Archive for November, 2006

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Just announced today by New York International Independent Film and Video Festival
“SAMARITAN” wins Best Suspense Short!  Kimball Carr nominated for Best Director!

Festival summit ..

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Film Focus
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Best suspense movies at NYIIFVF
NYIIFV Festival wrapped eight days of film screenings, world premieres, industry panels and after-parties November 16. The festival, known as “the voice of independent film,” will showcased more than 225 international and domestic features, shorts, documentaries and animations.
Star Circle Pictures (SCP) has won the award for BEST SUSPENSE SHORT for the N.Y. premiere of “SAMARITAN” at its 2006 festival.
 

Best suspense movies at NYIIFVF
November 30, 2006

The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) proudly announces Star Circle Pictures (SCP) has won the award for BEST SUSPENSE SHORT for the N.Y. premiere of “SAMARITAN” at its 2006 festival.

NYIIFVF is passionate about exposing films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe,” says NYIIFV Festival Executive Director and Founder Stuart Alson. “Star Circle Pictures had demonstrated it’s skill with new technologies, being the first in the World to complete a movie with the Panasonic AG HVX-200 High Definition Camera. More importantly, with ‘SAMARITAN’ SCP demonstrates it’s skill at telling a compelling story.” Writer/Director Kimball Carr had also been nominated for BEST DIRECTOR.

“Though new technologies are rattling the foundations of cinematic self-expression,” SCP Producer Ethan Marten says, “story will always be King, and Star Circle Pictures its loyal subject – no matter how much we love those technologies. We are proud to be receiving both Kimball’s Best Director nomination and this Award for BEST SUSPENSE.”

NYIIFV Festival wrapped eight days of film screenings, world premieres, industry panels and after-parties November 16. The festival, known as “the voice of independent film,” will showcased more than 225 international and domestic features, shorts, documentaries and animations.
NYIIFV is the place to have your projects seen and reviewed by the best of the best,” comments Editor Dave Sardella (Micro Cinema Magazine). “This world-renowned festival can be the launching pad to a successful career for aspiring directors and producers. Executive Producer of NYIIFVF Mr. Stuart Alson comments, “We were excited about our line-up of films and filmmakers from all over the world. The festival represents a new wave of independent filmmakers and offers a unique opportunity for members of the film industry.
With Samaritan “Star Circle Pictures is remaking moviemaking,” according to Adam Penenberg of Fast Company Magazine. This High Definition motion picture is reminiscent of classic Twilight Zone – suspenseful and dramatic. “SAMARITAN” explores why we fear what we do not understand, and that maybe mankind must accept “that the truth may not be what we want it to be.”

“No film was used to make Samaritan. No tape. It was shot straight onto

memory cards and editing began on set,” says SCP Producer Ethan Marten. “When wrapped — after two nights and 81 set ups — Samaritan was already in a rough cut form having never left our possession.”
For all interview, feature, review requests and more information on the upcoming NYIIFVF, please contact Briege Mc Garrity at 917 783 4042 or via email at BMcGarrityPR@aol.com or Nicole Holland at nicolefilms1@aol.com or by telephone at 702-361-1430. Media credentials can be obtained by faxing a request to 702-361-6309 on company letterhead no later than November 1, 2006. A Press Credential form and complete film program is available online in the press room section of www.nyfilmvideo.com.
ABOUT NYIIFVF: The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993 by entertainment impresario Stuart Alson and is recognized as the largest competitive independent film event in the world. Passionate about exposing the films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, NYIIFVF is a unique platform for emerging and established filmmakers to network and screen their work. in the hope of getting exposure and a distribution deal. Past festivals have included the work of Calista Flockhart, Cameron Diaz, Eva Herzigova, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Rod Steiger, Sean Lennon, Tippi Hedren, Willem Dafoe and Vin Diesel. Indie guru Abel Ferrara famously quoted in MovieMaker, “This festival is the real deal: Everybody else just talks about doing it, these guys just do it!”






A Few Words for Mr. Robert Altman

The eulogies abound. How do you reduce a man’s life, and work, into a few sentences? You don’t — you really can’t. I choose to celebrate the life of the outsider’s outsider. You can find the list of his movies and the stars who had donated an appendage to work with him anywhere else. Director Robert Altman was a modern pioneer of Independent Motion Pictures. He made movies he loved. He told stories he cared about deeply. Altman proved you don’t need Hollywood financing or approval to make the motion pictures you feel passion for. Family comes first, but I hope I can look back one day and be half as proud of my body of work as he.

The Cinema Lounge at Gardel’s in Baltimore presents “Samaritan.”
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The Baltimore Premiere was hosted by La Familia de Alonso in the Historic Gardel’s. 
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This beautiful 19th Century building (circa 1869) is practically a studio in and of itself, and the after party can be held downstairs where the best Tango dancers come from all over the East to show their stuff.

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If you are fortunate enough to screen at this venue you will be greeted by an enthusiastic assembly of producers, directors, actors, teachers, financiers, family and film folk.  On behalf of the “Samaritan” cast and crew, and the whole Star Circle Pictures Family I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for all the effort that went into making the Baltimore Premiere a success.

