Kevin Dennis: A Broadway Star in the Making

April 6, 2019

Recently completing a starring role in the world premiere of Paradise Square at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area, KEVIN DENNIS has been a rising star in Canada since the late 1990s. He has landed leading roles in stage productions by respected theatre companies such as Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, as well as Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company.

On television he has been seen in recurring roles on CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and 11.22.63 opposite James Franco on Hulu/Bad Robot, as well as guest appearances on Reign (CW/CBS), Orphan Black (Space/BBC America), Warehouse 13 (Syfy), Flashpoint (CTV/CBS), Mayday! (Discovery), Queer As Folk (Showtime) and Emily of New Moon (CBC).

Kevin Dennis

Beyond his work in front of the camera, Kevin has garnered over one hundred animation credits to date with voice-over roles in cartoons such as Busytown Mysteries (CBC/CBS), Redekai (Cartoon Network), Super Why! (PBS), Cyberchase (PBS) and Tabaulga and Lilli (Sony Pictures Classics).

We sat down with Kevin to talk about his life, his career and his rise to fame.

Hollywood Revealed: When did you first realize you had an interest in the arts?

Kevin Dennis: As a child, I was always drawn to the camera, as well as the stage. My parents put me into community drama classes and theatre at age eight, where I excelled in front of an audience. I started acting in front of the camera at the age of twelve, appearing on successful Canadian TV shows like Ready or Not, Squawk Box and Nikita.

HR: Where was you first appearance in public? High school?

KD: My first role was Augustus Gloop in a community performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Oakville Centre of the Arts. I was nine-years-old. I really enjoyed the adoring audience of parents and grandparents.

HR: Did you decide then and there to be an actor?

KD: That was it! I truly found what would become my life’s work. Plus, who wouldn’t like it when people clap for you at the end of your work day?

HR: How did you get your ACTRA card?

KD: Actually, I joined both Canadian Actors’ Equity (stage union) and ACTRA the same summer, at the age of nineteen. For CAEA membership I was selected out of hundreds of Toronto actors to join the cast of Forever Plaid at the Charlottetown Festival. I had just graduated high school and it was my first full summer away from my parents. I had also become legal-drinking age in Canada. I’ll just say it was one hell of a summer and an amazing gig. While performing in PEI, I was approached by the CBC to audition for a role on Emily of New Moon which was shooting on the island at the time. I managed to book the role and got to play opposite Martha MacIsaac (Superbad, Family Guy) and joined ACTRA as a result.

HR: Sounds amazing. So would you say that was your luckiest break in the entertainment business?

KD: No, I’d say my luckiest break came in front of the camera in 2014. I decided to shift my attention from a highly successful stage career to try and get more focus on film and television. It wasn’t all glory, trust me. I became highly skilled at waiter-ing, interior painting and special event service. But thankfully, the auditions started surfacing regularly for American TV shows being shot in and around Toronto. My biggest break was being cast in the pilot episode of The Strain for the FX Network. The best part of that gig was that I got to spent four days under the direction of Guillermo del Toro, who recently won the Academy Award as Best Director for The Shape of Water.

Kevin Dennis, Adrienne Merrell in “Young Frankenstein”

HR: Nice. Have you managed to stay in touch with him?

KD: Actually, I have. We spoke recently about working together again, so I am grateful for having met him and hopeful it will happen. I also got to work and become acquaintances with Carlton Cuse, the Emmy Award-Winning Executive Producer of the hit TV show Lost.

HR: How much of a role does networking play in an actor’s success?

KD: Like training and auditioning, networking is an integral part of the daily routine of a professional actor. You can`t wait by the phone for roles to come to you. It is essential to put your product out there and make new connections.

HR: What’s been your favorite role to date?

KD: For stage, the leading role of Frederick in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein at Stage West was one of my absolute favorites. While no one can duplicate what Gene Wilder did, it was exhilarating to play these classic comedy scenes in front of a live audience eight times a week. I also got to play the role opposite my lovely and talented wife, Adrienne Merrell which was a dream come true!

HR: Does being married to another performer help or hinder?

