DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT – Emrhys Cooper’s on his feature THE SHUROO RETREAT “I wanted to show the dangers of following unqualified people promising quick fixes”

British director Emrhys Cooper’s must see feature THE SHUROO RETREAT will be out Monday July 25th, 2022 on all streaming platforms and it is a film you don’t want to miss! We have all looked for help in some form or other over the years, whether it is just a chat with a friend, seeing a therapist or looking for some kind of alternative help. THE SHUROO RETREAT questions if all Guru’s are real and if we open our eyes we may find they certainly are not!

Cooper rose to fame in West End Shows like WE WILL ROCK YOU, then went on to appear in the blockbuster MAMMA MIA and then in family favourites like DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. THE SHUROO PROCESS is his directorial debut and it certainly has left us wanting to see more of his work! We caught up with the actor, writer, dancer and director to find out more.

The film was written and produced by Cooper & Brophy, alongside executive producers Zachary Quinto and Jamie Moss for Idyllwild Pictures in association with Incline Productions. Glen Trotiner, Lynn Mancinelli and Benjamin J. Murray produced as well.

Cooper’s feature directorial debut follows Parker Schafer (Fiona Dourif) a NYC journalist, frustrated with a failing publishing world and a dismal romantic life, who becomes infatuated with a charismatic guru (Brophy) and begins a journey of self-improvement. But as the old saying goes, “beware of false prophets.”

What inspired you to make this film?

I grew in up in a small town in Devon that was filled with New Age teaching and wannabe guru’s, unfortunately my parents fell prey to several quack doctors and guru’s in some some cases to the detriment of their health. I wanted to show the dangers of following unqualified people promising quick fixes.

For people who haven’t seen the film, can you describe it?

Well, it’s about a NYC journalist’s who’s life crashes and burns, she then becomes infatuated with a celebrity guru, taking her on a wild journey of love and grand larceny. The Shuroo Retreat explores the dangers of the cultish self-help industry and what it is like to fall prey to its promises of transformation. 

The Shuroo Retreat explores the dangers of the cultish self-help industry and what it is like to fall prey to its promises of transformation. 

You have a fantastic cast, what was it like working with such a great cast and what is your most memorable moment?

I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten such an accomplished group of actors in my directorial debut. The choreographed elements of the masked dance stick out in my mind the most.

The film features Fiona Dourif, Donal Brophy, Tommy Dorfman, Emrhys Cooper, Rainey Qualley, Olivia Sui, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Jeff Hephner, Cornelia Guest, and more.  

What was it like to both direct and star in the film?

Very difficult to be honest. Not sure I need to do that agin but ultimately rewarding when I see the finished product. It’d quite confusing to be behind the camera and have to jump in front.

What would you like people to take from the film.

It’s important to take a step towards healing, no matter where it leads you have invested in yourself.

What is next for you?

We have a great podcast in works exploring LGBTQ historical figures and in the process of developing my award winning short TROPHY BOY into a TV series… As well and many other exciting projects all seen in detail on the website for Idyllwild Pictures.

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