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That’s Al Ghanekar (actor), Kevin Mayberry (actor), Lisamarie Holte (actress, recently made an appearance in Flags of Our Fathers), and Robert G. Christie (Director, The Sobbing Stone), and me.


Thanks to Gardel’s, Johnny Alonso and his family, Stacie and Black Ink Films for this wonderful event.  Thank you as well to all the the attendees.  You made the trip worth while.

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Ethan, Actor Kevin Tan, and Producer Stacie Jones

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Ethan and Balck Ink Films’ Producer Stacie Jones

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Pam Good and Sheri Beyrau on the way downtown.

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The fans demand; “Free the Birds.”  This might have been one of the highlights — an army of Baltimore Oriole Fans marched down the waterfront chanting for a change in ownership. 

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Who are we  to deny the Baltimore Fans?  Pam took the picture, Johnny, Sheri and I hit the Baltimore Waterfront.  Sheri was observing and chronicling, Johnny ordered the tapas in fluent Spanish.  The conversation steered from acting from acting to travel.  From as far back as Greek Theatre chorus members were heard to say; “It’s better to be typecast than not to be cast at all….” to our favorite places to voyage — Greece, China and Portugal.

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What Star Circle Pictures won’t do for its own. 
“Samaritan” Star Johnny Alonso catches a ride across the screening room! 

If you have photos from that evening — we will be happy to post them.  Please send as j-peg with photo id’s and photo bys where appropriate to ethan@starcirclepictures.com

After remaining awake and working through the last 72 hours of the Festival with London-based MaXam Productions…

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Meanwhile, the wheels are in motion for a Spring 2007 start date for “Six Bullets 7 Strangers.”

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Stay tuned for more Star Circle Pictures developments.

(Forgive the typos, edits will come later…)

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Note to self: Next Time, Bring Vitamins. Drink more water!

Life is what you make of it, and Stuart Alson’s New York International Independent Film and Video Festival has been one wild ride. The opportunities for moviemakers are endless!

In the last two days alone, I have developed friendships I know will last a lifetime, with people it will be a pleasure working with throughout that lifetime. How unique an experience to be in situation after situation where you can do business with people whose enthusiasm, artistic integrity and passion are a match to your own. Thank you Stuart and company.

There are big things to announce on the Star Circle Pictures front, but I think it’s only fair that my partners hear it before you .. not much earlier .. but a little! What I can reveal this morning is the formation of a strategic alliance.

The Festival has been setting the attendees up with additional opportunities. Last night, Jonathan and I hit press night for the new Bond film, Casino Royale, with Maxam Productions CEO Max Bartoli. We were joined at the Ziegfeld by 1,300 of my closest friends in the media. You literally couldn’t turn in one direction without having a discussion with a reviewer, which we did .. repetedly. We engaged in conversations and handed out screeners to genuinely interested press. (Lesson learned .. always travel with screeners!)

By the way, Daniel Craig brings first class acting chops to the best Bond script yet written.

After the film, the three amigos .. Jonathan, Max and myself .. headed back to Village East for a dinner with Stuart Alson and Independent Film Quarterly (IFQ) Executive Editor Nicole Holland.. Max sprung for the cab (All class!). Topics of conversation were far ranging .. literally .. from the L.A. Festival to Cannes. Stuart loves filmmakers. He created this festival after having sweated out his own production and going through the trials of getting it shown. He still works hard to get it right. During the Festival, he tends to operate on two hours sleep a night .. if he’s lucky. “I started my own festival so filmmakers could have the opportunity to be seen in major cities,” Stuart says. “I don’t want to be involved in the politics. I don’t want to make the films .. I just want to show them. I want to help filmmakers .. get them screened, get them press coverage, arrange distribution.”

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Far ranging discussions with New York International Independent Film and Video Festival’s Staurt Alson, Star Circle Pictures Producer Ethan Marten and Maxam Productions CEO Max Bartoli
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Finding common ground with Stuart and Max at the NYIIFVF 2006

He also enjoys meeting people and making friendships. We all agreed; take care of the family, eat well, keep a roof over your head, travel and making a living doing what you love with people you like makes for a wonderful life.

The day before, I was introducing Jonathan to fetching artist rep Francesca Giordano, the beautiful Paola, and World Class Painter Gersain Muriel. We had no trouble finding his Village apartment…until we got off the elevator! Not that it was difficult; we just took a couple of wrong turns in the hallway (note to self; bring sleep along with the vitamins)

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Paola, Francesca, E. and Gersain

Three lovelier people would seem impossible to find if I hadn’t already met so many on this trip. Gersain shared his art and his hospitality, while Francesca translated some things that might have been lost. We shared many laughs, and discussed the very heart of his art and soul.

I asked where this gift first came from, because it truly is a gift. Though Gersain is salt of the Earth .. totally without pretension .. standing before one of his works it is obvious to anyone who can see or feel that you’re standing before greatness.