KD: Definitely helps. We understand each other. We both realize that we are in it to win it, so we better make it work!

HR: What were the challenges of playing the role of Mike Quinlan in your last show Paradise Square at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre?

KD: It was very exciting to see my role expand into a larger, adversarial one during rehearsals and development of the show. The play digs deep into the roots of American politics, immigration and race-relations, which made it extremely poignant for the acting company and audience. My character went to the Civil War, came home badly injured to discover his job was taken and a Federal Draft had been issued. What better drama could you ask for as an actor? As the story unfolded, my character was given some very radical dialogue. In the second act, after I delivered one of my final lines, I could hear the audience literally gasp while they shifted in their seats. That’s the power of live theatre. That is why I want to continue this pursuit in the United States, the biggest theater market in the world.

Kevin Dennis in “Paradise Square.”

HR: How much of an impact does social media have on an actor’s career in this day and age?

KD: While I love posting videos of me goofing off, or pics of my cat, there is simply no denying the power and reach of social media. Facebook, I keep mainly for the fun stuff. Twitter is strictly professional. Instagram is a hybrid of the two. I enjoy posting about my professional experiences in theatre and on screen and seeing how far it can go. It’s a great tool to get your portfolio exposed to a wider audience. Plus, producers look to see how you represent yourself online and how many engagements your posts create.

HR: So, what’s next?

KD: I’m currently in Toronto re-immersing myself in the film and television scene. I had a great guest spot on Murdoch Mysteries last year, and I’m now looking at some on-screen roles for the spring and summer. Beyond that, Paradise Square has a very solid chance of making it to Broadway in the next few months, and that has always been the biggest dream of my life.

HR: Let’s hope it comes true. Thanks for chatting with us, Kevin.

KD: Thank you.

Arena Cinelounge Launches New Ultra-Independent Film Distribution Venture

January 28, 2019 – Los Angeles

ARENA CINELOUNGE, the premier boutique arthouse cinema in Los Angeles since 2011, is poised to launch a distribution arm with its first theatrical and digital acquisition of the new film MOOP. CINELOUNGE will put out both new releases and cult classics. Led by Christian Meoli, an independent film champion who owns the Arena Cinelounge Theater, the distribution arm will be looking to acquire films of all genres that align with the companies ultra-independent vision.

The distributor’s first title, MOOP (Matter Out Of Place), will open summer, 2019. Arin Crumley’s millennial romance, set against the background of Burning Man, is a visually stunning piece of film art which explores the ideas behind “What is love? What is reality?” and captures the fear of intimacy and the detached journeys of two couples searching for answers…Meoli plans to open the film at the Arena Cinelounge, then expand nationally.

Arena Cinelounge’s strategy of leveraging exhibition experience by entering distribution has been deployed by many entities over the years, including recently by the likes of Alamo Drafthouse, Cohen Media, and most recently, The Metrograph in NY.

“What stands out at Cinelounge” said Christian Meoli, Founder and President of Cinelounge Pictures, “is our dedication to presenting intelligent programming and the trust that is being built with our audience base. We aim to continue to be a definitive conduit to great stories
and films and bring our titles and Cinelounge driven programming to theaters and digital platforms. Cinelounge is an extension of what we have been successfully building with our film programming at Arena Cinelounge theater in LA” said Meoli. “And now we can focus on bringing these films to audiences around the country.”

http://arenascreen.com

The Glass is Half Full at this Thriving Film Company

by Peter Foldy

That’s a wrap for another American Film Market in Santa Monica, which hosted companies from over 28 countries, many attending for the first time. Despite that, AFM actually saw slightly less traffic than in years past, due in part to the new, stricter entrance guidelines.

But one up-and-coming sales company had its busiest market ever in its young existence: NY and LA-based Glass House Distribution. Co-founded by Wall Street Broker-dealer, Bryan Glass and Actor/Writer/Producer, Tom Malloy, the company’s latest comedy, The Outdoorsman, starring Brent Morin (How to Be Single) and Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) just released theatrically in the US this past Friday and will hit digital outlets November 20th through their partnership with Comedy Dynamics.

