All posts by HollywoodGlee

I’m a veteran of several film festivals including the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the American Film Institute's AFIFest Hollywood and AFI DOCS, the famed Venice International Film Festival, the San Luis Obispo SLO Film Fest, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's family of festivals including the SBIFF, the SBIFF Wave Festivals and the SBIFF Showcase Film Series. To date I’ve written and published over 100 film reviews and have work posted on four sites including sbccfilmreviews.org, imdb.com. I have also been published in Classic Film Images magazine. In addition to writing reviews and covering film festivals, I am currently seeking distribution for new films. I have contacts in several major markets including Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Cannes, France. So when you’re looking for your film to get noticed, remember HollywoodGlee can help. We have professional marketers, respected critics and the most knowledgeable contacts on what film festival and/or distribution channel is right for you and your film. See you at the movies!

SHERILYN FENN, ALAN POWELL, NICHOLAS TURTURRO AND CATHY MORIARTY FILM “SHOOTING HEROIN” PIVOTS TO VOD/SVOD/EST RELEASE APRIL 3

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Note: We present this piece of film and entertainment news with deep respect to the media and individual concerns surrounding the country’s COVID-19 Crisis. We have heard media tell us they want to hear how filmmakers are coping with film releases during this time. We hope it is not perceived as impertinent or inappropriate. Thank you.

Opioid Drama, Originally Slated to Open in More Than Two Dozen Cities and at Three Festivals, Goes Day-And Date

Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2020–Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2020—SHOOTING HEROIN, one of the first narrative feature films on the current opioid epidemic in America, will debut on all VOD, SVOD and EST platforms on Friday, April 3. The film was originally set for an initial limited national release in two dozen cities and about 100 screens on Friday, April 3rd but quickly made the move to video-on-demand and pay-per-view platforms following the shutdown of almost all movie theatres nationally during the COVID-19 crisis. The film had also been set to premiere at three film festivals in Northern New Jersey, Dallas, and Los Angeles, all of which were canceled.

EST platforms and services will go live on April 3, including, on cable: InDemand and MSOs; Vubiquity; Verizon Fios; ATT U-Verse; DirecTV; Dish Network-IPVOD/EST; and Sling, and on transactional digital including iTunes; Amazon; GooglePlay; Microsoft X-Box; Vimeo; Sony PSN; Fandango; and Vudu.

Director

Director and producer Spencer Folmar, himself a small theatre chain operator and distributor through his company Veritas Films, says, “Like every other filmmaker, we’ve hit a wall with theatrical distribution in these turbulent times, which puts our little indie film on the same footing as Disney as we work to find our audience. And of course that audience is the home viewing audience, hundreds of millions of people who are searching for education and issues-oriented entertainment. We consider ourselves lucky to have VOD distribution of SHOOTING HEROIN in place to offer the public, and hope the media pivots along with us to let the public know we’re out there.” Folmar hopes for theatrical exhibition of the film in the future, and in the meantime is looking at booking the film at some of America’s several hundred drive-in theatres still operating.

Shooting Heroin

SHOOTING HEROIN tells the story of a small-town community that comes together to fight back against the spread of drugs “by any means necessary”—a story of a group of vigilante townsfolk who take justice into their own hands to fight for the heart of America, and save the next generation from overdosing and dying.

The film features Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Alan Powell (Quantico), Garry Pastore (HBO’s The Deuce), Nicholas Turturro (SVU), Cathy Moriarty (RAGING BULL), and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Cooley High), among others. Before being programmed in three March film festivals in California, Texas and New Jersey, the film most recently claimed the Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Pastore) prizes at the Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival in New York City last October. SHOOTING HEROIN is being distributed digitally on VOD/SVOD by Stone Cutter Media.

 

The film is written and directed by Spencer T. Folmar (GENERATIONAL SINS). Since Folmar’s last film premiered nationally, he has pursued new ventures in distributing independent films, including WARNING SHOT, starring David Spade, Bruce Dern, and James Earl Jones, and creating a partnership with his own Veritas Theatres chain in major cities. Folmar is undeterred by the current crisis, which he views as temporary, and is confident Americans will return to movie theatres when it has passed. His first movie theatre was in the Pittsburgh, PA region called the Guthrie Theatre (a 600 seat, the single-screen historic theatre now featuring live entertainment, community theatre and a steakhouse in connection with the screening venue). He had also acquired two theatres in the Dallas region and still hopes to purchase and build theatres in Orlando, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles later in 2020 into 2021. Folmar is building his own theatre chain to give transparency and integrity for indie filmmakers to enjoy their films on the big screen across the country—when it’s safe to do so. All of his theatres are currently shuttered.

Folmar concludes, “Even though it’s being eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid abuse remains a national public health crisis and claims over 100 American lives per day. With a strong cast and a compelling story ripped from daily headlines, we hope SHOOTING HEROIN will shed light on and give hope to those millions affected by it.”

Heroin

SHOOTING HEROIN (Drama): Release Date: Thursday, April 3, 2020
Starring: Sherilyn Fenn; Alan Powell; Garry Pastore; Nicholas Turturro; Cathy Moriarty; and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs
Producers: Spencer T. Folmar, p.g.a., Mark Joseph
Director: Spencer T. Folmar
Writer: Spencer T. Folmar
Cinematographer: John Honoré
Composer: Mike Newport
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: R

*Note: We present this piece of film and entertainment news with deep respect to the media and individual concerns surrounding the country’s COVID-19 Crisis. We have heard media tell us they want to hear how filmmakers are coping with film releases during this time. We hope it is not perceived as impertinent or inappropriate. Thank you.

