Debra Granik’s Stray Dog & Working With Actors Symposium | Christopher Emmons’ Serial Daters Anonymous at the 2014 Milwaukee Film Fesitval

STRAY DOG

Two delightful offerings from Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granik at the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival. Okay, actually three. Winter’s Bone played and if you have never seen this movie it is a must for filmmaker and fan alike. It is a riveting exploration or rural life and murder and mystery, fabulously well acted and the movie that brought Jennifer Lawrence to the world’s attention.So that certainly counts but Winter’s Bone is a couple years old now.

The movie Debra brought with her this year is her recent documentary Stray Dog about a motorcycling, dancing, PTSD, dog loving Vietnam Vet. It is a fascinating look at and ride along with delightful real life characters. I enjoyed this movie very much. I also enjoyed meeting some of the real life subjects of the film who were in attendance. Go see Stray Dog.

DebraGranik

What I found extra compelling and very valuable for the filmmaker was the afternoon symposium she conducted on working with actors. She she shared some of her thoughts, philosophy and methods for working with the actor to get their most realistic and captivating performance. She explained how she used this process too in writing and further developing the script prior to filming. She had four very apt and talented actors from the Milwaukee area to work with so audience members not only heard about what was important for Debra in working with actors and crafting the performance and the scene but we got to see it.

This workshop was excellent. Debra gave away a lot of great tips and advice that wise local directors would be willing to utilize and explore in their own work. It is this kind of panel, or symposium or workshop that is valuable to both the filmmaker attending the festival and the fan and Milwaukee Film Festival should continue to offer these type of programs when able. This workshop alone is worth the entire price of a full pass and it was provided for free. Kudos to all who helped make it possible the Milwaukee Film administrators and staff, Debra and the actors. Thanks!

sam page louise linton

Another event I enjoyed very much was the locally produced Serial Daters Anonymous feature film directed by Christopher Carson Emmons and Executive Produced by Sam Kozel. The film starred Louise Linton, Sam Page and Scotty Dickert along with local area cast members and local area crew. The DP is Nate Haban.

The film is enjoyable, I thought it looked great, was well acted in most all cases, and I really liked the musical score. I particularly applaud all these filmmakers (cast and crew) because I know the constraints they were under to get this film made and I am impressed with the job they turned out.

Louise Linton is delightful, and it is difficult to take your eyes off her.

Bravo to the Wisconsin area filmmakers for their turning out a well made local feature. There are some really nice performances from the local actors. If you get the chance to see it – see it!

It may or may not be your cup of tea, after all it is an unromantic comedy, but I am glad I saw it. I think you will be too.

SDA louise

Louise Linton’s character learns, at the alter on her wedding day that her fiancee cheated on her with her sister. She dumps him at the alter and then resumes her life attempting to recover from the shock and the hurt. What does she do to heal herself? Well, she decides to continue to meet men. When she does and they ask her out she grants them a single date, no sex and no second date. I guess that might make sense if you were upset with the male gender for betraying you. You might want to take some time to heal, to explore and to play the field before giving your heart to someone new. This is all understandable but she takes it a step further. She creates a blog and, post date, she writes about the man, but not in a very nice way.

Okay, well that sets the scene now it is up to you to go see it. It plays twice more at the 2014 festival.

Stray Dog shows again as well! Check the Film Festival calendar for dates and times. See you around!

Visit mkefilm.org for information on the film festival

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Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano on making TV movies – Thursday 10/2

rex piano directing

Rex graduated from NYU School of the Arts in 1981 as a film major – concentrating on writing, producing and directing. While there, he worked on several films and commercials, most notably: “Ms. 45” for director Abel Ferrara and “Mother’s Day” and “When Nature Calls” for director Charles Kaufman. Upon graduating, Rex worked as a 1st A.D. on dozens of commercials and films until he took a full time position at a NY Commercial Production Company.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday October 1 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK  the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 5

Previous Episodes: TO LISTEN CLICK the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 2

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 3

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 4

In 1985 Rex became Head of Production for O’Quinn Productions where he produced numerous videos for Fangoria Magazine (O’Quinn’s creation) that were distributed by MPI and Paramount Home Video.

In 1987 Rex moved to Los Angeles and was Head of Production for Associated Television International. While there, Rex wrote, produced and/or directed several TV specials and numerous travel videos. Rex also co-wrote and line produced the feature film “Chill Factor,” starring Paul Williams, Patrick Macnee and Andrew Prine.

