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The Joker Coming October.

Cincinnati Film Festival


The Cincinnati Film Festival is entering their 5th annual event, September 18 - 21, with Opening Night at the Springdale 19 Cinema De Luxe on Thursday, September 18, and the main festival event Friday September 19 - Sunday September 21 at the Duke Energy Convention Center, in downtown Cincinnati. Submissions are closed for the season.


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Scalene a CFF Winner!

Zack Parker and ‘Scalene’ continue to ride CFF success

Two decades spent working in and around movies is beginning to pay dividends for filmmaker Zack
Parker, and he credits the recognition he received at the 2011 Cincinnati Film Festival for helping to
push his film Scalene to greater heights. Parker was named Best Director and Scalene Best Narrative
Feature at the Cincinnati Film Festival in September, and coupled with his Grand Jury Prize at Dances
With Films in Los Angeles earlier last year, Scalene has garnered a new level of recognition and
attention.

Parker, a native of Richmond, Indiana, said of his start in filmmaking, “I was probably a bit of a cliché for
my generation of filmmakers, in that my dad had a video camera and so I just started making movies
on his camera when I was 11 years old…in a weird way I always felt a connection with cinema, in that I
understood the language of cinema.” From those beginnings, Parker recalled that every job he’s ever
had has been related to movies in some way – from part-time work at Blockbuster and Suncoast, to jobs
as projectionists and as a film critic for the local Richmond newspaper, and then on to Hollywood where
he worked nearly every job on a film set that one can work before branching out as an independent
writer, director and producer. His move to Hollywood came after two years at Ball State University,
where a film professor saw such promise in a short film he made that he urged Parker to move out west
and get enrolled in the film program at UCLA.

Scalene, Parker’s third feature film, deals with the alleged rape of a college student by a mentally
challenged young man and the revenge taken upon the student by the man’s mother, however it is
the style and format of the film that makes it such a unique experience. Parker actually coined the
term “perceptual thriller” to best describe his film, and then set out to make a film about perception
after the polarized reaction to his second film, Quench. “Essentially, we got a lot of good critical
feedback, but among general audiences there were so many viewers that really hated it…it got me
fascinated because the movie itself is never different,” said Parker. “I’ve never seen a movie before
that has really delved into perception, and structure in that form before. We’ve seen a lot of films
that deal with perspective – different sides of the same story. We as human beings perceive things
differently…because I’m such a fan of film, I always want to make something I haven’t seen before.” The
result of his efforts is a fascinating film that incorporates linear, non-linear and backwards storytelling,
and is highlighted by outstanding performances by all three of the primary actors – Margo Martindale ,
Adam Scarimbolo and Hanna Hall.

Beyond the extreme challenges of writing, producing and directing, perhaps the toughest hurdle for
an independent filmmaker is distribution. “Shortly after Cincinnati (Film Festival), we started talking
about distribution,” Parker explained. “We played a few festivals here and there, mostly local, but I
would say Dances With Films and Cincinnati Film Festival were the two biggest. We wanted to get the
film distributed and had a few offers but ended up turning them down. This being my third feature,
I’d been down that road of independent film distribution before and it’s a tough business for an
independent filmmaker to well at. I felt like I had something here with more potential, and there’s a
lot of experimentation right now with independent film distribution, with self-distribution and hybrid
distribution. So we were selling DVDs and Blu Rays through the film’s website, and also getting invited

to a lot of horror conventions. “

Parker points out that Scalene is definitely not a traditional horror film, though it has been embraced
by the horror community – partly due to some its more disturbing and challenging elements, and as
well as the presence of Hanna Hall, who previously starred in Rob Zombie’s Halloween. Hall and Parker
began getting more and more invitations to horror conventions, and along with that came more public
screenings of Scalene. Eventually the film was seen by Peter Broderick, whom Parker dubs the “guru of
film distribution.” Broderick was instrumental in getting Scalene a theatrical release in New York City
January 20-26. “I’m really excited about getting a theatrical release,” Parker remarked. “The fantastic
thing about that is not only getting played in a theater, but also all of the press outlets in New York will
be doing reviews of the film, which brings it to the attention of a whole new audience.” He added that
he and Broderick are also close to finalizing the details on a distribution deal that in May would make
Scalene available everywhere via DVD, VOD and digital streaming. Between now and May, Parker is
hopeful that if the film does well in New York, that window of time will provide opportunities to get it in
additional theaters in other cities.

While he’s still working diligently on getting as many eyes as possible to view Scalene, Parker is already
hard at work on his fourth feature film, noting that he is in the process of completing the script and
starting pre-production. Thanks to the success of Scalene and the relationships built with Martindale,
Hall and Scarimbolo, Parker believes the budget could be roughly double that of Scalene, and that he
is “really excited about the possibilities of some of the actors we’ve met and are trying to get attached
to the film.” While mum about the story at this point, Parker does concede that his next film “has a
heavier footing in the horror genre than I’ve ever done before.” Though, as with his previous films, it
will be difficult to categorize it easily in a single genre. “Again, we’re trying to experiment with form
and structure,” he says. “I guess the way I see it is that we’ve gone through several generations of
moviegoers and they have a certain expectation – not just in terms of plot, but a certain expectation
of how a story is going to unfold, so I’m trying to take those expectations and spin it a bit. If you
keep the audience surprised, you keep them engaged throughout and hopefully give them a different
experience.”

Barry Burns

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