Gersain himself would probably disagree. Instead, he would more likely point out (as he did) that two or three previously painted images are hidden beneath the oil on the current painting. If he doesn’t like a a sketch or a painting he will tear it apart. Francesca has witnessed people fishing his images out of the trash and piecing them together. Gersain has a talent for finding the beauty in images people would generally tend to overlook or even think ugly. He loves the human form and reveals it in all its glory .. fearlessly exploring the fine line between agony and ecstacy. But he can also find the beauty in a worn, torn and abandoned wing-backed chair.

Many find his work so compelling, he is possibly the youngest artist to have sold his work in a Sotheby’s Auction. His paintings hang in important collections throughout Europe.
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Gersain grew up near Medien, Columbia. He has known tragedy. Two of his brothers were murdered. He could be bitter, but he is filled with love, and a lust for life. Francesca noted that she had never seen a more beautiful and breathtaking place or ever been more scared for her life.

When he was four or five he says, “this woman molded my dinner into little animals. Then she had me draw them on the wall. That woman was my mother.” From that moment he knew he wanted to dedicate his life to “capturing forms.”

At twelve, he told his mother of his vision .. a beautifully dressed woman in colorful robes .. a goddess. His muse. His art. In a ceremony, with candles and prayers .. he married her. His mother wept her joy for his discovery.

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Though this bad boy artist is often be surrounded by beautiful women .. not the least of which are his friends and partners Paola and Francesca .. their greatest gifts eminate from within.

If you have photos from the event — we will be happy to post them.  Please send as j-peg with photo id’s and photo bys where appropriate to ethan@starcirclepictures.com

NYIIFV Festival Part Deux

(Excuse me folks if you’re already reading this. I’m still writing editing, but I’m posting so as not to lose any of this.  At this stage, I’m so tired, I have little control over the fingers that could send what little blog there is right now — into the netherworld of unretrievable data.)

Little time for sleep.  My eyes feel like two lead balls, and the effort it’s taking to keep them in the sockets is tremendous!  Not too many others sleep during the festival either.  Though as it winds on — I notice more bobbing heads.  There are many resources to take advantage of, and contacts being made.

The festival is going gangbusters — Star Circle Pictures is proud to be a participant and have SAMARITAN as an official entry.  The NYIIFVF Premiere of “Samaritan” has been a tremendous success.

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Hitting the streets and pounding the pavement…a violent day of hawking “Samaritan” at the New York International Independent Film Festival!

There were some minor glitches in last night’s Premiere; nothing that couldn’t be overcome by a festival staff with a can do attitude — a staff wanting the best outcome for each moviemaker.  It was almost  like a Marx Bros. movie for a moment — which made me, “SAMARITAN” family members Jonathan (Marten if you have been keeping the thread from the previous blog), Tanya (you’re gonna have to read that blog!), Sheri Beyrau, Kathlin Gordon, Russ, and Victoria Smith feel perfectly at home with the Martens.  I keep thinking about the in one door — out the other from “Room Service”.  Really, the only thing we were missing was Margaret Dumont! 

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The 2nd Story Gang reunited:  Ethan, Sheri Beyrau, Russ (newest member), and Kathlin “Goat Mother” Gordon. 

We were originally scheduled for Screen 3 (door #1).  For technical reasons, the festival moved the screening to 5 (door #2), and then another quick tango into Screen 4 (#3!).  Most of my troopers have had years of improv experience under their belts, took the offering, and said yes!  Everyone got up good natured and shuffled off to 4.  The slight delay actually provided a few extra minutes for some key WCBS media caught in traffic to be on time (and for me to do my first stand up in years.  Hey, I think I even got a gig out it!).

The end result was a full and appreciative house, and a fantastic screening attended by Time Warner (many thanks to Jansylvette Rotger, Irina Miloslavski and Gabriel ((Zdravstvuite and Spasiba!)).  They’re editing already.  I wish you some sleep, but I know you won’t get any until after the 16th!

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“My name is Jimmy Carter, and I’m running for Producer.”  Developing the Pitch during the day:  “See the movie Fast Company Writer Adam Penenberg says is ‘remaking moviemaking.’”

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Improving the pitch by night…”Spike Lee says, ‘Better than Katz!’ Orson Welles says, ‘If I made just one film –  just one — it would have been Samaritan!’ ” Perfecting the pitch:  “Borat!  Screen 4 at 6:05.  Follow me!”

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Yo Brooklyn!!  “Samaritan’s” newest fans.  Ben, right, used to go to the Village East Theatres when just a pisher — way back when it was a leading Yiddish Theatre.  My brother, Richard was an usher here almost 40 years ago for original production of  “Man of La Mancha,” starring Richard Killey, before it went to Broadway. 

We were honored to have “El Barrio’ Director Melissa Eidson in attendence along with Editor Lucero Milchorena.  “El Barrio” is one of the movies one must target given so many choices at NYIIFVF.  Tonight, make your way to the Village East Cinemas — 189 Second Ave, corner of 12th St. (Jeez, I don’t even make you open a directory, can I make this any easier for you?) Screen 6 @ 6:10pm.  Now folks, they’re executing the screening of hundreds of movies.  Those screens can change if need be — so confirm “El Barrio” on Screen 6 when you get there.