(Source: Press release presented by Henry Eshelman and Media Platform Group)

 

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BLOODSHOT with Vin Diesel opens Thursday

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Based on the bestselling comic book, Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is an elite soldier recently killed in action, brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins he’s an unstoppable force – the strongest warrior the corporation has ever created – and able to heal instantly. But in upgrading his body, the company is also manipulating his mind and memories. As he begins to remember his past life, Ray isn’t sure what’s real and what’s not – but he’s determined to take back control.

Bloodshot

Directed By:
David S.F. Wilson
Story by:
Jeff Wadlow
Screenplay by:
Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer
Based on:
The Valiant Comic Book
Produced by:
Neal H. Moritz
Toby Jaffe
Dinesh Shamdasani
Vin Diesel
Executive Producers:
Dan Mintz
Louis G. Friedman
Yu Dong
Jeffrey Chan
Rita LeBlanc
Buddy Patrick
Matthew Vaughn
Cast:
Vin Diesel
Eiza Gonzalez
Sam Heughan
Toby Kebbell
and Guy Pearce
Columbia Pictures’ BLOODSHOT photo call, Los Angeles, USA - 06 March 2020
LOS ANGELES – March 6, 2020: Eiza González, Vin Diesel, Lamorne Morris and Sam Heughan at the Junket Photo Call for Columbia Pictures’ BLOODSHOT at The London West Hollywood. (Photo credit: Eric Charbonneau)

Bloodshot has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for intense sequences of violence, some suggestive material, and language. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on March 13, 2020.

Orion Pictures BAD TRIP In Theaters Everywhere on April 17, 2020

Posted by Larry Gleeson

From a producer of JACKASS and BAD GRANDPA, this hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem.

Bad Trip stars Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish and Michaela Conlin. The film is directed by Kitao Sakurai from the minds of Dan Curry, Kitao Sakurai, and André – and produced by André, Jeff Tremaine, David Bernad, and Ruben Fleischer.

Bad Trip

BAD TRIP 

Release: April 17, 2020

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin

Directed by: Kitao Sakurai

Produced by: Eric André, Jeff Tremaine, David Bernad, Ruben Fleischer

47th Telluride Film Festival 2020 Box Office Opens

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Each Labor Day weekend, the tiny mountain village of Telluride, Colorado triples in size. Swells of passionate film enthusiasts flood the town for four days of total cinematic immersion, embarking on a viewing odyssey, blissfully spending entire days in flickering dark rooms. With only an appreciation of celluloid to guide them, these devotees flock to the show, year after year. Why? Blind faith. Telluride doesn’t reveal the program until everyone lands in town. Yet the Telluride family trusts that a unique experience will unfold. (Telluridefilmfestival.org)

Telluride Film Festival

 

The Telluride Box Office for Cinephile, Acme and Festival level passes is open NOW.  Please note that Patron Passes are sold out.

Please visit the Telluride Film Festival website to order your pass online.

Telluride Passes

If you have any questions on the best way to order your pass, or other general inquiries regarding the Festival, call 510.665.9494 or email at passes@telluridefilmfestival.org. You’ll be glad you did!

Telluride
Larry Gleeson dons a Telluride Film Festival Vespucci Dogs ’19 hat in the town of Telluride, Colo., for the 46th Telluride Film Festival, held August 3oth through September 2nd, 2019.

Until next time. I’ll see you at the movies!

 

*Featured photo courtesy of Telluride Film Festival

 

 

5th Annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival Returns to The New Vic Theatre with Oscar Nominees, Comedies, Dramas, and More

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 5th annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, will be held Wednesday, March 11 through Sunday, March 15 at The New Vic Theatre, 33 W. Victoria Street, Santa Barbara.

SBJFF co-chair Dr. Mashey Bernstein recently announced a wide selection of movies from Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Israel, and the United States, including world and West Coast premieres, three international Oscar submissions, and four films that feature women who reveal bravery and strength under dire circumstances. While most of the fare is uplifting and light, the festival does not avoid the controversial and thought-provoking. Special guests are also on the menu.

Hitler Pink RabbitThe festival opens on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 pm with the West Coast premiere of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Oscar winner Caroline Link’s adaption of Judith Kerr’s semi-autographical bestseller of the same title—a story about parting, family cohesion, and optimism. Other films that feature the indomitable power of women are An Irrepressible Woman (Friday 13, 12:45 pm) inspired by Janot Reichenbach (played by acclaimed French actress, Elsa Zylberstein), and her love for French socialist politician and three-time Prime Minister, Léon Blum (Hippolyte Girardot) who followed him, at great personal risk, to the Nazi prison where he was held. Those Who Remained, Hungary’s submission for the Oscars is a lyrical story of the healing power of love in the midst of national conflict, loss, and trauma, revealing the healing process of Holocaust survivors through the eyes of a young girl in post-World War II Hungary.

Not all is sad as several comedies fill out the festival. Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 pm Tel Aviv on Firefeatures Tel Aviv on Fire which finds comedy in dire situations. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict forces an unlikely union between an Israeli border guard with a yearn for Hummus and an inept Palestinian screenwriter. Two familiar faces will be the actors from the hit comedy Maktubb (SBJFF 2018) who are back this year with Forgiveness, Israel’s most popular movie in 2019. During the holy days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur two hapless criminals try to set their lives aright but keep stumbling into one crisis after another. In a slightly different vein is The Rabbi from Hezbolah (Friday, March 13, 10:00 am). A farmer from Lebanon ends up helping the Israeli army in a biography with more twists and turns than a Matthew Bourne mystery. Also inspiring is Aulcie, about the rise and fall and rise of one of Israel’s greatest athletes and basketball players (Thursday, March 12, 10:00 am.)