Rex line produced “Severed Ties” in 1991 for Fangoria Films and continued freelance production work until 1995 when he was hired to produce the syndicated TV show “High Tide,” starring singer Rick Springfield. Rex also directed two episodes that season which lead to him becoming one of the series’ rotating directors.

Rex continued directing episodic TV shows, including “Mike Hammer, Private Eye”, “Silk Stalkings”, “Born Free”, “Air America” and “Nightman.”

In 2000 Rex produced and directed the multi-award winning romantic comedy feature film “The Month Of August.” The film garnered nine Best Picture awards and ten Official Designations at various film festivals around the country.

Rex followed that film with the highly viewed and critically acclaimed TV movie “Hope Ranch” for The Animal Planet channel. Rex then began directing TV movies that aired on PAX and Lifetime Television.

To date, Rex has directed or produced 21 movies that have either aired on television, gone straight to DVD or have had limited theatrical distribution.

In 2007 Rex was the primary director on “ROME – The Rise and Fall of an Empire,” for the History Channel.

Rex continues to produce and direct TV shows and Independent films; the most recent being “The Littlest Angel,” an animated Christmas movie that comes out in 2011.

Rex is currently attached to direct/produce several films including “Storm Front”, “Pizza Face” and “Phylicia’s Final Fling,” to name a few. Rex continues to write screenplays, his most recent a comedy called “In A Gadda Da Vida,” is currently making the rounds in Hollywood.

Rex Piano Official Website

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Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

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John Ridley, 2014 Oscar-Winner, Returns To Milwaukee As Guest Of MKE Film Festival

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Milwaukee Film Festival Secures 2014 Oscar-Winner John Ridley who is scheduled to attend Jimi: All Is By My SideRecord advance ticket sales; MFF opens Thursday

The 6th Annual Milwaukee Film Festival, presented by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is thrilled to announce the scheduled attendance of Oscar-winning filmmaker, John Ridley, for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival.

Ridley was born and raised in Milwaukee. He received an Academy Award this year for Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. 

Jimi: All Is By My Side, written and directed by Ridley, is the festival Centerpiece with a single screening taking place on Saturday, October 4, 7pm at the Oriental Theatre. It is an intimate portrait of rock legend Jimi Hendrix, portrayed by Outkast’s André Benjamin. The film follows a year in Hendrix’s life from 1966-1967.

Ridley is currently in production in Austin, Texas for a new television drama entitled “American Crime,” which stars Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton and is slated to premiere on ABC mid-season.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele,  a co-founder of Milwaukee Film, and current member of the board, personally provided the support necessary to secure the private plane transportation required for Ridley’s limited availability for attendance. As a long-standing supporter of the arts community in Milwaukee, Abele expresses that he is “more than happy to do my part in bringing back home a talented Oscar-winning filmmaker. John Ridley is an example of the kind of spirit, drive and passion we strive to foster in Milwaukee through exceptional cultural experiences like the festival.”

In addition to securing a last-minute high-profile festival guest, Milwaukee Film has seen a record number of ticket sales for individual films–an increase of 35 percent compared to the same time last year. Eight films have thus far sold-out for advance sales and are only available on rush (see “Films on Rush Status” list below). Rush tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and are available 15 minutes prior to showtime.

The Milwaukee Film Festival opens this Thursday at the Oriental Theatre with the thrilling documentary, 1971. Director Johanna Hamilton and numerous film subjects will be in attendance for an extended question and answer session, immediately followed by the Opening Night Party taking place from 9-11:30pm at Kenilworth Square East (1915 E. Kenilworth Place).

Film on Rush Status

We Are the Nobles | Saturday, Sept. 27 | 4:15 PM | Fox-Bay Cinema Grill

1,000 Times Goodnight | Saturday, Sept. 27 | 7 PM | Times Cinema

We Are the Nobles |Tuesday, Sept. 30 | 7 PM | Downer Theatre

Mood Indigo ( L’Ecume des Jours) | Wednesday, Oct. 1 | 7 PM | Downer Theatre

The Imitation Game | Sunday, Oct. 5 | 1:30 PM | Oriental Theatre

Advanced Style | Sunday, Oct. 5 | 4 PM | Oriental Theatre

Art and Craft | Monday, Oct. 6 | 7:15 PM | Downer Theatre

Advanced Style | Tuesday, Oct. 7 | 7 PM | Fox-Bay Cinema Grill

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema.

