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From the Idyllwild Town Crier weekly newspaper, 12.03.09 edition.


Cutting edge indie lineup for first film fest

By Marshall Smith, Staff Reporter


Steve Savage, Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema (IFC) director,  announced an exciting lineup of edgy and provocative indie films designed to establish IFC as the preferred festival for up-and-coming breakout directors.

“We’ll be screening some really exciting new films that have not been released yet,” said Savage, “and bringing to the Hill writers, producers, directors and actors who are beginning to shake up the industry.” Savage expects upwards of 1,500 out-of-towners to pack the town during the festival’s six days — Jan. 11 through 16. Savage plans red carpet arrivals, world premieres, screenings, seminars, gala awards ceremonies and a festival closing reception honoring featured filmmaker Will Wallace.
Actor/director/producer Wallace, son of famed director Terrence Malick, has appeared in major Hollywood films, “The Thin Red Line,” “I Am Sam,” “The New World,” “Rules of Engagement,” and ICF Director Savage’s film “Legacy,” which receives its world premiere at ICF. Wallace just finished “The Tree of Life,” in which he stars with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, slated for 2010 release.  As ICF featured filmmaker, Wallace will be on display as actor and as director in six films, including his feature directorial debut “Cake,” and acting turns in “Legacy,” “Broke Sky,” “Clear Lake, WI” and in two short films.

Savage is excited about his lineup and previewed his “Director Picks” for this article:

“Broke Sky,” from writer/director Thomas L. Callaway and featuring Wallace, follows two county workers and best friends who remove road kill from Texas highways. One day they make a discovery that unearths long-buried, dark secrets from their pasts, and drives a wedge between their friendship, forever changing their lives.

“Clear Lake, WI,” from writer/director Bruce Ide and starring Michael Madsen, is a horror film that combines religious fanaticism, a strange illness that plagues the eponymous title town and five teenagers who find they can’t escape ghosts.

“The Killing Jar,” writer/director Mark Young’s film, also starring Michael Madsen, with Jake Busey (Gary’s son) and Carson Une (“True Blood” and upcoming “Friday Night Lights”), depicts a stranger armed with a shotgun who takes seven patrons hostage in a remote roadside diner. As the body count increases, desperate survivors discover one of the hostages may be even more dangerous than their captor.

A special screening of “The Shortcut,” from executive producers Adam and Scott Sandler, directed by Nicholaus Goossen, with Dave Franco (James’ brother) and Josh Emerson of “Jennifer’s Body” fame, a horror film that sprang from a memory of Adam and brother Scott’s life — an odd old man, his run-down house, a shortcut past the house, and scary and unexplained happenings to those that take the shortcut.

“Cake: A Wedding Story,” Wallace’s directorial turn featuring G.W. Bailey (“The Closer” and “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”) and Thomas Calabro (“Melrose Place”).

 “The Independent,” from Australian director Andrew O’Keefe that Savage pronounces, “One of the coolest movies I’ve seen in a long time with award-winning acting, script and cinematography.”

“Legacy,” Savage’s world premiere is not entered in audience-judged festival competition. It stars Wolfgang Bodison (“A Few Good Men,”“Akeellah and the Bee” and “Joe Somebody”), Wallace and Kyrie Maezumi (“Passions”).

Savage also picks Argentinean director Gaston Biraben’s film “Cautiva,” with music by local Analia Lenchantin. “It’s one of the best films I’ve seen in the last 10 years,” he said; United Kingdom director Reg Davis’ film “Psychosis,” starring Charisma Carpenter (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Veronica Mars,” and “Charmed”) and Slaine Kelley (“The Tudors”); “A Way Back In” from Director Brad Mays and starring Kimber Eastwood (Clint’s daughter) and Spike McQueen (Steve’s son).

Also on the lineup as Festival Director Picks are six breakout documentaries. Savage especially likes French director Dominique Lachart’s “Beyond Afghanistan,” examining the politics of northern Afghani warlords. “The footage is really gripping and raw,” he said. The full festival lineup and ticket pricing and packages are available on the website www.idyllwildinternationfestivalofcinema.com (also see box).   

Festival tickets can be bought on the Town Crier website at www.shop.towncrier.com and at the Town Crier office.
   
“This is going to look and feel like a really big festival,” said Savage referring to festival accoutrements that will dress the town including a huge LED screen and festival banners and signs. Savage is recruiting volunteers to help him run day-to-day activities. “I’m calling everyone [volunteers] ‘festival associates,’ and giving them chances to introduce films, conduct actor and director Q and A sessions as well as assist with some of the more mundane chores,” said Savage, calling attention to how he plans to respect and acknowledge locals who step up to assist.

Chuck Huddleston, festival executive producer, is busy lining up in-kind corporate sponsorships. Subaru has agreed to provide scholarships for 30 off-Hill and 10 local kids to attend a one-week filmmaking boot camp next August.


Marshall Smith can be reached at marshall@towncrier.com.
     




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