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VisionFest highlights

VISIONFEST 09: The Other Festival (VF09), which runs June 17-21, 2009, at Tribeca Cinemas (corner of Varick and Laight streets in New York City), has announced the complete line-up for its 2009 Independent Vision Showcase. This year’s rigidly selective collection of films features 31 titles, which include 3 narrative features making their New York debuts, 5 feature docs (4 from NY-based filmmakers), including the New York premiere of Eddie Rosenstein’s theatrical version of Sandhogs: The Greatest Tunnel Ever Built, which boasts a guest appearance by New York City’s own, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the New York Premiere of Gary Null’s Autism: Made in the U.S.A., currently touted as "the documentary the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to see." Paul Marcus’ Sounds Good to Me and Justin Sullivan’s Excuse Me Mr. Speaker round out the New York helmers’ offerings.
This year’s opening night selection will kick off with Joshua Martin’s short subject, A Wagon Full of Mischief, paving the way for the evening’s narrative feature presentation of Evil Things, by Dominic Perez. Laurel Casillo leads the cast of fresh new faces as five college students head up to a country house for a weekend birthday celebration. But something ‘evil’ is lurking too close to them and the terrifying twists that follow are enough to keep the audience gripping the base of their seats. "This is pure, old-fashioned horror, with some very clever modern touches," stated VF09 co-director, Bruno Derlin, adding: "This film is proof that you don’t need to spill buckets of gore or depict gratuitous explicit violence to scare the living wits out of someone." Perez, the film’s creator, and cast members will be on hand for a follow-up Q&A.
And in keeping with its nine year tradition of unveiling its bearer of style, elegance, and impeccable storytelling in its Official Closing Night Selection, this year’s VISIONFEST shines a spotlight on the visually poetic page-to-screen adaptation of Karen Kingsbury’s best selling novel, Like Dandelion Dust, directed by Jon Gunn, and produced by Bobby Downes, Kevin Downes, and Kerry David. Sweeping countless awards and accolades at festivals nationwide, Like Dandelion Dust, tells a very intimate story exploring "the different meanings of being a parent through the grittily realistic lives of a struggling, blue-collar family, and a privileged family, as their lives intersect, intertwine, and ultimately collide, all for the love of a little boy." With compelling, powerful performances by Academy Award™ winner, Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Kate Levering, Cole Hauser, and Maxwell Perry Cotton, this emotionally charged tale makes its New York premiere at VF09, and very appropriately, on Father’s Day. The heart-warming short subject, boy I man, by Danielle Jacobs, will precede the feature presentation.
Among the many other cinematic treats being served at VF09, are Adam Mason’s award winning narrative feature, Blood River, and the offbeat, Official Rejection, by Paul Osborne, a funny, honest, and ultimately very helpful documentary -- especially for filmmakers who are planning to get their films out into the film festivals circuit. Low-budget indie mogul, Lloyd Kaufman (of Troma fame) and film festival scene guru and author, Chris Gore, lend some first-hand wisdom to the proceedings as one filmmaker’s film festival circuit journeys are explored.


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