David Lawrence, Tom Malloy, Michelle Alexandria and Robert Deege of Glass House

Part of Glass House’s jam-packeded AFM itinerary and recent success can simply be attributed to pure hustle by its four members, President, Tom Malloy, Head of Sales, Robert Deege, Head of International Sales, Michelle Alexandria, and Head of Acquisitions, David Lawrence. But Malloy has another theory. “I can’t tell you the number of times we heard this week that we were this buyer’s or that filmmaker’s favorite meeting here at AFM, which was truly wonderful.”

Sunset at the American Film Market, Santa Monica.

Indeed, it doesn’t take long for anyone in the same room to feel the enthusiasm and jokes, the candor and respect, and the breadth of deep knowledge and experience, the combination of which garners genuine appreciation from across the table.

While it remains to be seen how much business they’ll close in the coming weeks, their upbeat and collaborative spirit has fostered a robust network of relationships, and their titles continue to notch up a level in quality at each market.

Shasheer Zamata at “The Outdoorsman” premiere.
(Photo by: David Levin)

Recent acquisition, Reinventing Rosalee has moved audiences, young and old alike, with its inspirational story. Along with the smiles, Glass House doesn’t shy away from edgier fare. They have just launched a new horror label, Blood House with a handful of scary movies.

One thing’s for sure – if their momentum continues, this company’s glass will be overflowing.

2017 Academy Award Nominations Reavealed

Hollywood, CA: January 24, 2017

La La Land leads the 2017 Oscar nominations with a record tying 14 nods. Damien Chazelle’s love letter to classic Hollywood musicals  joins Titanic and All About Eve as one of the most nominated films of all time.

Some observations, surprises and disappointment:

Amy Adams was snubbed for both Nocturnal Animals and Arrival. Meryl Streep was recognized for Florence Foster Jenkins. Take that, Donald Trump.

What should have been Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s well deserved nomination for Nocturnal Animals went instead to his co-star, Michael Shannon, playing a grizzled sheriff in a small town solving a crime. Ironically, Jeff Bridges was recognized and more deserving for playing a very similar role in Hell Or High Water.

Happy to see the touching and beautiful Lion nominated, though Nicole Kidman did little in that film to earn her a best supporting actress nod. Disappointed that the Academy did not recognize Annette Benning’s fine work in Twentieth Century Women.

Pleased that young actor, Lucas Hedges was nominated for Manchester By The Sea.

The love for Hidden Figures is well deserved but the raves for Moonlight are hard to understand. Is it a result of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign of the last few years?

13th and I Am Not Your Negro are both moving and powerful films in the Best Documentary category. Both have to be seen.

Isabelle Huppert’s nomination as Best Actress in the lame, Elle makes little sense, and talking of making little sense, the off the wall, nonsensical and ridiculous, Toni Erdmann is on the list for Best Foreign Language film. That award has to go to Land of Mine, a powerful and moving film from Denmark that should not be missed.

The 2017 Oscars will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

Read the 2017 nominations in full below.

Best Picture

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight

Best Director

  • Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
  • Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson)
  • La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
  • Manchester By The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

Best Actor In A Leading Role

  • Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
  • Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best Actress In A Leading Role

  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Ruth Negga (Loving)
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie)
  • Emma Stone (La La Land)
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
  • Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
  • Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea)
  • Dev Patel (Lion)
  • Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Actress In A Supporting Role

  • Viola Davis (Fences)
  • Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
  • Nicole Kidman (Lion)
  • Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
  • Michelle Williams (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Original Screenplay

  • Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan)
  • La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou)
  • Manchester By The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
  • 20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Arrival (Eric Heisserer)
  • Fences (August Wilson)
  • Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi)
  • Lion (Luke Davies)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)

Best Cinematography

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Original Score

  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Passengers

Best Animated Feature

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life As A Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Best Film Editing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Moonlight

Best Original Song

  • ‘Audition (The Fools Who Dream)’ (La La Land)
  • ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ (Trolls)
  • ‘City Of Stars’ (La La Land)
  • ‘The Empty Chair’ (Jim: The James Foley Story)
  • ‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana)