Also attending “Samaritan” — all the way from Rome — we’re talking 25,000 Euros for the trip folks, Maxam Productions very own namesake and CEO Max Bartoli and Tabitha Bartolini (who handles marketing here in Manhattan).  His movie “Ignotus” set in 13th Century Italia is a festival highlight not to be missed. “Ignotus” is the story of a wounded Knight recalling the most meaningful moments of his life before his enemies find him to finish him off.  And, when all hope is lost….This is an award winning short in multiple categories including Best Acting, Best Short and Best Costuming.  “Ignotus” has been selected for more than 10 international festivals!

Max has a rare passion and integrity  — not only for his own work — but for the work of others.  He not only has earned the respect of his peers, but gives it freely.  He is a true cinefile in the best sense of the word.  No moviemaker has a better friend or champion.  Grazie, mi amici.

Catch “Ignotus” Wednesday, November 15, 8pm at the Village East Cinemas.  I’ll see you there.

Check out Maxam’s multiple projects at their site: 
http://www.maxamproductions.com/

JT Talent & Casting is not only a sponsor President John “JT” Thomas is a larger-than-life personality that belongs infront of the camera.  Only two problems: one, finding a screen large enough to contain his energy.  (JT — drink some chamomile so everyone can keep up); two, he’s an even better personal manager!  He’s been working this festival so hard — Ive had multiple directors come up and ask if he was Stuart Alson!  Et tu JT?  Here’s a quick hint to tell them apart if you’re just off the boat.  Stuart is the guy who is running around making sure NYIIFVF is a great success for the moviemakers.  JT is the guy with the glowing implant on the right side of head (don’t know why they call that blue thing a “tooth” when it’s coming out of your ear, but hey…) running around rangling everyone and making sure NYIIFVF is a great success.  Thanks for rounding up the troops for the premiere JT.

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Getting down to business with John “JT” Thomas at the NY International Independent Film and Video Festival Premiere of “Samaritan” outside the Village East Cinemas.

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Teaching JT how to cheat out to camera.  He learns quickly!

By the way, if you’re attending the festival you need to get a hold of Renata (I’m not going to tell you to read that other blog any more, but really…okay, just this once — Renata Lorenc).  She’s on the phone cutting deals and securing distribution all day.  It is not uncommon to see her perched on the floor, in a corner, next to the table negotiating on behalf of the entries.  Somebody — surgically remove the cell phone and make sure she eats something!

More to come!

Night Two at NYIIFVF

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The New York International Independent Film & Video Festival

is in full swing.  There are great movies to be seen and a great spirit to match.  Festival Founder, Executive Director, and CEO Stuart Alson has created another fantastic festival. 
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His amiable and adept team have outdone themselves.  Program Director/Film Committee Chief Nicole Holland has assembled an incredible lineup of more than 200 movies, seminars, parties, receptions and other networking opportunities with distributors and worldwide press.  Along with my Award winning Producer Brother, Actors Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Jonathan Marten, we dove into the deep end and drank of its waters.  Mmmmnnn, tastey!
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Festival Director of Marketing Renata Lorenc at the Telephone Bar and Grill.  (Sleep is not an option!)

Festival Director of Marketing Renata Lorenc and Director of Publicity Briege McGaritty hosted a networking luncheon at the Telephone Bar and Grill on Second Avenue full of laughter as well as serious shop talk. 

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Ethan and Briege making plans at NYIIFV Festival 2006

Ms. McGaritty has been called every name she can think of over the years.  “I’ve been called Brie, even Breast (by one fellow whose Freudian slip was showing), but don’t call Briege Brittish.  She’s an Irish Rose through and through!

Marketing Wiz Valerie Nicholas, a former vegan, is sinking her teeth into film success (and the chicken wings!).   Valerie, who prefers her comedy on the edge, was on her best behavior — almost.  Years ago she started out with Champion Cigars, went to work for the Cyber Boxing Zone, and has parlayed that into a film career — this night having exhibited “Out of Ali’s Shadow:   The Larry Holmes Story.”
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“I get all European media,” says Briege as she, Jonathan, and Valerie Nicholas discuss the division of the World Press.

The  house was packed with luminaries, including the former Heavyweight Champion himself.  Holmes, who has been greatly overlooked is finely receiving the respect that has been due. 
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Ethan and Former Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes at the openning of
“Out of Ali’s Shadow:   The Larry Holmes Story.”  I’m wearing my mouthpiece — just in case.

Writer/Producer Evan Grant brought all the mishpucha to celebrate his six-year-long journey to the big screen. Executive Producer (and writer of Cinerella Man) Mike DeLisa had his family in on the celebration as well. 
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Ethan with “Cinderella Man” Mike DeLisa

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“You may be my friend, but I’ll drop you in 10!”  Clowning with Executive Producer Mike DeLisa, who responds, “Don’t give me that jive — I’ll take you in five!”  The smart money’s on DeLisa.

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From right:  Writer-Director-Producer Evan Grant, Pulitzer Prize Nominated Writer Thomas Hausen, and Little (litterally)
Ol’ Ethan

Legendary trainer and commentator Teddy Atlas lent his talents on screen as well as in person.  For all of Atlas’ accomplishments, and training of champions, he remains humble.  
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Teddy Atlas — a class act — all the way. 