Two special movies are the documentary Carl Laemmle (Friday, March 13, 3:00 pm) and Golda’s Balcony, the Film, (Sunday 15 at 12:45). Carl Laemmle follows the life of the founder of Universal Studios, but more importantly, a man who rescued over 300 members of his family from Nazi Germany. Golda’s Balcony, the Film features Tovah Feldshuh’s stunning Broadway performance as Golda Meir—and nearly a hundred other characters from Henry Kissinger to Ben Gurion.

A featured shorts program will run 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 15, including shorts from the US, with a world premiere among the selections, and a profile of a young ultra-orthodox Jew with a real flair for comedy. Producers, directors and family members are invited guests.

The free community program will be on Sunday, March 15 at 10:00 am and features two very entertaining comics exploring the food delights of Montreal in Chewdaism. Guaranteed to have you craving a good corned beef on rye!

Other highlights of the Festival in a more serious vein are Incitement in which acclaimed writer-director Yaron Zilberman chronicles the disturbing descent of a promising law student Yigal Amir (award-winning actor Yehuda Nahari Halevi) who was influenced by a particular interpretation of Rabbinic teaching, political points of view and maternal love and transformed into an intransigent ultranationalist obsessed with murdering Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Incitement is a story told with heart-searching honesty and was as Israel’s 2020 Oscar submission and winner of 9 Ophir Awards including Best Picture.

The festival concludes on Sunday, March 15 at 6:30 pm with the Ha’Seret Ha’Mitztayen (Excellence in Film) Awards to best short, documentary, and feature film, followed by Crescendo, a fictional film loosely based on the real-life West-Eastern Divan Orchestra—which is scheduled to appear in Santa Barbara just before the Festival—started by conductor Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said. Crescendo’s story offers a tempered hope for the future.

For a full list of films go to www.sbjewishfilmfestival.org. All-Access Passes, which cover all thirteen programs plus opening night reception and early entrance to the films, is $118. Individual tickets ($12) will be available in advance beginning March 11 and at the door.

About the Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival

The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara produces the Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival specifically to celebrate the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity while hoping that the films and their stories will resonate beyond these settings and speak to universal experiences and issues that confront our common humanity. For more information, visit www.sbjewishfilmfestival.org

SB Jewish Federation

(Source: Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival Press Office)

 

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival 2020 Announces King Vidor Award Honoree!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

SLO Film Fest 2020

The 2020 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

presented by Hotel San Luis Obispo

announces Lawrence Kasdan will be this year’s

King Vidor Award honoree

(March 17-22)

Kasdan

San Luis Obispo, CA (February 24, 2020) – The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (March 12-17) has announced that critically acclaimed director/writer/producer Lawrence Kasdan will be this year’s King Vidor Award honoree.

Kasdan will be attending the film festival with his wife, frequent collaborator Meg Kasdan, with their documentary short film, LAST WEEK AT ED’S, about the closing of the beloved Ed’s Coffee Shop in West Hollywood.

Wendy Eidson
Wendy Eidson

“The King Vidor Award offers us an opportunity each year to celebrate and honor someone that has impacted our love of cinema, and Lawrence Kasdan epitomizes that as much as anyone” said SLO Film Fest Director Wendy Eidson. “From RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, to THE BIG CHILL, to so much that we love about the STAR WARS films and more, he has either been one of the key people behind their creation or outright been responsible for some of our favorite movie moments.”

Presented by BHE Renewables and JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery, the King Vidor Award presentation will take place immediately after the George Sidney Independent Film Awards ceremony on Saturday, March 21 at 7:00PM at the Fremont Theater (1025 Monterey Street). Following the presentation, Turner Classic Movies’ Ben Mankiewicz will host a discussion of Kasdan’s career including a number of his classic and beloved films.

Known for updating old Hollywood genres—film noir, science-fiction, westerns—in a classical dramatic style with quick-witted dialogue, but dealing with contemporary social themes, Kasdan has helped create some of the defining cinematic mythologies of the 20th century (with a hand in resurrecting the Star Wars franchise in the 21st), while as a director he has made personal, slightly quixotic movies that examine characters and generations.

Kasdan Vidor

Kasdan’s introduction to film fans as a screenwriter came via two of the all-time popular classics of the 80s and beyond: STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980) and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981).

Kasdan Vidor 2

What would follow were a string of films that, while varied in setting and style, cemented Kasdan, the writer/director, as one of the top talents behind the camera helping set the tone for a decade onscreen: BODY HEAT (1983), THE BIG CHILL (1983) – for which he received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay, SILVERADO (1985), and THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST (1988), for which he received nominations for both Best Picture and Best Screenplay Adaptation. The latter two films, Kasdan also produced.

Kasdan Vidor 3

Prolific, Kasdan continued to both write and direct films throughout the next decade, with highlights including; the critically acclaimed GRAND CANYON (1991), which he co-wrote with his wife, Meg Kasdan (and received another Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay), as well as directed and produced; the box-office smash, Mick Jackson’s THE BODYGUARD (1992), which Kasdan wrote and produced; the epic western WYATT EARP (1994), which he co-wrote with Dan Gordon, directed, and produced; the Meg Ryan/Kevin Kline romantic comedy FRENCH KISS (1995), which he helmed; and the lightly comedic drama MUMFORD (1999), which he wrote, directed and produced.