Best Documentary Feature

  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America
  • 13th

Best Documentary Short

  • Extremis
  • 4.1 Miles
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • The White Helmets

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Land Of Mine
  • A Man Called Ove
  • The Salesman
  • Tanna
  • Toni Erdmann

Best Live Action Short

  • Ennemis Interieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing
  • Timecode

Best Animated Short Film

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper

Best Sound Editing

  • Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

Best Sound Mixing

  • Arrival
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Production Design

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail Caesar
  • La La Land
  • Passengers

Best Visual Effects

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Costume Design

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Makeup and Hair Design

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad

“Last Days Of Summer” Seeking First Place This Winter

Los Angeles: October 27, 2016

Festival circuit darling,  “LAST DAYS OF SUMMER” produced by British born OLIVER RIDGE, is going for another win at the upcoming Whistler Film Festival. Having taken the grand prize for best feature at the Rhode Island Film Festival, the acclaimed drama starring WILLIAM FICHTNER next goes into competition at the prestigious Canadian event, which starts Nov. 30th.

Getting great buzzOliverRidgepic (1) ahead of an anticipated theatrical release next year, the film offers the kind of role we’ve never seen before from Fichtner, best known for “ARMAGEDDON” and “PRISON BREAK” and currently starring in CBS sitcom “MOM.” In Last Days of Summer” he  plays a suburban husband whose quiet life is turned upside down when he becomes obsessed with the beautiful young woman who moves in next door.

“It was an honor to work with such a talented and dedicated actor and make art with him” said producer Ridge, whose Last Days team also included director AARON HARVEY.

Ridge made his directorial debut recently and managed to pull of a coup by being able to recruit Academy Award nominee ERIC ROBERTS to star in Ridge’s “BLUEBIRD,” a poetic short film based on one of the works of the late Charles Bukowski.

We caught up with Oliver Ridge to to talk about his experiences in Hollywood.

Hollywood Revealed: How hard has the transition beenlastdaysofsummerposter (1) for you, moving from the UK to L.A? What were some of the challenges you faced?

Ridge: Driving was pretty scary! Away from that I think media has united us recently in western culture, but certainly when you’re moving five thousand miles away from home, it can be daunting. There are so many people in Los Angeles, but I think the biggest challenge was finding like minded people who I could drink whiskey with and talk movies.

Hollywood Revealed: How did you transition from producing to directing?

Ridge: I loved producing Last Days of Summer, but it certainly made me impatient to be in creative control again. I think that desire made my pre-production for Bluebird even more detailed and thorough, so that helped smooth the transition.

Hollywood Revealed: What kind of genres interest you as a producer/director?

Ridge: Can I say all oliverstepsof them? Because they all do. I want my films to have a universal feel and tone that you can see, but I also want them all to have an emotional weight. I like exploring the darker emotions, because I want my audience to feel something. But specific genres? My next film is a revenge thriller, but I’ve also just finished writing a science fiction film and have plans for a western. So I am all over the place!

Hollywood Revealed: Who are some of the directors you look up to? Who has been your biggest influence?

Ridge: David Fincher and Denis Villeneuve are two of my all time favorites, but Nicolas Winding Refn has certainly had the biggest influence on me.

Hollywood Revealed: Thanks for chatting with us, Oliver.

Ridge: It was a pleasure.

 

“All About The Afterglow” Announced As Next Feature for Jonny Walls and David Foy Bauer

Los Angeles: October 23, 2016

Writer/Director JONNY WALLS and Producer/Actor DAVID FOY BAUER have teamed up on an up-coming independent feature film, entitled “ALL ABOUT THE AFTERGLOW.” The film deals with two soon-to-be stepbrothers as they road trip up the California Coastline to their parent’s wedding. Along the way they encounterIndigogVideo_02.00_04_27_03.Still004 eccentric characters and various roadblocks that cause them to rethink the trip, their parent’s union as well as their own lives.

Afterglow will be Walls and Bauer’s second collaboration after working on Cineline Production’s 2015 comedy feature, “Couch Survivor.” That film has been picked up for world-wide release by Glass House Distribution.

