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YELLOW BIRD is a comedy drama workplace feature film.

A story about searching for happiness


In the style of The Office and Schitt’s Creek, comes a fun new comedy about searching for happiness, “Yellow Bird.” This heart-felt film, set in a small country-town grocery store named "The Yellow Bird," is centered around once successful PR specialist, Jake (Angus Benfield), now a stock boy in his mid-forties, struggling with his sobriety, and his conscience in the guise of a gnome (Brian Doyle-Murray) who is determined to remind Jake of all his failings, including his marriage.


Jake’s mother, Rachel Rush (Kathy Garver), is struggling with Alzheimer's and is living in an RV, Rachel is holding onto a past she remembers as much more adventurous and exciting than this life, and is determined to find it once again, and Scotty, the protagonist store manager who is stuck in a job his father wants him to be in, and so makes all the fun and quirky employees at “The Yellow Bird” miserable in return.

Directed by Angus Benfield, written by Tony Jerris, and shot in a real grocery store in Shasta County, Benfield shares, "I approached Yellow Bird with a desire to capture the authentic life of people who work in a grocery store. With a goal to keep it simple, my Cinematographer (Cliff Goldsmith) and I devised a plan to always keep the pacing going using a simple process with our camera setups and shooting it as if a viewer or customer was observing and walking past these employees. It was shot fast, one week fast, and the pace was continually kept up so that the actors didn't have a chance to overthink and could just be themselves and couldn’t try too hard to be a character. We embraced the shared space of an active grocery store, as the real customers and staff of the Holiday Market in Redding became extras in the film, we changed out the wardrobe and signage, but only just enough, keeping the same color scheme as the original grocery store (dark green) so it would all blend in, and the store kept functioning as we filmed around customers and staff as per usual, with our cast often getting asked for help from customers, which was great authenticity-wise."



"I don't generally write about movies, but when I do, it's because they are really good.

Last night, after spending several hours in my studio, I went to bed late. My wife is working the night shift this week, so I spent a few minutes looking around for a movie to watch while I fell asleep. I’m a fan of independent films, and I was a bit surprised when what looked like an indie popped up at the top of my list on Amazon Prime. The film was Yellow Bird. It’s the best 1 hour and 40 minutes I’ve spent with a movie in years.

Actually, truth be told, it was three hours and 20 minutes, since I watched it twice.


Yellow Bird, brilliantly written by Tony Jerris and starring BrIan Doyle-Murray, the wonderful Kathy Garver, and newcomer Michael Maclane, is a tour de force by producer, director, and lead actor Angus Benfield. There is simply no bad performance or wasted moment anywhere in the film.

Yellow Bird starts off as an over-the-top, almost campy comedy. But each subsequent moment and every character in the film draw the audience into an unexpectedly affecting denouement that is an affirmation of the human spirit.

Yellow Bird is one of the most poignant and humane films I’ve seen in years. It doubtless cost Mr. Benfield a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to make up for a budget that might have been $11 to make the film. Yet Yellow Bird puts every contemporary, high-dollar, effects-laden studio film to shame. You should watch it.

Yellow Bird ranks among my all-time favorite films, and for the same reasons. It’s an honest, slice-of-life film that cares about its characters despite their imperfections. 


There’s no pandering in Yellow Bird, and there are no easy paths forward. The characters in the movie make mistakes, and in this regard, this film is unyielding, but there is also acknowledgement and redemption. In the end, despite setbacks, the characters are all in better places—and not because of an ET in a bicycle handlebar basket either. They are better off because they engaged in the human struggle to change. That’s something that’s not easy. Yellow Bird makes this clear in two brilliant scenes, one involving a gnome, a bottle of $2000 whiskey, and Jake Rush (Benfield), and the other involving a dumpster at the very end of the film.

I’m reluctant to compare films because I’m not inside the mind of the filmmaker(s). I can’t gauge their intent. I can only gauge what I see on the screen and relate that to my personal frame of reference. But with that caveat, this film reminds me favorably of Breaking Away for its honesty and trajectory and Fandango for character development (yeah, I know, I’m no Pauline Kael). The aforementioned scene with the yard gnome and whiskey packs, a Martin Scorsese money shot aside, the same emotional punch as Travis Bickle in the hallway scene on the phone with Betsy in Taxi Driver.

You should find Yellow Bird on Amazon or perhaps at your local art house cinema (where I wish I’d seen it) as soon as possible. It’s a wonderful film; it’s getting some well-deserved buzz, and my hat is off to everyone involved. I think that Mr. Benfield just might have a budget bigger than what I spend on guitar strings for his next project." (Full Review at the link below)

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