Kasdan Vidor 4

2003’s DREAMCATCHER (co-written with William Goldman) and 2012’s DARLING COMPANION (co-written with Meg Kasdan), Kasdan’s other two outings as writer, director, and producer, could not have been more different from one another. The former being an adaptation of one of Steven King’s more gonzo horror works, and the latter being an introspective drama centered around the love for and loss of a dog.

Kasdan, the screenwriter, has recently been one of the architects of the growing Star Wars universe, having written STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015), and SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (2018).

Kasdan Vidor 5

Event tickets and Festival Passes are now on sale and the full film festival schedule and program can be found at https://slofilmfest.org.

 

ABOUT SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo’s laid-back vibe and serene natural beauty is the perfect setting for this highly regarded annual film celebration. Filmmakers rave about the warmth and attentiveness that is so much a part of the SLO Film fest experience, as does the swelling tide of industry pros and film critics who are fast discovering the film festival’s thoughtful audiences and unique programming sensibility. At the SLO Film Fest, “Movies Matter!”

SLOFF_2020

(Source: Press release provided by Wildworks PR, John Wildman)

 

 

Ton Of Hats and 101 Films International Announce Start of Production on TAKE BACK

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Mickey Rourke Joins Michael Jai White, Gillian White, and James Russo In

The Cast of Christian Sesma Martial Arts Action Film

*EFM Pre-Sales Underway From 101 Films International Suite 115 Marriott in Berlin

Take BackBerlin, Germany February 21, 2020—Producer/actor Mike Hatton’s production shingle, Ton of Hats, Inc. has announced final casting and start of production on director Christian Sesma’s (VIGILANTE DIARIES) TAKE BACK, a martial-arts action saga starring Mickey Rourke (THE WRESTLER); Michael Jai White (BLOOD AND BONE, THE DARK KNIGHT); Gillian White (NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER; Days of our Lives)—making their first film appearance together—and James Russo (DJANGO UNCHAINED). Hatton and Sesma just completed production on the Val Kilmer actioner PAY DIRT, shot in the desert over the holidays through pickups this past week.

In TAKE BACK, penned by Zachary Zerries in his feature film-penning debut, Sara (Gillian White) and Brian (Michael Jai White) are living a seemingly perfect life when a mysterious man (Rourke) from Sara’s past kidnaps their teenage daughter. With the help of a small-town sheriff (Russo), the couple races to save their daughter before she’s sold and vanishes into the sex trade.

“The film will shed some light on human trafficking–a cause Michael and I are both passionate about fighting,” says Gillian White. Indeed, a small genre of films have sprung up addressing the topic, such as 2017’s TRAFFICKED, starring Ashley Judd, Anne Archer and Patrick Duffy. Sesma adds, “we’re incredibly stoked to have this cast—Mickey and Michael are legends, and this promises to establish Gillian White as the next African- American martial arts heroine.”

Ton of Hats CEO Mike Hatton, who is best known for his co-starring role in last year’s Academy Award-winning film, Green Book, will serve as lead on producing the project alongside Michael Walker and Andy Lyon of 101 Films International, the foreign sales agents for the film.

Tom Conigliaro of Eastlake Films serves as Executive Producer, along with Rourke, Russo, The Whites, and manager/producer Kimberly Hines.

101 Films International has started sales at EFM, located at Suite 115, first floor at the Berlin Marriott. Early interest in the title is reported strong.

TAKE BACK is set to go before the cameras in April.

Ton of Hats has just wrapped production on Pay Dirt, a crime-heist action comedy written, directed and produced by Sesma starring Hatton and Val Kilmer, shot in Coachella and also selling at EFM, and is in pre-production on a 10 Double Zero, a crime action thriller starring Nicolas Cage scheduled to begin production in late Spring 2020.

Platform

(Source: Press release provided by Henry Eshelman, Platform Media Group)

The 2020 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival presented by Hotel San Luis Obispo announces galas & special event screenings (March 17-22)

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 Chusy Jardine’s IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SONG: THE STORY
OF THE NASHVILLE SONGWRITER is the Opening Night
selection and Benjamin Kasulke’s BANANA SPLIT
is the Closing Night choice

Special screening events include “Hollywood & Vines” presentations
and two top titles from Sundance:
Adam Carter Rehmeier’s DINNER IN AMERICA and
Sam Feder’s DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ONSCREEN

San Luis Obispo, CA (February 18, 2020) – The 26th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival presented by Hotel San Luis Obispo (March 17-22) today announced this year’s gala selections and special event screenings. Chusy Jardine’s IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SONG: THE STORY OF THE NASHVILLE SONGWRITER is the Opening Night selection, and Benjamin Kasulke’s BANANA SPLIT is the Closing Night selection. Special events include the “Hollywood & Vines” screening events celebrating the intersection of food, wine, and film. The Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase titles were also announced.

Wendy Eidson
Wendy Eidson, San Luis Obispo Film Festival Director

“We have set ourselves up for a very musical start, which will lead into a number of special film events that set us apart from a lot of other film festivals: joining our love of food, wine and great cinema into one combined evening” said San Luis Obispo Film Festival Director Wendy Eidson. “When you then add on two very popular films to come out of Sundance this year, 64 George Sidney Independent Film selections, and our growing Central Coast Filmmaker Showcase, we will be rolling out one our most impressive lineups of films and events yet.”