Joining Walls again as Director of Photography will be IndigogVideo_02.00_04_52_15.Still005MARK FARNEY, another “Couch Survivor” alumni. Other cast announcements include NATHAN CHAMPION, MELISSA LAWLOR, NICCO ANNAN, SIGFRIED TIEBER and ANGIE LISTER.

“All About the Afterglow” begins shooting October 30, 2016 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA.

It’s All In The Family With Michael and Stephanie Katherine Grant

September 20, 2016

To be successful in Hollywood, you need a team around you. A powerful team. Young actors,  Michael and Stephanie Katherine Grant, who hail from Tennessee  and have been in Hollywood making the rounds since 2010 are more than a team. They’re family.

But the siblings who have made an impact with appearances on shows such as “The Secret Life of The American Teenager” and “The Goldbergs” were not content to just be in front of the camera. They have recently branched out into writing, producing and directing.michael grant

Now you may think there’s nothing impressive about that in a town full of multi-hyphenates, but consider the fact that Michael is only 21 and Stephanie Katherine a mere 16.

The dynamic duo recently completed their first production called, “Dominion,” an impressive, well acted, well directed short film that is sure to get traction for it’s talented young creators.

An abstract story that deal with different layers of consciousness, the film has the look of a well funded feature, even though it was made with money Michael and Stephanie raised on their own. The pair found and hired the best film crew available and the results here speak for themselves.

In a male oriented world it took the film crew stephanie katherine granta minute to realize that teenaged Stephanie Katherine was a capable filmmaker worthy of  helming the project.

“At first people were directing their questions to me and kind of ignoring my sister” says Michael, “but eventually they got the message that Stephanie Katherine was an equal contributor and co-director, in fact she was the one who came up with the story in the first place. Soon she was running the set like a pro.”

Not bad for a sixteen year old.

Beyond co-writing and co-directing, Michael also scored the project, (he happens to be a classically trained pianist) while Stephanie Katherine edited.

“Dominion” is now making the festival rounds. First up is the Calgary International Film Festival which kicks off on September 20, 2016. The film will screen there on September 24th, at TELUS Spark, located at 220 George Drive, NE, Calgary, Canada.

Dominion CJFF Still 3

So what’s next for the Grant kids?

“More writing and directing is definitely in the cards,” says Stephanie Katherine. They are turning “Dominion” into a feature film script and also developing others projects.

If you get the chance to meet this talented and ambitious brother and sister team, you’ll see that no is not an option here. Film domination is their ultimate ambition and from the look of their first project, they seem bound to succeed.

Re-Bourne

Review by Mark Salcido

It’s been about 11 years since we’ve had JASON BOURNE grace our movie screens with enough espionage and action to give any fan of the spy genre a big o’stiffy. The studios tried out Jeremy Renner to continue the franchise and we all know how that turned out. Now Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon have returned to the action fold that made them both household names in hopes to bring the legacy of Jason Bourne back to the glory days it once was.

Was it worth it? Let’s talk about that.

As the film opens we discover xjason-bourne-1068x601.jpg.pagespeed.ic.bnRz7Rs5HTBourne back in hiding and trying to find meaning in his life. He’s getting up there in years and looks worn down after the events of the ‘Ultimatum’. He may be done with that mess, but it’s not done with him. The film introduces the current topic of world-wide mass surveillance. Think Snowden, folks. This is not much a spoiler and not much of a plot. It gets quickly left behind as the film focuses more on Bourne and his father issues. It’s a nice personal touch to the character but felt somwhat forced as there was no hint of it in the previous films.

Within the first 20 minutes, of “Jason Bourne” you see where the surveillance plot is going and will probably guess where it will end up. 10 minutes after that, you already know who the villains are to the point where you wonder if the writers even tried to put any mystery behind it.  I will have to add, there is a death in the film that I didn’t seem coming but it had me question if it was even necessary. It follows the same kind of path that was in the ‘Identity’, ‘Supremacy’, and ‘Ultimatum’ but it doesn’t add anything new to the franchise. But hey, I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The acting in “Jason Bourne” is what you expect from the stellar cast and Matt Damon still manages to bring some of the emotional level that was also evident in ‘Supremacy’.

