Doom and gloom are on the way. The Y2K apocalypse can't be stopped. Abbie's older brother issues him the ultimate challenge before it goes down: beat the infamous level 256 in Pac-Man and no getting up from the couch until he does so. Abbie’s survival story begins here; inside a rotting living room with no food or water, and a revolving door of numb-nut friends and acquaintances. It’s THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL by way of SLACKER.
Joshua Burge - Abbie
RELAXER is Joshua Burge’s third collaboration with Joel Potrykus, following APE (2012) and BUZZARD (2014), the latter of which made its world premiere at SXSW. Joshua has since appeared in THE REVENANT opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN opposite Greta Gerwig, and the upcoming BURDEN opposite Garrett Hedlund, which won the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
David Dastmalchian - Cam
Originally from Kansas, David Dastmalchian moved to Chicago to study acting at The Theater School, DePaul University. He made his feature film debut as the Joker’s deranged henchman, "Thomas Schiff," in Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT. He has gone on to work with number of acclaimed directors (like Joel Potrykus).
He was recently seen in BLADE RUNNER: 2049 as "Coco," directed by Denis Villeneuve. Villeneuve also cast David alongside Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in PRISONERS as the troubled "Bob Taylor." Dastmalchian was also seen recently on the critically acclaimed return to David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS.
In 2015, Dastmalchian portrayed Paul Rudd's sidekick "Kurt" in Peyton Reed's ANT-MAN. He returns to the role in 2018's ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. Other notable film appearances include THE BELKO EXPERIMENT, SUSHI GIRL, and Cannes Best Screenplay winner CHRONIC with Tim Roth, which was written and directed by Michel Franco. TV credits include "Abra Kadabra" on THE FLASH (CW), "Dwight Pollard" on GOTHAM, and as "Murdoc" on the hit CBS series MACGYVER. Upcoming film appearances include the Netflix horror film BIRD BOX alongside Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes, the drama A MILLION LITTLE PIECES with Billy Bob Thornton, and MADNESS IN THE METHOD with Jay Mewes and Kevin Smith.
As a writer, David won the Special Jury Prize at SXSW for his film ANIMALS (2015) and is currently in post-production on ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW, which he wrote and stars alongside Karen Gillan (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, DR. WHO, JUMANJI).
Andre Hyland - Dallas
Rolling Stone magazine named Andre Hyland’s 2014 short film FUNNEL one of the “12 Must-See Sundance Successes.” Hyland returned to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with his first feature length film, THE 4TH.
He has created, directed, and starred in projects for FOX and Comedy Central that were produced by Bob Odenkirk and Andy Samberg’s The Lonely Island, as well as numerous segments for MTV, Adult Swim, and Funny or Die. Currently, Hyland is directing season two of Tru-TV's JON GLASER LOVES GEAR.
Hyland's films and live performances are a regular fixture at Los Angeles's alternative comedy venues. His street artwork has also been exhibited in association with London’s ICA, MASS MoCA, and Cincinnati’s CAC.
Hyland is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles and New York City.
Jan Bijvoet - Theo
Jan Bijvoet was born in Antwerp in 1966. He has been one of the artistic directors and actors of the Antarctica Theater since 2005. He has also performed in film and television, guest-starring in a number of series. He has starred in the films AD FUNDUM, THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN (Academy® Award nominee), and BORGMAN (Official Selection – Competition, Cannes 2013). In 2007, he was nominated for the Flemish Culture Award of Scenic Arts. Referring to the German explorer who was the inspiration for his character, he reflects that even though Grünberg tried to integrate with the native people, he could not let go of his white spirit. “He had the western way of thinking, and he wanted to carry hundreds of things to study. Love is possession, too. He is also afraid of death. He doesn’t understand why, but it’s because deep down, he is a materialist since his formation, even though he tries to drift away from it.”