Jardine’s IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SONG: THE STORY OF THE NASHVILLE SONGWRITER will open the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival on Tuesday, March 17 at the Fremont Theatre (1035 Monterey Street). The film documents songwriters’ struggles, from paying their dues to working through the creative process. Drawing from more than 100 hours of footage, the film includes more than 80 interviews with well-known and lesser-known music industry figures and songwriters, such as Garth Brooks, Ben Folds, John Hiatt, Brett James, Alison Mosshart, Kacey Musgraves, and Keb’ Mo.’ Attending are Jardine, Executive Producer Kathryn Montgomery, John Godsey, as well as singer-songwriter with local roots, Jude Johnstone and Jade Jackson, who will also perform following the screening. The Opening Night celebration will include an Opening Night Pre-Screening Party at Luna Red (1023 Chorro Street), featuring a performance by popular SLO County band Mother Corn Shuckers.

The Closing Night selection will be Kasulke’s teen comedy, BANANA SPLIT. Screening on Sunday, March 22 at the Fremont Theatre, the film marks the return of one of the SLO Film Fest’s favorite filmmakers, Hannah Marks, who stars alongside Dylan Sprouse, Liana Liberato and Luke Spencer Roberts in a film where two high school senior girls have to figure out how to maintain their friendship while one of the dates the other’s ex-boyfriend. Marks, who also wrote and produced the film returns after premiering her feature film directorial debut AFTER EVERYTHING at the film festival last year.

Two hot titles were picked up out of the recently concluded Sundance Film Festival for SLO Film Fest fans to catch: Adam Carter Rehmeier’s audacious crowd-pleasing comedy stars Kyle Gallner as an on-the-lam punk rocker who connects with a young woman (Emily Skeggs) obsessed with his band. They go on an unexpected and epic journey together through the decaying suburbs of the American Midwest. The film features a cast of favorites including Pat Healy, Hannah Marks, Jennifer Prediger, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Lea Thompson. Sam Feder’s documentary, DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ONSCREEN looks at how Hollywood has deeply influenced how Americans feel about transgender people, and how transgender people have been taught to feel about themselves. Both screenings are expected to have the filmmakers and special guests attending.

Special events this year are highlighted by something that the SLO Film fest is famous for (next to its previously announced Surf Nite): the intersection and celebration of Food, Wine, and Film on the Central Coast. Described as “Hollywood & Vines” events, the carefully curated and produced events include East Meets West, a double feature of Peter Schroeder III’s FULL BOAR, about Gary Eberle, the godfather of the Paso Robles wine industry, and Tim Clott and Libbie Agran’s 91 HARVESTS, which tells the story of the Dusi Vineyards and their wines. Naturally, wine and appetizers will be served in the lobby of the historic Fremont Theatre in between the screenings on Wednesday, March 18.

BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM

The Octagon Barn Movie Night features John Chester’s hit documentary THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM about the filmmaker and his wife’s experience leaving the city for farm life, along with a special sneak preview of PBS’s WALKIN’ CALIFORNIA – PISMO PRESERVE, which takes us on a journey through the newly opened Pismo Preserve. The evening will include a delicious BBQ dinner with wine, to go along with the films in the historic and recently renovated barn in San Luis Obispo.

Other films in the “Hollywood & Vines” presentations include Beth Elise Hawk’s BREAKING BREAD, about the A-sham Arabic Food festival in Haifa, Israel; Abby Ainsworth’s STAGE: THE CULINARY INTERNSHIP about the apprenticeship experience at one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the world – Mugaritz; NOTHING FANCY: DIANA KENNEDY, about Mexican cuisine cookbook author and environmental activist; and the Tastes and Flavors of Japan afternoon event featuring Hironori Sakurai’s THE STORY BEYOND A CUP OF SAKE and Sky Bergman’s MOCHITSUKI.

Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 7.55.21 PM

The Coastal Awakening this year will sponsor a special sidebar of films celebrating the life and art of renowned composer and pianist Philip Glass with presentations of Scott Hick’s documentary, GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS (2007), and two films that feature Academy Award-winning original scores by Glass: Godfrey Reggio’s KOYAANISQATSI (1982), and Martin Scorsese’s KUNDUN (1997).

Passes are now on sale and information on the film festival can be found at https://slofilmfest.org.

SPECIAL PRESENTATION FILMS

HOLLYWOOD AND VINES PRESENTATIONS

91 HARVESTS
Directors:  Tim Clott and Libbie Agran
Country: USA, Running Time: 45 min
The story of the Dusi Vineyard began in the early 1920s, when Sylvester and Caterina Dusi emigrated from Northern Italy and settled in Paso Robles. The Dusi Vineyard introduced some of the first Zinfandels to California’s Central Coast; vineyards were rare in Old California in the early 1900’s.  Sylvester and Caterina were highly enterprising, and working together with their three sons – Guido, Dante and Benito, eventually bought an additional property on the west side of Highway 101 in 1945 and planted Zinfandel. Three generations after Janell Dusi’s great-grandparents first planted the land to Zinfandel, she is continuing the legacy of one of the area’s most well-loved vineyards, and taking ten percent of the production off the Dante Dusi Vineyard to create J Dusi Wines.

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
Director: John Chester
Country: USA, Running Time: 91 min
This beautiful, multi-award winning documentary chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature. By doggedly persevering and embracing the opportunity provided by nature’s conflicts, the couple unlocks a biodiverse design for living that exists far beyond their farm, its seasons and our wildest imagination. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, captivating animals and an urgent message to heed Mother Nature’s call, this film provides us all a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet.

