OzLand is a 2014 American science fantasy drama independent film starring Zack Ratkovich and Glenn Payne. It was written and directed by Michael Williams in his feature film debut.[1]

Ozland poster.jpg
Release poster for OzLand
Directed byMichael Williams
Produced byMichael Williams
Written byMichael Williams
StarringZack Ratkovich
Glenn Payne
Music byKeatzi Gunmoney
CinematographyMichael Williams
Edited byMichael Williams
Shendopen Productions
Distributed byIndie Rights
Release date
  • September 4, 2014 (2014-09-04) (Mississippi Premiere)
  • February 19, 2015 (2015-02-19) (Magnolia Independent Film Festival)
  • February 28, 2015 (2015-02-28) (Oxford Film Festival)
  • October 16, 2015 (2015-10-16) (Hollywood)
  • July 26, 2016 (2016-07-26) (DVD)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10,000 (estimated)

The film's story and characters are inspired by and are references to characters and events that appear in L. Frank Baum's children's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


1) In a dry and dusty post-apocalyptic world, two wayfarers wander aimlessly until Leif finds a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Using the world around him to interpret what he reads, Leif allows the book to challenge the beliefs, friendship, and even the very survival of these two divergent travelers.

2) Two men, Lief (Ratkovich) and Emri (Payne), wander through the fields and abandoned homes of a post-apocalyptic Kansas searching for food. Lief, the younger of the two and the only one who can read, finds a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and begins to treat the novel as if it were historical nonfiction, using their surroundings as proof. Leif comes to question whether OzLand is "home" as described by Dorothy Gale, while Emri suggests every day is a journey through "home".


  • Zack Ratkovich as Lief
  • Glenn Payne as Emri
  • Dunlap Peeples IV as Loi/FM
  • Casey Heflin as Dee (voice)


The film was shot entirely on location in Minneola, Kansas and Northern Mississippi.


OzLand held its premiere in Columbus, Mississippi on September 4, 2014, followed by screenings at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, Tupelo Film Festival and FestivalSouth Film Expo throughout the following year. It made its theatrical debut in Hollywood on October 16, 2015,[2] followed by its release on internet streaming platforms four days later. It was released to DVD on July 26, 2016. The film made its United Kingdom debut on Flix Premiere on October 4, 2016.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

The film received mixed-to-positive reviews, with critics praising the cinematography, music and directing, while a few criticized the writing. Ryan Jay of Premiere Radio Networks wrote a positive review, saying "It’s brilliant! The story is complete and fulfilling; such an impressive accomplishment. The cinematography is extraordinary and meticulous. It’s shot like it was backed by a major studio with a blockbuster budget." [4]

Jacob Medel of Life in LA wrote that "OzLand is rich with detail and powerful character-driven storytelling. Written, produced and directed by Michael Williams, the film is a singular vision that follows Leif and Emri as they travel across a barren wasteland in search of a place to call home."[5]

Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times wrote a mixed review, criticizing the writing but praising the cinematography and music, by writing "The bright, saturated cinematography and minimalist guitar-based score by Keatzi Gunmoney are the greatest strengths of OzLand, but they can't overcome the meandering story and stilted dialogue. The movie — directed, written, produced, shot and edited by Michael Williams — takes what could be an interesting concept for a short film and stretches it across 105 minutes. The ideas are not deep enough and the dramatic tension isn't real enough to sustain this feature."[6]


  • Best Feature at Magnolia Independent Film Festival (2015)
  • Best Cinematography, Magnolia Independent Film Festival (2015)
  • Best of Show, Tupelo Film Festival (2015)
  • 1st Place Feature, Tupelo Film Festival (2015)
  • Elvin Whitesides Director's Award, Tupelo Film Festival (2015)
  • Best Feature Film, Real to Reel Film Festival (2015)
  • Best Narrative Feature, Offshoot Film Festival (2015)
  • Best Cinematography, FestivalSouth Film Expo (2015)


  1. ^ "Ozland: Zack Ratkovich, Glenn Payne, Michael Williams". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "'OzLand' goes Hollywood with October premiere". Daily Times Leader. (West Point, Mississippi). August 11, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Area filmmaker releases OzLand on DVD". Chicksaw Journal. (Chicksaw County, Mississippi). August 8, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  4. ^ Jay, Ryan (April 4, 2015). "OZLAND REVIEW". Ryan Jay Reviews. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  5. ^ Medel, Jacob. "Ozland". Life in LA. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  6. ^ Walsh, Katie (October 15, 2015). "Review: 'OzLand' would need a wizard to stretch thin premise". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 31, 2016.

External linksEdit