He pays tribute to his late father with the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation, awarding scholarships and grants to individuals and organizations.

HBO’s 30-year veteran of all things boxing  Larry Merchant was was on hand as well as Pulitzer Prize Nominee Thomas Hauser, who has been at work creating a romantic comedy!
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Larry — you were robbed!  There was no way you didn’t win the decision!  What’s next for Team Merchant?

“The NYIIFV Festival is a great stepping stone,” Valerie explained.  “It has great resources and opportunities for film makers.”  Last year Mike Delisa’s “The Superfight Marciano vs. Ali” won the Festival’s Screen Craft Award. Since the Star Circle Pictures business card  made it into her “Elvis” card case, and not the plain card case –  I know we’re going to be a success!  You rock Valerie…literally!
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Three Icons.  Elvis, Star Circle Pictures, and the hand of a Media Goddess…not necessarily in that order!

Marea Productions and Cannes 2006 selection “El Barrio” Director Melissa Eidson was kindness incarnate.  As my bloodsugar dropped — she slid a plate of fries in my direction!  Many thanks Melissa. 
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El Barrio Director Melissa Eidson is an artist with compassion as deep as her talent.  Her empathy for the human condition is the heart of “Barrio.”

The journey of “Barrio” began in Harlem, where Edison tought and learned from her young students.  She brought her teaching credentials to a Brooklyn school.  The way the public perceived it, “the next stop for a lot of these kids was Riker’s Island,” Eidson said.  “We had these kids doing Shakespeare!” 

After this, was a blur of events and activity including a stay with a cool uncle — a drinking, Priest-philosopher in San Miguel — a tip toTahiti to relax and write poetry, and a baby.

All these experiences and more went into the creation of El Barrio, a story of strength, endurance and ingenuity as seen through the eyes of the people of Mexico City.

“I  have an affinity for these people,”  Eidson  says, “I feel alive with them — they are survivors.”

All photos by Jonathan Marten — even the ones he’s in!  What can I say, he’s amzing.  Okay, I took those, but you were wondering how he did it for a second — weren’t you?  More tomorrow, including the Premiere of Star Circle Pictures’  SAMARITAN.  Good night — I mean good morning!  E.

Monday, 7 November 2006.  

It’s 3 days before the start of the New York Independent Internaional Film and Video Festival.  Kelley Davis, SAMARITAN’s Mrs. Gredenko is sitting down for a little chatter over coffee.  

Kelley Davis:    Make me witty and adorable.

Ethan Marten:    Kelley you already are.

KD:     Gracias — I say that because that’s all the Spanish I know.  Actually, I know how to say cervesa as well, and donde esta el bano…

EM:      Sorry, I can’t type that enyae….Nice hat by the way, what is that — a herring bone railroad hat?

KD:    Thanks, it’s actually my husband’s, but I think it looks better on me.  I grabbed it anyway.

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On the waterfront with Kelley Davis.                                    Photo by EEM

EM:    You had a car accident about two months ago. You look great.  How are you feeling?

KD:    I’m finding you never really recover completely.  Rest isn’t an option, chiropracters, muscle relaxers, working out, but not necessarily in that order.

EM:    Muscle relaxers first?

KD:    Yes, but not before teaching classes.  (Winks.)

EM:    I know you’re only joking.  You were spot on on the shoot.

KD:    (Laughs, but admits nothing….)

EM:    Where were you born?    

KD:    Born in New Mexico — moved to Las Vegas when I was five.  Lived there for six years.   Kissed my first boy in Kindergarten (I went back when I was16!)  I shocked him.  I ran up grabbed him and then ran away.

EM:    See, you were born for the theatre!

KD:    I have one older brother, Greg.  We were raised in a military family, so we had to be close.  Always moving, losing old friends, and trying to
make new ones….Dad was a Luitenant Colonel in the Air Force. Greg and I are very different.    He is silently protective.  I am such a mind speaker -my friends have accused me of having an undiagnosed case of Teretz.  Anyway, he expresses how proud he is of me.  He’s a chemical engineer.  I tell him he has all the brains — I have all the looks.  He was very concerned when I started studying theatre.

EM:    I guess it confirmed his darkest fears –

KD:    That his sister was insane?  Possibly.  He’s a chemical engineer, what kind of career can a theatre provide?  He came to all my plays, but he saw me in Tennessee Williams’ Talk to me about the Rain, and let me Listen at (CNU) and finally smiled.  “Damn, you can actually do this.”  He didn’t worry about my ability to eat, pay my bills (and hit him up for money) after that.   

EM:    So you said you originally intended to become a social worker.  When did it hit you that you would rather act (and possibly need the services of a social worker) than be one?

KD:    Always, ever since I was little.  I just didn’t consider it a viable job.  I was misserable studying — so I took two years off of college.  Though Mom and dad were less than thrilled at the prospect — they supported me finding my way.  One night over a couple of glasses of wine with Mom (you know, wine equals truth,) Mom asked, “If you had it all to do over again, what would you do?”  No hesitation, first thing that came out of my mouth, “theatre.”  She said, “Then, why don’t you.”  Next day I registered at CNU’s theatre program.  Worked my little tushy off, and loved every second of it.