BREAKING BREAD
Director: Beth Elise Hawk
Country: USA, Running Time: 86 min
A visually beautiful film that offers a recipe for tolerance – and hope. Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef television competition, is on a quest to effect social change. So she starts the A-sham Arabic Food Festival in Haifa, Israel, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on mouthwatering local dishes – and become friends. Set in a region beset with conflict, Breaking Bread sends a clear message: Strip away politics and religion and you’ll find that people are people. And what better way to do that than over a great meal?

FULL BOAR
Director: Peter Schroeder III
Country: USA, Running Time: 50 min
In this insightful documentary about Gary Eberle, you’ll get a sense of the man called the godfather of the Paso Robles wine industry – his astute winemaking skills, warmth, self-deprecating humor, genuine compassion and determination in overcoming a hostile corporate takeover. Now celebrating his namesake winery’s 40th year, the man once destined for medical research credits legendary football coach Joe Paterno and famed winemaker Robert Mondavi for teaching him key lessons along the way.

NOTHING FANCY: DIANA KENNEDY
Director: Elizabeth Carroll
Countries: USA/Mexico, Running Time: 82 min
Cookbook author and environmental activist Diana Kennedy reflects on an unconventional life spent mastering Mexican cuisine. It’s a candid, comprehensive whirlwind tour through the life and work of this 96-year-old uncompromising chef who’s been called an “adorable narcissist.” “If her enthusiasm were not beautiful, it would border on mania,” says influential New York Times food editor Craig Claiborne in a quote that opens the film.

STAGE: THE CULINARY INTERNSHIP
Director: Abby Ainsworth
County: Spain, Running Time: 78 min
A group of interns work together during a nine-month apprenticeship at one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, Mugaritz. They’re unpaid, away from home, speaking a different language and working brutally long hours. While the restaurant’s notorious avant-garde cuisine and creative working environment elevate those young hopefuls to think outside the confines of a kitchen, the extremely high standards prove to be mentally and physically challenging.

THE STORY BEYOND A CUP OF SAKE
Director: Hironori Sakurai
Country: Japan, Running Time: 62 min
A wonderfully intimate and special look at the delicate care and production of a local sake brewery in Japan through the eyes of a married couple who create the sake and oversee the brewery. We also meet many individuals who work in and care for the gorgeous rice fields and distribute the finished sake, drawing interesting parallels to the wine industry in California.
Screening with

MOCHITSUKI
Director: Sky Bergman
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min
The ancient tradition of preparing Mochi to celebrate the Japanese New Year goes back centuries. Join one close-knit intergenerational community in San Luis Obispo County who revels in the ceremonial pounding of the cooked rice, the forming of the warm Mochi cakes, and of course eating the yummy results! Elders and kids alike reflect on what Mochi means to them, leaving not a cheek untouched by rice flour.

WALKIN’ CALIFORNIA – PISMO PRESERVE
Director: Cameron Mitchell
Country: USA, Running Time: 27 min
WALKIN’ CALIFORNIA – PISMO PRESERVE is about getting out of the office and off the couch and exploring all the diversity this incredible state has to offer. Join host Steve Weldon as he and Land Conservancy staff take a hike on the newly opened Pismo Preserve, located just north of Pismo Beach. As we meet a variety of Central Coast residents along the way, this episode highlights the natural beauty of the area and the important work the Land Conservancy is doing in our community.

ADDITIONAL SPECIAL PRESENTATION FILMS

ALMOST FAMOUS
Director: Ben Proudfoot
Country: USA, Running Time: 51 min
Pop stars who never were. Household names who remain unknown. Astronauts who never entered space. Rock stars whonever had their day. The lives of these fascinating and incredibly talented individuals are chronicled in this collection of four wonderful short films, produced by the New York Times Op-Docs series and directed by SLO Film Fest alum Ben Proudfoot (RWANDA AND JULIET, 2016), KIM I AM, THE LOST ASTRONAUT, THE OTHER FAB FOUR, and THE KING OF FISH & CHIPS are all memorable stories that will amaze, inspire, and most importantly, entertain.

THE BIG PARADE (1925)
Director: King Vidor
Country: USA, Running Time: 151 min
Wealthy young idler Jim Apperson (John Gilbert) enlists during the early days of World War I, to the worry of his mother (Claire McDowell) and the pride of his father (Hobart Bosworth). Sent to the front lines in the French countryside, Jim bonds with his working-class bunkmates and falls in love with young French farm girl Melisande despite having a girlfriend back home. But the romance of war is soon shattered for good. This 1925 silent film features a wonderful score by Carl Davis.

DINNER IN AMERICA
Director: Adam Carter Rehmeier
Country: USA, Running Time: 106 min
An on-the-lam punk rocker and a young woman obsessed with his band go on an unexpected and epic journey together through the decaying suburbs of the American Midwest.

DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ONSCREEN
Director: Sam Feder
Country: USA, Running Time: 100 min
An investigation of how Hollywood’s fabled stories have deeply influenced how Americans feel about transgender people, and how transgender people have been taught to feel about themselves.

