Friday, April 21, 2006

2nd annual Deep Focus Film Festival lineup

As you know, I help with the programming for the Deep Focus Film Festival. Here's the press release with the details of this year's event:

It's Here!!

Organizers of the second annual alive! Deep Focus Film Festival, Columbus’ own festival of the best new films made outside the Hollywood mainstream, announced the complete schedule of features to premiere locally during the event. It’s set to begin Thursday, May 4, continuing through Sunday, May 7, with all screenings to take place at the Arena Grand Theatre.

Alive! assistant editor Melissa Starker, Drexel Theatres president Jeff Frank, and Mark Pfeiffer, a film critic for Otterbein College’s WOCC-TV, contributor to The Film Journal and member of the Online Film Critics Society, contributed to the festival’s programming:

Opening Night Gala
SCR/DIR: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin, Richard Roundtree
U.S., 35mm, 110 minutes
A Focus Features release
Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for “originality of vision”, Rian Johnson’s feature film debut moves the lingo and plot twists of classic detective films to a modern California high school.
Screening Thursday, May 4 at 7 p.m., followed by an after-party at Red Star Tavern.

20 Centimeters
SCR/DIR: Ramón Salazar
Cast: Monica Cervera, Pablo Puyol, Miguel O’Dogherty, Rossy de Palma
Spain, 35mm, 113 minutes, not rated (adult language, nudity, graphic sexuality)
A TLA release
A colorful blend of the glamour of classic Hollywood and the gritty, gender-bending humor of early John Waters, this Spanish fantasy musical centers on a narcoleptic transsexual prostitute torn between a dreamy man and her dreams of becoming a woman. For adults only.
Screening Saturday, May 6 at 7:45; Sunday, May 7 at 2:15.

The District!
Midwest Premiere!
SCR: Márisuz Bari, Viktor Nagy, Erik Novák, László Jakab Orsós
DIR: Áron Gauder
Cast: L.L. Junior, László Szacsvay, Gyözö Szabó
Hungary, DVD, 87 minutes, not rated (adult language, violence, sexual content)
A Szimpla Film
An eye-popping animated entry from Hungary, this hilarious, raunchy satire about time travel, big oil and the real whereabouts of Osama bin Laden is most easily described as Eastern Europe’s answer to South Park - but with a hip hop soundtrack.
Screening Saturday, May 6 at 9:45.

District B13
Ohio Premiere!
SCR: Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri
DIR: Pierre Morel
Cast: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Tony D’Amario, Dany Verissimo
France, 35mm, 85 minutes, rated R for language, violence, adult content
A Magnolia Pictures release
In the near future of this action-packed French drama, a crime-ridden section of Paris has become a walled-in prison. A cop and a vigilante team up to take down the local crime lord and stop a ticking neutron bomb from exploding.
Screening Friday, May 5 at 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 6 at 5 p.m.

The King
SCR: Milo Addica, James Marsh
DIR: James Marsh
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, William Hurt, Pell James, Laura Harring
U.S., 35mm, 105 minutes, not rated (violence, nudity, adult content)
A ThinkFilm release
Gael Garcia Bernal and William Hurt star in this intense Southern gothic thriller about a preacher whose past comes back to bite him in the form of a son he never knew he had.
Screening Saturday, May 6 at 10 p.m.; Sunday, May 7 at 4:30

LoudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies
Midwest Premiere!
DIRS: Steven Cantor, Matthew Galkin
U.S., DV, 90 minutes, not rated (adult language)
A Stick Figure production
Two filmmakers capture the extraordinary music and uncomfortable dynamic between members of The Pixies during the band’s sold out 2004 reunion tour.
Screening Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 7 at 2 p.m.

The Puffy Chair
Ohio Premiere!
SCR: Mark Duplass
DIR: Jay Duplass
U.S., 35mm, 85 minutes, not rated (adult language and situations)
An IDP/Roadside Attractions release
A favorite on the festival circuit, this funny, endearing slice of life tracks one man’s quest to get his father a vintage La-Z-Boy for his birthday. It’s part romantic comedy and part road movie, but casually defies the clichés of both genres.
Screening Friday, May 5 at 9:30.

Twelve and Holding
Midwest Premiere!
SCR: Anthony S. Cipriano
DIR: Michael Cuesta
Cast: Conor Donovan, Jesse Camacho, Zoe Weizenbaum, Annabella Sciorra
U.S., 35mm, 90 minutes, not rated (adult language and content, violence)
An IFC release
In this touching comedy-drama by director Michael Cuesta (L.I.E., Six Feet Under), three kids deal with newfound adult feelings and parental conflict after the accidental death of a friend.
Screening Friday, May 5 at 7:15; Sunday, May 7 at 5 p.m.

Ohio Premiere!
SCR/DIR: Richard E. Grant
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson, Julie Walters
UK/France/South Africa, 35mm, 97 minutes, rated R for language, brief sexuality
An IDP/Roadside Attractions release
Richard E. Grant’s smart, semi-autobiographical tale of growing up among adulterous colonials in pre-independent Swaziland features an extraordinary cast, including Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson.
Screening Saturday, May 6 at 5:30

Ohio Premiere!
SCR/DIR: Deepa Mehta
Cast: Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas, Sarala, Manorama
Canada, 35mm, 114 minutes, not rated (adult language, some vulgarity)
A Fox Searchlight release
The third film in Deepa Mehta’s Elemental Trilogy, this ultimately uplifting drama details the lives of a group of widows in India in the 1930s. Cast out of society and locked away for life in an ashram, the most beautiful among them, Ray’s Kalyani, and the youngest, a spirited eight-year-old girl, dream of the world beyond their confinement.
Screening Friday, May 5 at 7:30.

Closing Night selection
American Blackout
DIR: Ian Inaba
U.S., DV, 86 minutes, not rated (adult language)
A Guerilla News Network production
Inaba’s fascinating documentary, an award winner at the Sundance and Cleveland Film Festivals, returns to the sites of recent instances of voter disenfranchisement in American politics, including Franklin County, Ohio during the 2004 election.
Screening Sunday, May 7 at 7 p.m., introduced by director Ian Inaba.

Information on short films to be presented before select features will be announced in the coming days.

Tickets to the 2006 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival go on sale Monday, April 24 at the Arena Grand box office, online at, and by phone at (614) 222-0947. Admission to the opening night gala, which includes the after-party, is $15 general admission. All other screenings are $10 for adults and $8 for students with valid ID.

The festival is supported by the Arena District, CD 101, Fifth Third Bank, Movie Media, Orange Barrel Media, Raising Canes, Scion and WOSU.

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