Way Too Indie - "I loved this movie, and I don’t often say that so explicitly in a review. The script captures the humanity of an imperfect character...Zvibleman never pushes too hard at Will’s emotional baggage and hits the subtle comedic notes on point...Both [McVeigh-Schultz and Zvibleman] ease into their roles as if the story is their own. McVeigh-Schultz also supplies the script, and it’s a winner. The film has a way with dialogue...Echo Lake succeeds in large part thanks to its relatability and willingness not to indulge in storybook endings...For a film about moments, not gigantic belts of emotion, first-time director McVeigh-Schultz should be proud for hitting many of them right on the mark."
Watch This Space Film Magazine - "One of the strongest dramas of the year... Writer/director Jody McVeigh-Schultz’s film has a haunting edge and a narrative that, while we’ve covered such ground before, feels fresh and original. It’s a film about relationships, but has the guts to treat the material with a maturity and sensitivity... The landscapes of California play a large part in the film’s ability to contain a personal drama within an epic canvas, beautifully captured by cinematographer Andrew Rydzewski... Also refreshing is Christine Weatherup as Erin, a wonderfully rounded portrait of a woman who is strong and intelligent, her faith in Will both her biggest flaw and her greatest quality... Such parts are rare for females in films these days and Weatherup capitalises on this brilliantly.... It’s an almost film stealing performance, were it not for Sam Zvibleman. As Will, Zvibleman...brings a quiet empathy, deceptively restrained at first, yet, paying off big time by the film’s final scenes. And it’s this quiet resolution, as satisfying as it is ambiguous, that is Echo Lake’s trump card. No grandiose speeches, no declarations of love, no rush to the airport. As in life itself, the real drama happens in small rooms, on cell phones, or through the simple notion of acceptance of one’s own short comings. This is a film for an audience interested in character and story. A truthful portrait of how redundant our grudges from the past can be. Stick with the film and you’ll cry like a baby. A triumph."
Burbank Examiner - "A poetic love song to...loss and grief...played with perfect empathy by first time actor, Sam Zvibleman. Jody McVeigh-Schultz leaves contemplative room within his editing to celebrate the wonder, stillness and beauty of nature. We watch how nature cradles us, often without our awareness...The richness of Jody's film and the effects the wilderness had on his artistry are palpable...Echo Lake has many gifts within it to warm and enlighten the psyche. Jody asks subtle questions that make Echo Lake ripple responses of unexpected treasures.... Fresh, extraordinary and beautifully executed." (FIVE STARS)
Off to the Films - "A pleasurable redemption story... Echo Lake is beautifully shot, with scenery choices and cinematography that simply blow you away. The acting is impeccable, with an incredibly strong lead and humorous, charming supporting roles to round it out. The screenplay is captivating and truly forces you to have a connection with the characters, which are developed extremely well. Film Festival screenplays have a tendency to be narrow and one dimensional, however this narrative has an intriguing plot line, and ties a few different angles together quite nicely. This film is able to communicate the impact that one can feel when they find themselves and open their heart to acceptance, and more importantly, forgiveness.
Calgary Herald - "A quiet, funny and occasionally sad take on love, grief and growing up... Echo Lake unfolds with a breezy, improvisational style. It eschews melodrama for a naturalistic tone and subtle comedy that recalls the early mumblecore work of Mark and Jay Duplass."
Media Detour - "A genuine tale about becoming a better person...with a real sense of intimacy and purpose. Echo Lake is a story of redemption. It’s slow and subtle, but it’s organic...handled with finesse. The script is solid...we see profound statements, amusing ponderings and genuine heartfelt and funny moments. [Zvibleman gives] an understated performance that is sure to make him someone to keep an eye on...[McVeigh-Schultz] seems to always know where to put the camera, as well."
OneFilmFan.com - "McVeigh-Schultz does himself proud on all counts, successfully authoring a character-driven dramedy with finesse and obvious skill. The realistic, albeit irreverent and crude at times, dialogue flows from each character... a testament to the directing of the cast. Gorgeous cinematography, fluidly leading the viewer from scene to scene, is seamless and the shots at the lake and surrounding areas are breathtakingly beautiful and serene. Add in the perfect musical score from composer Joseph Minadeo, and the circle is complete. Zvibleman is excellent as Will, giving us a perfect storm of both profane indifference and suddenly awakened realization... The emotional realities of everything coming at him in pieces over the course of the film are wonderfully emoted by this talented actor."
Dances with Films Programmers - "Sam Zvibleman gives a stand out performance in Jody McVeigh-Schultz's perfectly understated script and direction. This film will not only make you want to settle unresolved family issues, it will make you want to go camping."
Fanboy Comics - "Writer/director Jody McVeigh-Schultz has crafted a pretty good film. It’s small, quiet, and unusual, but it has heart, which is the key to everything...a film worth watching."
Jesther Entertainment - "Quiet and reflective.... A refreshing treat!"
Battleship Pretension - "Well-made and well-acted...Very authentic...Stunningly shot. The magnificence of the scenery is used to its full effect"
- Watch This Space Film Mag names Echo Lake one of its Top 10 indie films of 2015!
- "Talking Pictures" Podcast: Film critic Paul Booth interviews Jody about the making of the film.
- Examiner shares Jody's filmmaker comments in lead up to World Premiere.
- ECHO LAKE mentioned in Variety, indieWIRE, and MovieMaker as one of 16 features selected for competition in Dances with Films!