EM:    You earned a nickname on the set —

KD:    Ya — I think it was Swollen Ass.  I was trying to be all macho and do my — well I wouldn’t say macho — I’m all girlie — no I’m not –

EM:    Split personality maybe?

KD:    That’s why I am an actor.

EM:      Picking up the thread –

KD:    I insisted I didn’t need a mat for all the pratfalls…I didn’t realize I was going to hit the ground so many times.

EM:    We actually got the shot on the first take.  I think your nickname should have been Buns of Steel!

KD:    Oh really?!

EM:    Na — I’m just screwing with one of your personalities.

KD:    Which one?

EM:    The girlie one.  The macho one doesn’t care!  But like the Buns of Steel thing.

KD:    Girlie Personality likes it too.  Thank God Kimball (Director Kimball Carr) insisted I be safe and comfortable, and made me use the mat.

EM:    How did you hear of SAMARITAN?

KD:    Call from my agent at Atlantic Talent. She asked me if I wanted to audition for this film –

EM:    25-cent fine for the film comment!

KD:    Forgot about that — you need a jar!  I wanted to audition for this ground breaking high definition movie project that I knew nothing about.

EM:    So when you found it was another Indie pic — you couldn’t wait to jump on board!

KD:    I only hesitated slightly.  (Another wink, and more laughter). 

EM:    You were tentative?

KD:    Yes.  Good word.  I tell my acting students any experience is good experience, however, I’ve been around long enough to know you have
to develop a sense of what will help you grow as an actor.  You can have an experience that isn’t necessarily the best, but you still grow.

EM:    I imagine you might also feel that you get to a point where you might want your learning experiences to also be pleasant experiences.

KD:    Very true.  It was amazing.  Script was amazing.  At the audition — Johnny and I were discussing the intelligence of the script, and how rare
that is.  That sounds terrible, but it’s true, and how it didn’t reveal too much.  I think a lot of writers underestimate the intelligence of their audience.
I don’t want to speak for Johnny, but I think he felt the same as me.  SAMARITAN was really good, and it had the burden of “Indie movie.”  Truth about Johnny’s character — there were not a lot of actors that could manage that character.   The language was precise, and proper.  “No I do not,”  not “no I don’t,” small example, but indicative of the character.  Otherwise it would have rung false and awkward.”

With my theatre background I’m used to sticking to the written word.  It was a strange feeling moving into film, and having a little leeway with what was on the page.  Of course, with really tight scripts — I wouldn’t dream of improving or improoving what’s on the page, but let’s face it — when you start out — you get a lot of crap.  The key is to recognize this, stay true to your character — without being a pain in the ass on the set.  We have a job as an actor to make people believe that our words and actions stem from truth, and I think at times it’s harder to sell than at other times.

EM:    So Samaritan was a soft sell?

KD:    Because of the way you constructed it — the script, casting, direction — I loved the way Kimball directed — giving you something and then getting out of the way.  That could be taken the wrong way, what I mean is — he tells you what he wants and instills the confidence in you that he believes you can give it to him.  He was very courteous and respectful.  He was accomplished in his job and allowed you to execute yours.

EM:    See — witty, adorable AND intelligent!  Tell me a little bit about your character, Mrs. Gredenko.

KD:    I liked, at least, I wanted to portray some strength and obviously she’s upset (she’s been in the middle of a shooting) she could have been blubbery.

EM:    You showed a great deal of vulnerability, and yet your character had a great deal of strength.  That one look you give after Victor whispers in your ear — that was amazing.  I’m going to cross the actor’s line and ask what your secret was — what were you thinking?  What’s behind that look?

KD:    I was gonna say I never reveal my secrets, but I will say that it was meaningful to me as a person.  I had my own traumatic experiences to draw from.  There was more in the script to draw from for the actor than was put on the screen, so for me as a person — I’ve never had a Victor in my life or been a witness to a shooting or a robbery.  So if I actually had been through such a trauma, what would I want said to me to give me strength.  I always try and have my own secrets — my own internal dialogue to deliver a truthful character.

EM:    What was the biggest suprise?   

KD:    I just wasn’t expecting to have so much fun.  I knew I liked your personalities and your audition process off the bat, you seemed genuinely nice; but when you guys explained what you were trying to do with this
project — how much we had to do — in such a short window (81 set ups, 2 nights) — I was expecting a bunch of pissed off, cranky people!
   
EM:    I thought you were going to say you thought we were out of our fucking minds.

KD:    Well, that too. 

EM:    So instead?

KD:    One, everyone was so nice, and two — I don’t think I saw one person blow up even once.  You just don’t find that on any set, really.  That peaceful nature in such a dynamic atmoshphere.  I was expecting complete stress.  Not me per se, but I thought  — I was shocked.  I thought there was no way in hell…Oh God what have I gotten myself into?

EM:    Now we’re getting to the ugly underbelly! 