The new players like Tommy Leee Jones and jason_bourne_2016_8k-1280x720Alicia Vikander do a serviceable job though Vikander’s character feels like she was trying too hard be a tough CIA Agent. Her face reveals a look that feels soulless, even when she goes for that connection with Jason Bourne, like Joan Allen’s character did in the last films.

The action of the film is it’s only saving grace. Greengrass hasn’t lost a step when it comes to really good action scenes that feel genuine and with little CGI effect. The first action sequence reminds us how bad ass Bourne is and continues to escalate as the film goes on, but not to a ridiculous level. Yet, Greengrass can’t seem to stop it with the shaky cam. It’s not to a nauseating degree, as he’s done in some of his previous film but it can be bothersome. You hope at some point the director will  put the camera on sticks show us the awesome coordination of the fighting.

The final car scene shot in Las Vegas is spectacular and leaves you with a visceral rush that makes the 2 hour experience ultimately worthwhile.

I love the Bourne films…exceptjason-bourne-2016-movie-review-21-1500x844 ‘Legacy’. I can watch the first three all day on repeat because they had a level of mystery and action that mixed well. When I heard that Damon and Greengrass were coming back for another installment, I was all in. After watching ‘Jason Bourne’ I’m not so sure they should continue. By the end,”Jason Bourne” had enough set ups to warrant a few more sequels, but this installment doesn’t leave you wanting more.

With the dismantling of Treadstone and Black-Briar,‘ Ultimatum’ ended in a way that could’ve seen Jason ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. But with the inclusion of a new operation known as Iron Hand, you kind have to wonder, is there even a purpose in what Bourne is doing? Or is the franchise being kept alive for the big score that this movie will surely reap with this current wide release.

 

 

16th Anual Polish Film Festival To Open October 13th, 2015

Los Angeles: October 9, 2015

Founder and Festival Director, Vladek Juszkiewicz announced in West Los Angeles today that the 16th Annual Polish Film Festival, celebrating the greatest achievements of Polish filmmakers, will open in L.A. on October 13th and run through October, 22nd, 2015.

Festival Director, Vladek Juszkiewicz

Festival Director, Vladek Juszkiewicz

“With Pawel Pawlikowski’s film, IDA winning last year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, this year’s festival promises another wonderful selection of over sixty five features, short films, animation and documentaries,” said Mr. Juszkiewicz,  “many of the North American, international or world premieres.”

The event kicks off with THE CITIZEN (Obywatel) by Jerzy Stuhr on October 13, 2015 with a star-studded gala during which both Polish and American film makers will walk the red carpet at Hollywood’s legendary Egyptian Theater. Angelinos may enjoy  subsequent  screenings at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 and Royal Theaters as well as the  CSUN Armer Theatre.

“We’re trying to accommodate film lovers from both sides of this hill,” stated Mr. Juszkiewicz at today’s press conference. “The festival will also be presenting sixteen films by female directors this year.”

Polish filmmakers expected attend the festival include: Lukasz Simlat (actor), Aleksander Gruz (composer), Andrzej Cichocki (director), Joanna Jasinska-Koronkiewicz (director), Adam Bobik (actor), Tomasz Kot (actor), Image 4Lukasz Palkowski (director), Pawel Lucewicz (composer), Paul Bieda (composer), Tomasz Blachnicki (director), Anna Prochniak (actress), Jan Komasa (director), Magdalena Lazarkiewicz (director), Marian Dziedziel (actor) and Jacek Bromski (director).

The highlights of the program are: ANATOMY OF EVIL (Anatomia zla) by Jacek Bromski, BODY (Cialo) by Malgorzata Szumowska,  GODS (Bogowie) by Lukasz Palkowski, WARSAW 44 (Miasto 44) by Jan Komasa,  CARTE BLANCHE by Jacek Lusinski, THE SHADOW FOREST (Las cieni) by Andrzej Cichocki, IT’S QUITE TRUE! (To pewna wiadomosc!) by Joanna Jasinska-Koronkiewicz, CALL ME MARIANNA (Mow mi Marianna) by Karolina Bielawska and KARSKI by Magdalena Lazarkiewicz.