ENAMORADA (1946)
Director: Emilio Fernández
Country: Mexico, Running Time: 96 min
This 1946 Mexican drama was shot on location in Puebla. The revolutionary José Juan Reyes (Pedro Armendáriz, a Cal Poly graduate!) takes the town of CholulaPuebla and demands contributions from its wealthiest citizens for the Mexican Revolution. However, his plans are disrupted when he falls in love with the Señorita Beatriz Peñafiel (María Félix), the tempestuous daughter of the town’s richest man. The film was fully restored by UCLA in 2018. Film will be introduced by Latino Film expert Maria Elena de las Carreras.

GLASS: A PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IN TWELVE PARTS (2007)
Director: Scott Hicks
Country: USA, Running Time: 119 min
An eventful year in the career and personal life of distinguished Western classical composer Philip Glass as he interacts with a number of friends and collaborators, who include Chuck Close, Ravi Shankar, and Martin Scorsese.

HEARTS OF GLASS: A VERTICAL FARM TAKES ROOTS IN WYOMING
Director: Jennifer Tennican
Country: USA, Running Time: 68 min
Vertical Harvest (VH) is a highly innovative but risky experiment in growing crops and providing meaningful employment for people with disabilities. Built on 1/10 of an acre at an elevation of 6,237 feet, the high tech hydroponic greenhouse is located in Jackson, Wyoming, a mountain town with extreme seasonal fluctuations in weather, population and demand for goods and services. Business drama is interwoven with the personal journeys of individuals who are part of an underemployed and underestimated group, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Plants and people grow together in this intimate portrait of one community’s attempt to address timely and pressing issues around local food production, inclusion and opportunity.

KOYAANISQATSI (1982)
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Country: USA, Running Time: 86 min
A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity, and the relationship between them.

KUNDUN (1997)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Country: USA, Running Time: 134 min
From childhood to adulthood, Tibet’s fourteenth Dalai Lama deals with Chinese oppression and other problems.

CENTRAL COAST FILMMAKER SHOWCASE

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
91 HARVESTS
(see above)

BETTER TOGETHER
Director: Isaac Hernandez
Country: USA, Running Time: 50 min
Community makes the difference. The response to a horrendous oil blowout fifty years ago in Santa Barbara sparked the modern environment, creating a culture that continues to inspire local solutions to global problems. The legacy of the oil spill continues to inform this community, which keeps coming together, providing local solutions to global environmental problems; such as when over 3,000 volunteers jointed the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to dig the mud from homes after the deadly 2018 debris flow.

BY HAND
Director: Kellen Keene
Country: USA, Running Time: 67 min
In an attempt to escape comfort, reconnect to the natural world and set a new bar for ocean adventure, SLO County residents and twin brothers Casey and Ryan Higginbotham made a decision that would reshape their loives. On March 18, 2016, they embarked on a 2200-mile paddle from Alaska to Mexico with 18-foot paddle boards.

SPOONS: A SANTA BARBARA STORY

Director: Wyatt Daily

Country: USA, Running Time: 58 min

Dusty archives have been re-discovered remastered to bring a new perspective to one of the most crucial periods in surfing’s evolution. This is a film compiled of never-before-seen footage from surfing’s Golden Age, with outtakes and extras from some of surfing’s most well-known filmmakers to tell a history that has never been told before. A story of craftsmanship, work ethic, renegades and tradition; a film that goes beyond the time spent in the ocean to define how one spends a lifetime.

NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
THE ADVENTURES OF COWMAN AND LAMBOY
Director: Dominic Hure
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min

BLUE NOISE
Director: Jonah Moshammer
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min

CAL POLY SHORTS
Directors: Cal Poly Liberal Arts students
Country: USA, Running Time: 50 min

CRIMSON CUFFS
Director: Madeline Vail
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
Director: Dale Griffiths Stamos
Country: USA, Running Time: 13 min

THE INCIDENT
Director: Johannes S. Beals
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min

LOCKDOWN
Director: Jorrit Van Der Kooi
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min

MOVING PAINS
Director: Michael Gould
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min

NICKEL IN THE SAND
Director: Mike Winger
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min

ODD BIRD
Director: Katy Dore
Country: USA, Running Time: 9 min

ROSIE
Director: Shanti Herzog
Country: USA, Running Time: 17 min

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
93: LETTERS FROM MARGE
Director: Heather Hudson
Country: USA, Running Time: 30 min

BIRDS OF LOS BANOS
Director: Gail Osherenko
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min

CARRIZO PLAIN: A SENSE OF PLACE
Director: Jeff McLoughlin
Country: USA, Running Time: 32 min

THE EDGE OF PURPOSE
Director: Winslow Perry
Country: USA, Running Time: 40 min

FARM TO FLOAT: THE MAKING OF THE CALIFORNIA GROWN ROSE PARADE ENTRIES
Director: Alex Raban
Country: USA, Running Time: 17 min

FOREVER VOTERS
Director: Sky Bergman
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min

KUT TO BE THE BEST: THE LAST BLACK BARBERSHOP IN SAN LUIS OBISPO
Director/Writer: Justice Whitaker
Country: USA, Running Time: 40 min

LIFESAVER: THE SLO NOOR FOUNDATION STORY
Director: Bob Williams
Country: USA, Running Time: 40 min

MARGARET SINGER: SEEKING LIGHT
Director: Louise Palanker
Country: USA, Running Time: 20 min

MOCHITSUKI
(see above)

ORANGEBURG: A TOWN, A TEAM, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY
Director: Jim Fabio
Country: USA, Running Time: 20 min

PASO ROBLES: A GOODBYE STORY
Director: Brandt Goodman
Country: USA, Running Time: 4 min

REFORGING A LEGACY
Director: Bryan McLain
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min

SLOFF_2020

ABOUT SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo’s laid-back vibe and serene natural beauty is the perfect setting for this highly regarded annual film celebration. Filmmakers rave about the warmth and attentiveness that is so much a part of the SLO Film fest experience, as does the swelling tide of industry pros and film critics who are fast discovering the film festival’s thoughtful audiences and unique programming sensibility. At the SLO Film Fest, “Movies Matter!”

