Oliva Productions, Inc. and M.A.D. Elephant, Inc. Announce Completion of Neo-Realist Feature Film “The Shift”

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Based on Real Life and Death Stories in the Emergency Room, Film Written by and Featuring a Nurse is Slated for 2013 Release

"Imagine having someone lying in a hospital bed asking you to fight as hard as you can to save his life. Now imagine someone else begging you to have the compassion to end it for him," said Oliva

M.A.D. Elephant, Inc. and Oliva Productions, Inc. are pleased to announce the completion of motion picture “The Shift.”

Written by newcomer Leonel Oliva, a real-life nurse, the film explores life and death issues based upon Oliva’s emotional and sometimes shattering experiences in the emergency room, where the wrong decision under pressure can result in a horrific outcome.

Directed by Lee Cipolla and co-starring acclaimed actor Danny Glover, Casey Fitzgerald, Genesis Ochoa and Sara Castro, the goal of "The Shift” is to entertain, educate and inspire its audience by taking them on a roller coaster of emotions as the nurses care for each patient they receive in the emergency room.

"As filmmakers, we want to show people the serious nature of life and death decisions and how it affects the way we care for those we love," said Oliva. "Ultimately we want people to be inspired by the story and make their own decision about what they would do when faced with prospect of losing someone they love.”

Oliva spent three years developing and writing the script with a focus on authenticity and total realism. Its neo-realism style is similar to recent films, including "The Wrestler," "Sin Nombre," "Raising Victor Vargas," "Sugar" and "Blue Valentine."

Shot by a small independent film crew under the Screen Actors Guild ultra-low budget contract on location in South Florida, principal photography began in October 2011.

Instead of waiting for the perfect company to come along and pick up his script, Oliva decided to start his own production company to house the project. With a corporate structure in place, he was able to attract producers and director Cipolla to the project. One of these producers, Melanie DiPietro, has recently brought on the support of her company to aid in the production.

"The Shift" chronicles one 12-hour night shift in the ER where a veteran nurse, who struggles with the haunting guilt of his brother’s drowning, is forced to train a new nurse. The veteran nurse, Kayle (Oliva), and the new nurse, Amanda (Fitzgerald), are at odds throughout the story as they both struggle with the spiritual turmoil of what is right and wrong, and they have both come to very different conclusions.

Experienced nurse Kayle believes in doing whatever is best for the patient, even if that means letting them rest in peace. Amanda believes you should fight for each patient until all remedies are exhausted.

While Kayle and Amanda care for several patients that night, one patient, a young girl named Emily, forces both of them to question their beliefs. Emily is dying of cancer and has come to the emergency room due to another infection. The dichotomy of Emily’s bravery and her mother’s distress tugs at their heartstrings. Yet as the two nurses continue to clash, Emily’s situation suddenly becomes more serious and her life suddenly hangs in the balance. Kayle and Amanda are forced to make impossible decisions.

It all comes down to this: "Imagine having someone lying in a hospital bed asking you to fight as hard as you can to save his life. Now imagine someone else begging you to have the compassion to end it for him," said Oliva, who has faced this situation many times during his career as a registered nurse. "The ethical and moral decisions and actions we take after these pleading moments are ours and ours alone to live with.”

The film also explores another key issue in the high-intensity, high-stakes profession of nursing. Who takes care of the nurses?

"This movie is my cathartic exploration of what nurses deal with while caring for people during end of life situations. It is my tribute to all of us who work so hard for our patients, while exploring the reasons why we care and fight so much for others," Oliva said. "It is my thank you to all the nurses I've worked with, and all the patients and family members who have allowed me to share in their lives and deaths."

Particularly poignant to the film’s production was the sudden, shocking death of 28-year-old costume designer Crystal Gomes, to whom "The Shift" is dedicated.

“Like many of those who worked on the movie, our costume designer Crystal Gomes did everything she could to make this movie better than we ever imagined,” Oliva said.

Ms. Gomes passed away at her home shortly after completion of principal photography, from an underlying heart condition.


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