Live from AFI Fest, Mahershala Ali and Benjamin Cleary talk ‘Swan Song’

The Envelope Podcast logo

Hello! It’s Mark Olsen, film writer for The Times and “The Envelope” podcast co-host.

This week on the show, I’m excited to share a bonus episode, which was recorded live after the world premiere of “Swan Song” at AFI Fest. I got to chat with writer/director Benjamin Cleary and Mahershala Ali — who not only starred in the film (as two characters!) but also produced it. You can hear all about how they created this sci-fi drama and the heartbreaking inspiration behind the film now wherever you get your podcasts or on, where you can also read the full transcript.

Mahershala Ali being interviewed by Mark Olsen
Mahershala Ali and Mark Olsen
(Rob Latour / AFI / Shutterstock )

Follow us now wherever you get your podcasts to hear new episodes every Tuesday.

Talk soon!

Can't get enough about awards season?

For more, follow us on Twitter at @villarrealy and @IndieFocus, and for a deeper dive into the best new movies, get Mark’s weekly Indie Focus newsletter.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, please consider subscribing to The Times.

Feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at