Fresh Skweezed (2015)

G.B. Shannon and Ryan Parker

Memphis’ Music+Arts Studio continues its foray into distributing award-winning independent film with Fresh Skweezed, a short by G.B. Shannon and Ryan Parker.

Shannon and Parker breathe new life into the Southern gothic storytelling tradition with Fresh Skweezed, a film about a young girl and her neighborhood lemonade stand. It was praised by film critics and audiences at festivals across the country when it premiered in 2011; Music+Arts hopes that buzz will begin anew this December as it hits streaming services worldwide.

The script for Fresh Skweezed was written specifically for its young star, Haley Parker (no relation), after Shannon saw her in Clay Jeter's 2010 short film, Five Dollars. He was taken with her talent, and his intuition didn’t fail him: the strength of the narrative is matched at every step by Haley’s beyond-her-years acting chops. While the film tackles ideas around the loss of innocence and the ephemeral nature of childhood, Haley’s performance sticks with audiences and leaves them thinking about the film’s final moments long after the credits roll. Gutsy, resilient, smart and tough, Haley is a heroine.

“Haley's instincts on how to play the character were incredible,” Shannon says. “I started thinking that it might be too much pressure on this 11-year-old actress who's in every scene, and then when we were auditioning for some of the other parts, I realized that she already had a handle on how she was going to play it. The reaction the film received at festivals was very gratifying – winning awards for best short film and for directing – but I think I was most proud when Haley won the award for Best Actor in a Short Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival, which she was able to attend. We just couldn't be more proud of her performance."

For Music+Arts Studio, the release of Fresh Skweezed follows Cigarette Girl, a feature-length film by Memphis director Mike McCarthy that the studio remastered and released in May of 2014 on DVD and digital streaming services.

“I first became aware of Fresh Skweezed when Music+Arts studio began working on the audio mix for the directors G.B.  Shannon and Ryan Parker,” says studio owner Ward Archer. “I was impressed with the film from the beginning, the bits and pieces I’d seen as the mixing was completed – and when I finally did get to see it in its entirety, I loved it. It’s well produced, has broad appeal and is just the right length. It tells a big story in a small package.”