KD:    (Laughs)  Maybe an extra day or two of shooting will work in my favor!  The hair and makeup, the lighting people — the chiropractor — all so nice!

EM:    Dr. Dan — the chiropractor isn’t gonna like hearing about the muscle relaxers.

KD:    Tell it to macho personality — a Girlie Girl has got to do what a Girlie Girl’s got to do.

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“A Girlie Girl gotta do what a
Girlie Girl gotta do.”  –  Kelley Davis         Photo by EEM

EM:    Give me a preview of your Oscar speech.

KD:    Really?  Oh my Goodness.  Oh Wow, More than anything in the world I would have to thank my parents.  They are the only reason in the
world I have been to sustain this.  My courage and belief in myself stems from their belief in me.  Any time I have lost faith in myself — their belief in me has helped me have the strength to believe in myself. 

EM:    Don’t you want to know which category you were nominated in?

KD:    Oh Good Lord — WHAT– OH no!

EM:     You tell me.

KD:    Well, I would win for best kiss. 

EM:    Lucky Wendell. (The hatless husband.)

KD:    Lucky me….

EM:   Good save since you didn’t thank him in your Oscar speach!

KD:    (More giggles)  Hmnn…Best suppooooortiiiing — I’m underestimating myself –

EM:    What would Mom and Dad say?

KD:    Awww.  Cutest Actress in any film.

EM:    Awwww.

KD:    But I would say, “Best Ass-Fall in a Drama.”

EM:    You’ve got my vote.  Speaking of which — you hit the polls?

KD:    Of course.  Vote, but vote for the right people!  I’ve got my views — but that’s a whole other interview.

EM:    You looking forward to New York and the Festival?

KD:    Yes!  I love N.Y., and to have my movie in a NY Festival — I called all my family and friends.  People’s reactions were animatedted.  I’m feeling overwhelmed. It was as if I had progressed to another level in terms of the acceptance of my work. It’s slightly scarey, because I don’t like watching myself on screen, but I’m proud.  From the moment I read that script — I wanted the part.  The actors cast, J. Michael Hunter, Johnny Alonso — great resumes, great talent.  Great script.  That’s why I wanted it.  Did I get paid?  Yes.  Was I treated well, and with respect on the set? Yes.  Did I think I’d be having a premiere at a prestigious New York festival?  No.  The rest of
it — the chiropractor the pay, the catering (really good).   Especially the festival, I thought — this is wrong — this can’t be happening!  Not because I didn’t believe in the project, but because it was so surreal — it was a big deal. 

EM:    Okay, I think we’re about done, not that I’m throwing you out of the house or anything….Should we do the Barbara Walters thing?

KD:    What’s that?

EM:    If you were a tree — what kind would you be?

KD:      A Dogwood.  But do I have to say why?

EM:    You do now.

KD:    I don’t know.  I have one in my yard that needs to be planted! 

EM:    C’mon —

KD:    Okay, because they look  just like ordinary trees, but then they blossom and have these beautiful flowers.

EM:    That’s a very beautiful sentiment.  Of course then winter comes….

KD:    (Laughs)  Jerk!  (More laughs)

EM:    Barb knows what she’s doing.  What kind of animal would you be?

KD:    A chihuahua — owned by me, because that pup has a gooooood life!
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Puppy Love…“She’s not really
that spoiled…well maybe a bit.”

EM:    If you had to wear superhero underoos — which would they be and why?

KD:    I had Wonder Woman ones when I was little.

EM:    How long ago was that?

KD:    Two years ago.  I don’t know who I would wear wear?  I’m my own superhero?

EM:    You trial ballooning that?  I didn’t know that this would present such a challenge.

KD:    I’m afraid of heights — so I don’t want any flying superheroes.  I would love to be invisisble, but that would present its own problems –

EM:    Sure, and then how would you find your underwear, anyway?!

KD:    Very true.  Audrey Hepburn!  She was an extraordinary actress who overcame her own insecurities and then spent most of her life giving back.  She was UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador.  I would like Meryl Streep underoos, too.

EM:    You’re on a roll now!

KD:    She is just an amazing actress.  I love her.  She loves me, too…she just doesn’t know it yet.  She would be at the top of my list for actors I want to work with. 

EM:    Me, too.  Well, Kelley Dear, Buns of Steel, Macho and Girlie Girl — it was wonderful having all of you over today.

KD:   Thank you for the opportunity and for the nuts and cappuccino.  See you in N.Y.!!!

EM:    Almonds.  We don’t want the kids to get the wrong idea!

KD:    The foam was great, too.

EM:    You are witty and adorable to the last.

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Visit Kelley’s My Space:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Relations Contact: Briege McGarrity or
Nicole Holland at 917 783 4042
Fax: 702-361-6309
Email: BMcGarrityPR@aol.com
Website:www.nyfilmvideo.comwww.nyfilmvideo.com

THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT

FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL
GEARS UP FOR EIGHT DAYS OF FILM SCREENINGS,  WORLD PREMIERES, PARTIES AND PANELS
November 9-16, 2006

Featuring the talents of Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy), Johnny Alonso (One Tree Hill, Samaritan) actress and activist Tippi Hedren (The Birds), Alex Murrel (Laguna Beach), Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan), Clayne Crawford (Swimfan), former Jerky Boy Kamal Ahmed and renowned Belgian actor Patrick Bauchau (The Pretender).

