Oct 242011



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Award-Winning Drama Makes Its Canadian Debut; JuneBug Films’ “Planting Melvin” Screens at ReelHeART International Film Festival










Menlo Park, CA (PRWEB) June 20, 2006

Since making its debut at the prestigious Cinequest Film Festival last year, “Planting Melvin” has won acclaim — and awards — for its positive depiction of women and promotion of female empowerment. Toronto filmgoers will have their first opportunity to see the award-winning drama when “Planting Melvin” makes its Canadian debut during the ReelHeART International Film Festival, June 19-24, 2006.

The film screens on June 21 at 9:15 p.m. at Innis Town Hall at Innis College, University of Toronto, 2 Sussex Ave. For ticket information, visit http://www.reelheart.org.

“Planting Melvin” focuses on the lives of two seemingly opposite characters: Billie, a beautiful socialite dealing with the physical and emotional effects of an abusive marriage; and Melvin, a dying World War II vet with secrets of his own. This unlikely friendship becomes their safe harbor as they confront their individual issues and learn—together —one of life’s most difficult lessons … letting go.

As the film’s writer, director and producer, Kari Nevil of California-based JuneBug Films, is thrilled with the positive response “Planting Melvin” has received from audiences at film festivals across the country.

“Because JuneBug is an all-female film company, we are especially committed to the positive representation of women and empowering them to find a better life for themselves and their children,” Nevil said. “The fact that the film has been so well received by audiences says a lot about the progress we’re making in our society toward the advancement of women. And we are very excited about bringing our film to Toronto and sharing our message as part of ReelHeART.”

In addition to praise from audiences, “Planting Melvin” has won acclaim from advocacy groups and arts organizations including its recent selection by the National Film Review Board of Canada for “representing anti-violence against women and children in an international way.”

“Planting Melvin,” starring Irene Bedard (Smoke Signals), Yvette Freeman (ER), Alma Martinez (Born in East LA), Don Most (Happy Days), Hal Robinson (Paulie) and Richard Van Vleet (All My Children), screens on June 21 at 9:15 p.m. at Innis Town Hall at Innis College, University of Toronto, 2 Sussex Ave. For ticket information, visit http://www.reelheart.org.

JuneBug Films was founded by Kari Nevil in 1990. She ran the company out of her purple house in San Francisco before the group moved into American Zoetrope with Francis Coppola. Today, JuneBug Films operates out of Menlo Park with a team of L.A. and San Francisco-based collaborators that provide filmed entertainment in the form of narrative features, documentaries, short films, music videos and corporate films.

JuneBug Films has created features including “At Risk” (Vince Vaughn’s first feature), “Your Guardian” and “Planting Melvin.” The company’s recent film, “Car Stories” – their first foray into documentary films – is currently making the rounds of independent film festivals, generating buzz and gathering fans from Florida to California. JuneBug is working to make “Car Stories” an episodic series.

For more information, please visit http://www.junebugfilms.com.

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Sep 022011



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Independent Film ‘Horrors of War’ to Debut with Sneak Previews in 10 Cities










Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) April 28, 2006

The feature length independent film “Horrors of War” will have exclusive sneak preview screenings. Previews are scheduled throughout May and June in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Austin, Youngstown, and sneak previews have already sold out in Ohio. The film, co-directed by John Whitney and Peter John Ross, was shot and produced entirely in Ohio.

“Horrors of War” takes place in Europe in World War II, centering on a group of GIs that encounter science fiction and horror based phenomena in battle. Crossing genres like “X-Files” and “Saving Private Ryan,” the storyline follows Lt. John Schmidt as he comes face to face with a horde of Nazi nightmare secret weapons. “Horrors of War” was made with an eye for bigger production values found in most indie films.

“With the downward trend in big Hollywood movies, and alternative like our film appeals to audiences,” said says producer/co-writer Philip R. Garrett, formerly of DreamWorks, who left a job working on Disney animated features to work in independent film in Central Ohio. “’Horrors of War’ mixes genres and has action, horror, humor, and science fiction. This film is very different. It offers people something they can’t find anywhere else.”

Horrors of War is the first feature film by directors John Whitney and Peter John Ross, both award winning short filmmakers. Co-director John Whitney had recent airings of his short film “Passion” on The Independent Film Channel as a finalist in the IFC Media Lab contest. Producer Sean Reid, formerly with E! Entertainment Television, made his feature “Redemption” in Los Angeles before moving back to Ohio.

“We were able to make something really ambitious with a World War II setting, science fiction elements, and special FX that show just what we have to offer in terms of various film talents,” says Peter John Ross, co-director of the film. “I can’t wait to show it on the big screen all over the country.”

World War II Re-enactors were brought on board the project to bring authentic props, vehicles, weapons, and costumes to the film. Most World War II re-enactors are former Civil War re-enactors that have switched over to something more contemporary. The new trend extends to re-enacting D-Day on Lake Erie as well as other famous battles from the 1940’s. World War II re-enactors came from several states away to participate in the filming. They also acted as extras in the larger battle scenes in the film, adding scope with realism.

In a move that’s becoming rare in independent film these days, Horrors of War was shot on film. With advances in High Definition and the availability of professional video equipment, the filmmakers chose to go with actual celluloid for the feature. Mixing formats from 35mm film to Super 16 and even Super 8 film for flashbacks, gave the film its unique look.

“I was amazed at the quality of the production, and I loved that it was shot on film, that meant the right people are involved and behind the project, not just some amateurs with a video camera, “ says Tony Kandah, executive producer and sales agent for the film. “The authenticity of the uniforms the guns, the amount of bullets that were fired in one scene is more than what most Hollywood productions fire in an action film, I was hooked.”

North American DVD rights are currently in negotiation for Horrors of War, and several foreign DVD releases are already set. The Japanese DVD releases on July 7th, 2006. Hollywood Wizard is the exclusive sales agent representing the film for theatrical, television, and home video.

The shows in Los Angles, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, and Indianapolis are with Landmark Theatres, the nation’s largest art-house chain, and features first-run independent and foreign films. The New York show is at the Two Boots Pioneer Theatre, mixing current independent and foreign films with special programs and retrospectives, The Pioneer is a haven for filmmakers and film lovers alike. Dates and showtimes can be found on the official movie site http://www.horrorsofwarmovie.com/screenings.php

“Horrors of War” is a co-production between Columbus, Ohio based Sonnyboo Productions, Arbor Ave Films, and Hollywood Wizard based in Los Angeles, California. Additional information including multimedia clips and more can be found at the official movie website http://www.horrorsofwarmovie.com.

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