Brionne Davis - Evan
Brionne Davis was born in Texas and started acting at a very early age, playing Tom Sawyer. He has starred and taken leading roles in more than 30 independent feature length and short films and television series, including REST STOP: DON’T LOOK BACK (2008), DOROTHY AND THE WITCHES OF OZ (2012), Pandemic (2007), NARCISSIST (2014), SAVAGED (2013), and HOLIDAYS WITH HEATHER (2006). In New York, Brionne starred in the Theatre Row adaptation of Sam Shepard’s “True West.” He has appeared in many theater productions all across the country, including “Wallenburg” at the Soho Playhouse, “A Noble Exile” in Los Angeles and “Nueva York,” a one-man show that he wrote ￼ and produced, inspired by the writings of Tennessee Williams. Davis’ character “Evan” in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT was inspired by the great botanist and explorer Richard Evans Schultes, and he feels close to him in his love of and search for plants and nature.
Antonio Bolívar Savador - Old Karamakate
Antonio Bolívar Salvador is one of the last survivors of the Ocaina people. He resides near Leticia and has had some previous experiences in filmmaking, but he prefers not to speak about them because he feels that they were disrespectful to his culture. Besides playing one of the main characters, he also served as interpreter for the Tikuna, Cubeo, Huitoto languages and even English, as he became the teacher of the international actors. He represents the best of the Amazonian people: willing to trust foreigners, to transmit their knowledge and thankful to be treated respectfully. That’s the most important aspect of the film to him: “It is a film that shows the Amazon, the lungs of the world, the greater purifying filter and the most valuable of indigenous cultures. That is its greatest achievement.”
Nilbio Torres - Young Karamakate
Nilbio Torres has never set foot in a gym; his amazing physique has been sculpted by the hardships of the jungle and the hard work he’s done since he was little. The 30- year-old has only worked in agriculture and this is his first experience with the cinema. He has a hard time expressing himself in Spanish, as he speaks mostly Cubeo. But he manages to find words to tell what this experience has meant to him. He feels the film is faithful to the story of his ancestors. “What Ciro is doing with this film is an homage to the memory of our elders, in the time before: the way the white men treated the natives, the rubber exploitation. I’ve asked the elders how it was and it is as seen in the film, that’s why we decided to support it. For the elders and myself it is a memory of the ancestors and their knowledge.”
Yauenkü Miguee - Manduca
Yauenkü Miguee was born and raised in Nazareth, a Tikuna community of the Amazon, 26 years ago. He is now a student of physical education in Bogotá and is about to achieve his greatest goal: to become a professional. He defines his participation in the film as a new experience in his life, this time from the field of art and corporal expression, which reinforced his thinking and showed him how to see life from different perspectives. He believes this film should be shared not only with the people of the locations, but all across the country, with all the indigenous peoples in Leticia and the Amazon, with the leaders, in schools and universities. He is the voice of many Manducas, a voice that, far away from the so-called civilization, cries out for a more civilized attitude towards Colombia’s indigenous communities.
Joel Potrykus - Writer/Director
American writer/director Joel Potrykus lives in Grand Rapids, MI, hanging with his film band, Sob Noisse. His work has premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, and have screened at the Lincoln Center and the MoMa. He teaches filmmaking at Michigan State University and believes in Bigfoot.
Ashley Young - Producer
Ashley Young is a producer from Grand Rapids, Michigan, best known for her work with director Joel Potrykus. Their debut feature APE won Best New Director at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival and was released by Factory 25. She went on to produce features BUZZARD (SXSW, 2014), THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK (SXSW, 2016), and the most recent film, RELAXER (SXSW, 2018), all distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Adam Minnick - Director of Photography
Adam J. Minnick is an American Cinematographer who resides in Austin, Texas, and is known for his work on BUZZARD (2014), THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK (2016), and ACTOR MARTINEZ (2016). Minnick studied Photography (B.F.A.) at Colorado State University and later continued working in motion pictures beginning with long-time friend and creative collaborator, Joel Potrykus (director).
Mike Saunders - Production Designer
Mike Saunders is a producer and art director best known for his work with director Joel Potrykus and Sob Noisse. He teaches at West Michigan Center of Arts and Technology (WMCAT) and works with high school students on Documentary film projects such as RHYTHM AND RACE, A HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSIC IN GRAND RAPIDS (2017). Outside of film, he is also passionate about music and is a co-founder of The Grand Rapids Soul Club.