Vincent in “818”

Florida fans, you’ll want to pay extra special attention to this post because you have the opportunity to be the first ones to see Vincent Ventresca’s new film 818818 will be premiering at the Miami International Film Festival on Sunday, March 6, at 9:15 p.m., and on Monday, March 7, at 10:00 p.m.

Vince plays the role of Morris Pillage in this dark comedy, described as follows from IMDb:

Alyssa Rampart-Pillage once ruled Prime Time television as the star of the hit medical drama “HMO Nurse.” But now the only work she can get is doing commercials for her husband Bernie’s appliance chain in the Valley. When Bernie has a spiritual awakening, he starts giving their family fortune to charity. Alyssa will have none of this, but there’s no reasoning with Bernie. So she kills him. Once their kids figure out Mom killed Dad, they make a vow: to stop at nothing until they bring their mother to justice. But what they don’t anticipate is that in the eyes of justice, Alyssa is still a celebrity. ‘(818)’ is about Family, Fame and the pursuit of Celebrity Justice.

To order tickets for the screening go to the Miami International Film Festival’s website.

While there isn’t anything up yet but a front page, here’s the 818 official website.

And, of course, you’ll want to head over to Facebook and watch the trailer.

World Premiere of “Anytown”

Tomorrow night, Friday, March 27, is the world premiere of Anytown.  Why should you care?  Because our own Paul Ben-Victor is featured in this film!  Paul plays the role of Principal Wheeler in this indie production that is premiering at the 2009 Method Film Festival.


Synopsis:  Anytown revolves around a middle-American teenage boy who is negatively affected by the proliferation of the media surrounding terrorism and the war in Iraq. As a result, he and his friends become involved in an altercation that escalates into a hate crime against an East Indian classmate that shocks the entire nation.

Time:  7:00 p.m.
Location:  Regency 8 Agoura Hills
29045 Agoura Road
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Tickets are $7.00 to $10.00 and will allow you to get into the party being held afterward at the Chapter 8 Lounge.  To order tickets go to Brown Paper Tickets.

“Changeling” Heads for Cannes

Variety has announced that Changeling will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival this month.  The film was written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Clint Eastwood, and stars Angelina Jolie

Changeling is a mystery about a mother whose prayer for her kidnapped son to return home is answered.  It doesn’t take long, however, for her to suspect that the boy who comes back is not hers.

So why am I blogging about this film?  Because our own Mike McCafferty has a small role in it!  He plays the role of a ticket agent.  I’m really hoping that he won’t be cut from this film and that we’ll actually be able to see him this time. 

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14 – 25, and Changeling is premiering on Tuesday, May 20.  Hopefully some of you French fans will be able to attend and see this film.  If not, Changeling is scheduled to get a wide release in France on February 4, 2009.  In the U.S., Changeling will be released on November 7, 2008.  See the schedule below for the release dates for a few more countries:

USA November 7, 2008  
Spain December 19, 2008  
UK January 2, 2009  
France February 4, 2009  
Germany     March 12, 2009  

California Independent Film Festival

This weekend I went to my first film festival.  The California Independent Film Festival is a small festival held in nearby Livermore, and this year was its tenth year running.  Time didn’t allow me to see everything, so I only attended a few events.

The first event I went to was a seminar on Saturday on Directing, Producing and Distributing Indie Films.  It was only 45 minutes long.  What could they possibly share in only 45 minutes that I didn’t already know?  The answer was…nothing.  I’ve heard it all before.  They mostly talked about distribution of indies.  Nothing much about directing or producing.  There simply wasn’t any time.  The prevailing attitude that shorts are nothing more than a calling card was expressed and so I shared a story that I know of a short that actually did make money.  I’ll have to blog about it sometime.  It’s a great example of out-of-the-box thinking.

The next seminar immediately followed and it was on Indie Music for Television and Film.  Okay, I actually learned a few things at this seminar.  Most notably, I learned about the importance and role of a music supervisor in a film.  Besides finding the music for a film, a big and very important part of a music supervisor’s job is to get clearance on music rights.  Without the proper clearance, lots of legal problems can crop up and that can cause all kinds of headaches that could have been avoided simply by doing due diligence. 

One of the panelists was a music supervisor with a long list of TV and film credits.  He has the kind of experience I would be looking for to build a strong team for my film, so after the seminar I talked to him and got his contact info.

I got an invitation to the filmmakers party that night, but the darn thing didn’t start till 10:00 p.m.  I’m an early riser and I need my sleep, so I passed on the party.

The next morning I was back at the theater to watch the Tri-Valley Shorts Showcase…a slate of nine short films from filmmakers here in the Valley.  The reason I wanted to see this series was because I knew a couple of the filmmakers whose shorts were being featured.  One of them was John Meredith.  You long-time readers may remember that I blogged about his On The Lot entry last year.  Well, John has come a long ways.  This was the first time he got one of his shorts on the big screen and his filmmaking skills keep getting better with each film.

Overall, this was a nice introduction to film festivals.  One of these days I really need to attend one of the big ones like Sundance, Toronto, or Cannes.  Oooh, visiting France sounds like fun. 

Paul at Sundance

It appears that Paul Ben-Victor is at the Sundance Film Festival right now.  I came across a picture of him posted on the Movie Every Day website blog.  The picture was taken yesterday.  Currently, I don’t have any information as to whether one of his movies is playing at the festival or not.

To see the picture, scroll through the photos posted in the blog post entitled “2008 Sundance Film Festival Day 4” until you get to Paul.  He’s in the second to the last photo.

Austin Film Festival

Here’s a quick heads up to any fans in Texas.  Two of Paul Ben-Victor’s films are scheduled to be shown at the Austin Film Festival within the next week.

On The Doll will be shown twice.  Once on Friday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. and again on Monday, October 15, at 9:30 p.m. 

Randy and the Mob will be shown on Saturday, October 13, at 7:30 p.m.

The Austin Film Festival starts tomorrow, October 11, and runs through October 18.  For information on passes, badges, venue locations, etc., visit the Austin Film Festival website.