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VISIONFEST 11: The Other Festival to open next week

VISIONFEST 11: The Other Festival (VF11), June 22-26, 2011, at Tribeca Cinemas (corner of Varick and Laight streets), has announced two ‘world premiere’ screenings for its Independent Vision Showcase, along with a myriad of films making their New York City debuts.

The red carpet will be rolling out on opening night for FIGHTING FISH, a narrative feature written and directed by Annette Apitz, which celebrates its New York Premiere with a simulcast screening in both, Tribeca Cinemas 1 & 2. The short subject ‘work in progress’ THE MAN WITH THE RED RIGHT HAND, helmed by VF alum, Nyle Cavazos Garcia, and co-directing partner, Frank Kyazze, will precede the feature presentation. VF11 co-director, Bruno Derlin, defined the decision to present the film at a very early stage of the post-production process as “a risky choice,” adding “but our typical Visionfest audience is sophisticated and for the most part, well-versed in cinematic language. I believe they’re really going to appreciate seeing something so new it can’t even be classified as a world premiere… especially when it’s immediately followed by such a beautiful, refined, and poetic film like FIGHTING FISH. Ultimately, I believe that the audience will walk away feeling that they’ve just experienced a real treat.”

THE CASSEROLE CLUB, by award-winning director, Steve Balderson, is another film not yet viewed by a public audience. Screening as a “world premiere” at VF11, THE CASSEROLE CLUB’s cast includes former Backstreet Boys crooner, Kevin Scott Richardson, and frequent Balderson star, Susan Traylor, both being touted as shoo-ins for acting nominations in the 2011 Independent Vision Awards, which, for the very first time, will reveal a list of nominees vying for “outstanding achievement” awards in 16 categories. Awards will be handed out on Sunday, June 26th, following the ‘Official Closing Night Selection’ Program, which offers Conrad Jackson’s FALLING OVERNIGHT, starring Parker Croft and Emilia Zoryan. Warming up the audience for that program will be Jen McGowan’s award winning short, TOUCH, and the East Coast Premiere of Jacob Chase’s AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL, written by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Neil LaBute. Rounding out the list of narrative features making their NYC debuts: VIRGIN ALEXANDER, by Charlotte Barret & Sean Fallon, STAGS, by Jamie Greenberg, and LEAVE, by Robert Celestino, which will also feature red carpet arrivals for cast and crew.

On the “documentary” front, Jason Rem’s RETT, a film about three families with children who have Rett Syndrome, and Shanna Maurizi’s HOW TO MAKE IT IN FILMMAKING, about indie filmmaker, Ari Taub, and his mission of making a WWII epic in three languages and on virtually no budget, are the sole feature docs in the 2011 line-up. Both films are being screened in New York City for the very first time.

The second “world premiere” slot at VF11 belongs to a film that festival organizers have defined as their most unusual selection ever, Skylar Gordon’s ONTOLOGICA! or A Brief Explanation of Absolutely Everything that is Known about Absolutely Everything. Gordon, who also wrote the film, added that: “There’s something to offend just about everyone in this movie. If every person who comes to the screening is still there by the end, I haven’t done my job.” Due to mature subject matter, VF11 will not be admitting anyone under 17 years of age to this engagement.

And finally, the 2011 5x5 NEW YORK STATE OF MIND DIGITAL PROJECT, an exclusive VF initiative featuring five digital shorts premiering on the final evening of the festival, has wrapped production. This year’s edition saw five original scripts, pulled from the “winners” of the festival’s Short Script Competition, sponsored by InkTip.com, turned into films. The 2011 Project is designed to showcase the finished, collaborative work of two individuals (writer & director) who don’t know one another and have never even met, but have come together to realize an artistic vision that will immortalize their collective ‘New York State of Mind.’ Here is this year’s line-up:
EASY PREY Written by Tara Parian, Directed by Jeremiah Kipp.
IT'S NOT SATURDAY Written by Annette Beatrice, Directed by Martha Pinson.
IT WAS A GIRL Written by Max King, Directed by Mickey Pacula.
SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER Written by Sara Bovolenta, Directed by Maggie Low.
SO AWKWARD Written by Matthew Stevens, Directed by Debbie Pingitore.

Complete line-up, show times, and ticket info can be accessed on the festival’s Web site at: www.visionfest.com. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Tribeca Cinemas or online.

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Chatelin Bruno
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