Screenings of film made abroad by Polish filmmakers, with Polish talent, or with Polish subjects will include: JOURNEY TO ROME by Tomasz Mielnik, ONCE MY MOTHER by Sophia Turkiewicz, AGAINST NIGHT by Stefan Kubicki,  IT HAPPENED AGAIN by Wojciech Fry-Lewis, MESSIAH by Mark Grabianowski, SHADOWS by Paul Kowalski  and THE VIGILANTE by Matthew K. Firpo.

At the Gala Opening on October 13th, the following awards are to be presented.

Adam Bratcher Music Debut Award to: Aleksander Gruz for WARSAW BY NIGHT, by Natalia Koryncka-Gruz.

The Pola Negri Award will be presented to Andy Garcia for his collaboration with Polish filmmakers: Oscar winning

Actor, Andy Garcia

Actor, Andy Garcia

composer  Jan A. P. Kaczmarek and production designer and producer Waldemar Kalinowski.

Piotr Lazarkiewicz Award for Young Talent will be presented to two young, talented Polish actors, Anna Prochniak and Adam Bobik.

Jury members for the Polish Film Festival this year include Priscilla Barnes, Bruce Locke, James Mathers, Jennifer Taylor, Ben Berkowitz, Susana Casares, Erik Friedl, Tchavdar Georgiev, Jacek Kropinski, Mike Libonati, Tom Mclean, Stephan Szpak-Fleet, Vazrik Der-Sahakian, Rachel O’Meara, James Ulmer and Bijan Tehrani. They will present awards for Best Feature, Best Animation, Best Documentary and Best Short film.

The full film program for the Festival can be found on the website: http://www.polishfilmla.org

For further information, contact: Vladek Juszkiewicz

818/982-8827

info@polishfilmla.org

 

You Tube Icon Freddie Wong To Be Honored By Hollyshorts 2015

Hollywood, CA: August 10, 2015

YouTube icon Freddie Wong, the filmmaker behind the online phenomenon web series Video Game High School, will be honored with the 2015 HollyShorts Trailblazer Award at next Thursday’s HollyShorts Film Festival’s opening night celebration.

The event takes place on August 13 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater.

Wong will be honored with the Award for his outstanding accomplishments as a filmmaker freddie_wongand YouTube pioneer. Wong and RocketJump’s videos have amassed more than 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube with over 1 billion views of their content. Season 3 of their Video Game High School web series drew over 85 million views. RocketJump is in the process of creating a long-form series for Hulu with Lionsgate.

Wong joins an impressive star-studded evening at HollyShorts opening night, which will feature short movies starring Rose McGowan, Jason Patric, Sharon Lawrence, Rose McIver, Beth Grant, Robert Forster, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Lawson, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, and many more. HollyShorts is the largest annual gathering of short form movies in Los Angeles with over 15,000 anticipated attendees for the week-long event (August 13-22) and over 400HollyShorts logo 2012 (2) pieces of short form content being showcased in competition. Actress Victoria Summer will be presenting the Award to Wong on Thursday.

Freddie Wong is the co-founder of digital entertainment company RocketJump. He co-created the award-winning web series Video Game High School (VGHS) that aired its third and final season, breaking crowdfunding records for a web series by raising $900K last year. RocketJump has entered into a content partnership deal with Lionsgate and signed a deal to bring RocketJump’s next series to Hulu.

Commented Daniel Sol, co-founder, HollyShorts: “Freddie Wong exemplifies a HollyShorts Trailblazer, what he’s been able to accomplish with VGHS and his shorts is just astounding. Numbers don’t lie, with over 1 billion global views on YouTube, Freddie and RocketJump are this generation’s new storytellers and we are proud to honor them at HollyShorts, this will be an epic night to remember.”

HollyShorts past honorees include The Russo Brothers, David Lynch, Eli Roth, Joe Carnahan, Paul Haggis, Matthew Modine, Bill Plympton among others.