festival run and I’m excited to share HANDLE WITH CARE with audiences in St. Charles, Beloit and New York City very soon. I’m also grateful to Music Box Films for acquiring RELATIVE and making it available to an even wider audience. It’s an exciting time for indie filmmaking in Chicago.”

For the latest news on his various film projects, follow Smith’s official Instagram page.

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