_________________________________________________________________

New York, NY October 26, 2006 –  The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF) proudly announces its return to its hometown Manhattan for eight days of film screenings, world premieres, industry panels and after-parties. The festival, known as “the voice of independent film,” will showcase over 200 international and domestic feature, shorts, documentaries and animations. The festivities kick off on November 9 with a networking party for filmmakers and artists at West Chelsea hotspot Crobar. Film screenings run from November 10th-16th exclusively at City Cinemas Village East.

NYIIFVF, passionate about exposing films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, is “the place to have your projects seen and reviewed by the best of the best,” comments Editor Dave Sardella (Micro Cinema Magazine). “This world-renowned festival can be the launching pad to a successful career for aspiring directors and producers.

The scope of the festival ranges from high profile to novice, so viewers experience an array of films driven by the passion of independent movie-making. Founder and Executive Producer of NYIIFVF Mr. Stuart Alson commented, “We are excited about our line-up of films especially the documentaries and look forward to hosting our filmmakers from all over the world. The festival represents a new wave of independent filmmakers and offers a unique opportunity for members of the film industry as well as delegates and attendees to mingle without the pretentiousness!

Highlights in this year’s Fall/Winter line-up include:

Samaritan – With Samaritan “Star Circle Pictures is remaking moviemaking,” according to Adam Penenberg of Fast Company Magazine.  In an uncertain world we fear what we do not understand.  This High Definition motion picture is reminiscent of classic Twilight Zone – suspenseful and dramatic.  A stranger reveals his supernatural powers while saving a young woman’s life and thwarting an armed robbery.    Victor, the Samaritan, uses extrasensory abilities to disarm the assailant.  Who or what is Victor?   Is the Samaritan a force for good?  When two worlds collide, the veteran detective investigating this mystery is left with more questions than answers after his encounter with the enigmatic Victor.

–> –> –> –>

“No film was used to make Samaritan.  No tape.  It was shot straight onto memory cards and editing began on set,” says SCP Producer Ethan Marten.  “When wrapped — after two nights and 81 set ups — Samaritan was already in a rough cut form having never left our possession.”
(Tuesday, November 11th at 6:05pm, Screen 3)

Out of Ali’s Shadow: The Larry Holmes Story. Documentary. Directed by Evan Grant. Larry Holmes is undeniably one of the greatest champions in heavyweight history. Yet despite his accomplishments, Holmes never managed to escape the presence of the beloved Muhammad Ali. This documentary sheds light upon the man and brings the legacy of Holmes “Out From Ali’s Shadow.”
(Friday, November 10th at 6:00pm, Screen 7)

Heart to Heart. Documentary. Directed by Brian Gordon. A young girl’s heart is failing and will die soon. Doctors implant a device rarely allowed in the United States. After 6 months in the hospital, we learn her fate. Film is hosted and narrated by Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy).

(Saturday, November 11th at 6:10pm, Screen 6)

For all interview, feature, review requests and more information on the upcoming NYIIFVF, please contact Briege Mc Garrity at 917 783 4042 or via email at BMcGarrityPR@aol.com or Nicole Holland at nicolefilms1@aol.com or by telephone at 702-361-1430. Media credentials can be obtained by faxing a request to 702-361-6309 on company letterhead no later than November 1, 2006. A Press Credential form and complete film program is available online in the press room section of www.nyfilmvideo.com.

Post-screening parties will be organized by dynamic party-planning company, Rula PR and will be held each night at various upscale lounges and clubs from 10pm-1am. All after-parties will have a strict dress code and are 21 and over.

Crobar is an award-winning space located in West Chelsea (530 W28th St (Between 10th & 11th Aves). City Cinemas Village East is located at 189 E12th and 2nd Ave). Movie tickets are priced at $12 and can be purchased in advance at www.nyfilmvideo.com or at the Box Office from November 10th onwards.

ABOUT NYIIFVF: The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993 by entertainment impresario Stuart Alson and is recognized as the largest competitive independent film event in the world. Passionate about exposing the films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, NYIIFVF is a unique platform for emerging and established filmmakers to network and screen their work. in the hope of getting exposure and a distribution deal. Past festivals have included the work of Calista Flockhart, Cameron Diaz, Eva Herzigova, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Rod Steiger, Sean Lennon, Tippi Hedren, Willem Dafoe and Vin Diesel. Indie guru Abel Ferrara famously quoted in MovieMaker, “This festival is the real deal: Everybody else just talks about doing it, these guys just do it!” 

Samaritan’s New York Premiere

Hosted By: Stuart Alson
When: Saturday Nov 11, 2006
at 6:05 PM
Where: Village East Cinema (screen 3)
181 Second Avenue at 12 St.
New York, NY 10001
US
Description:
Star Circle Pictures movie SAMARITAN has its New York premiere.

Click Here To View Event

Hope to see you there along with our cast and crew.  Tickets are $15 at the door.