*Featured photo: HollywoodGlee at the SLO Film Fest Festival Tent (Photo by Kevin O’Connor, in memoriam)

(Source: Press release provided by John Wildman, Wildman PR)

Dawson City: Frozen Time (Morrison, USA) 2016

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Viewed as part of Prof. Albright’s Film Studies 104, “American Cinema up to the 1960’s.”

Directed/Written/Photographed and Edited by Bill Morrison, Dawson City: Frozen Time weaves a narrative of a highly unique period in the history of human civilization.

It’s a story of a Canadian gold rush town at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon Rivers, approximately 175 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The area had been an important hunting and fishing camp for a nomadic First Nation tribe known as Tr’ondek Hwech’in.

Utilizing a treasure trove of 533 reels of film (dating from the 1910’s and 1920’s (seemingly lost until being discovered buried in an abandoned sub-artic swimming pool) newsreels, archival photographs and modern day and interviews, Morrison uncovers a magical and mythical trail of settlers, gold mining prospectors in search of gold and prosperity and the end of a Hollywood film distribution line in the Canadian Yukon.

The perma-frost preserved films are now housed at the US Library of Congress and in the Canadian Archives in Ottawa. Jointly, the Library of Congress and the Canadian National Archives restored all the titles to 35mm preservation masters.

Dawson City: Frozen Time is highly recommended and a must-see for any film historian!

Gravitas Features sets March 20 release date for Amber McGinnis’ award-winning dark comedy INTERNATIONAL FALLS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Gravitas Ventures set to release
Amber McGinnis’ award-winning dark comedy
INTERNATIONAL FALLS
Theatrical and North American VOD release on March 20

Intl Falls PosterNEW YORK, NY (February 12, 2020) – Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, announced today the theatrical and VOD release date of Friday, March 20 for Amber McGinnis’ award-winning film INTERNATIONAL FALLS. The dark comedy will wrap up a successful year-long film festival run with appearances in a trio of film festivals around the country, and in France at the 42nd International Women’s Film Festival.

The feature film directorial debut by McGinnis, INTERNATIONAL FALLS features a lineup of notable comedian/actors and familiar faces including Rachel Harris (Lucifer, Suits), Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital, Transparent), Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan, Weeds), Mindy Sterling (The Goldbergs, the AUSTIN POWERS films), Erik Griffin (Workahlics, I’m Dying Up Here), and Matthew Glave (THE WEDDING SINGER, ARGO). The film was written by Thomas Ward, and produced by Nicholas Dunlevy and McGinnis.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL FALLS is a dark comedy about Dee (Rachael Harris), a woman stuck in a small, snowbound border town in northern Minnesota who harbors a secret dream of a career in stand-up. When she forms a friendship with Tim (Rob Huebel), a burned-out touring comedian, these two lost souls are forced to face the harsh but funny truths of their lives.

Intl Falls 2
Rob Huebel and Rachel Harris in INTERNATIONAL FALLS (Photo courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)

The film has been an official selection at 22 film festivals across the country, and has won multiple awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at 5 different festivals. The film festivals giving the film their highest honor, include the Ashland Independent Film Festival, the Naples International Film Festival, the New York No Limits Film Series, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Tallgrass International Film Festival in Wichita.

 

Rogalsky
Brett Rogalsky

“What audiences will most like about INTERNATIONAL FALLS is undoubtedly its human elements: the characters, the emotions, and the humor are all realistic and relatable, making for an easy to fall in love with feature,” said Brett Rogalsky, Acquisitions Coordinator at Gravitas Ventures.

 

INTERNATIONAL FALLS will continue its impressive film festival tour leading up to its release with appearances at; Dallas’ Best of Fests on February 29 which includes top films from 2019 festival programming in Dallas and North Texas film festivals’ programming form 2019; the Destiny City Film Festival in Takoma, Washington on March 14, and the Fargo Film Festival on March 21, the day after the film opens across the country and on VOD.

Gravitas

About Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, is a leading all rights distributor of independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America – over one billion homes worldwide. Recent releases include Armstrong, directed by David Fairhead; Above the Shadows staring Olivia Thirlby, Megan Fox and Jim Gaffigan; The River and the Wall, directed by Ben Masters; Score: A Film Music Documentary; California Typewriter; Legion of Brothers; Katie Holmes’ feature directorial debut; All We Had, Colin Hanks’ All Things Must Pass; and Being Evel from Academy Award winning director Daniel Junge and producer Johnny Knoxville.

For more information, please visit gravitasventures.com, and follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.

About Red Arrow Studios

Red Arrow Studios is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of entertainment content. Red Arrow Studios is comprised of 20 production companies in seven territories, including 10 companies based in the United States; world-leading multi-platform digital network Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures.

The group’s significant output includes scripted, non-scripted and formatted content and IP, from TV and film to short-form and branded content, made for an array of global networks and platforms.

Red Arrow Studios is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, one of Europe’s leading media groups. For more information, please visit: https://redarrowstudios.com/

 

(Source: Press release provided by Wildman PR, John Wildman)