Visit mkefilm.org for information on the film festival and the organization, membership, special events, and to sign up for the weekly email newsletter (mkefilm.org/newsletter-signup). Connect with Milwaukee Film on Facebook (facebook.com/MilwaukeeFilm), Twitter (twitter.com/mkefilm), Instagram (instagram.com/mkefilm), and the Milwaukee Film blog (mkefilm.org/news).

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Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granick

DebraGranik

Debra Granik, is the Academy Award-nominated director and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was nominated for four Oscars, including  Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Granik’s first feature film, Down to the Bone, was awarded the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She is known for her amazing work with actors, essentially launching the careers of both Vera Farmiga and Jennifer Lawrence. Her work is known for an instinctive, collaborative style that Granik describes as “late-breaking global neorealism.”

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granick 

Granik’s most recent offering, the documentary Stray Dog, began with a chance encounter while scouting and casting Winter’s Bone. Granik met Ron “Stray Dog” Hall in the Biker Church of Branson and cast him as the film’s estranged father, Thump Milton. Of her work she says, “The question I’ve had for most of my life is, ‘How are you coping?’ Some people have these small, positive schemes for survival, a kind of strength that I am attracted to, maybe because I’m prone to the blues.” In Hall she found a worthy subject—one whose humor and lack of self-consciousness had the potential to make the plight of Vietnam vets accessible to a broader audience.

Debra Granick is a special guest attending the Milwaukee Film Festival 2014. She is scheduled to attend screenings and participate in question and answer sessions with her film’s subjects, Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, of Stray Dog. See below:

Winter’s Bone Sept 27, 11:30AM | Downer Theatre

Working with Actors Sep. 27, 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect Debra Granik will present on this topic.

Stray Dog Sep. 27, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre & Sep. 29, 4:15PM | Times Cinema. In attendance are Debra Granik: Director, Tory Stewart: Co-Producer/Editor, Ron “Stray Dog” Hall: Film Subject, Freddie Strickland: Film Subject, and Robin Smith: Film Subject.

You will want to attend these showings and panel.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

‘MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH’: ‘LORD OF THE FLIES’ 70S STYLE’ reprinted

MACHPosterArt

It’s great to come across these reviews. I reprinted it from dangerousminds.net for you below. Enjoy! —

There is the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.Cliched? Absolutely. Trite? Perhaps. Accurate? Sadly yes and nowhere is it more apparent than in Rene Daalder’s brilliant and bleak 1976 film, Massacre at Central High. It is considered to be a huge influence on Michael Lehmann’s Heathers, but while the darkness of that film is cushioned by some exquisitely played gallows humor,Massacre at Central High is truly the unrelenting real deal.

The film begins with a young nerdish hippie type, Spoony (Robert Carradine), who is painting a swastika on the locker of one of his bullies. In fact, the bullies of Central High, Bruce (Ray Underwood), Craig (Steve Bond) and Paul (Damon Douglas), referred to by one character as “the little league Gestapo,” are more than just your garden variety jocks and mean kids. They rule the roost, complete with exclusive use of the student lounge and the more cherry part of the parking lot. The adults are neutered and the kids are all too scared and beaten down to challenge them. (Sound familiar?)

A young Robert Carradine being bullied.

Their harassment of Spoony is interrupted by David (Derrel Maury), the new kid at school, who is trying to find the student lounge. (Not knowing yet that it is alpha-douchebag territory.) The guys tell him to all but get lost and other students ignore his query until the sweet-faced, flaxen-haired Theresa (Kimberley Beck) offers to walk him there. He is then greeted by his old friend, Mark (Andrew Stevens), who is telling him how “he’ll never have any trouble again.” As if on cue, the asshole trio saunter in and let Mark know that they all have already met. They soon leave and sensing the already growing tension, Mark warns David “to drop the loner shit” and that this could be like their own country club.

Turns out that David once did Mark a favor at their old school. The exact specs are never quite told, but enough is said to infer that basically, David protected Mark from the same exact kind of cretin that he is now hanging out with. Except that David didn’t even know him at the time. Speaking of cretins, the five of them hang out after school and go out for a joyride until they spot poor Rodney (Rex Steven Sikes),driving along in his sputtering, barely running vehicle. Considering his car’s existence within their vicinity a personal affront, they end up stopping and all pile into his vehicle, where they proceed to wreck it until it is as dead as Rodney’s sense of self-esteem. David’s quiet but Mark senses that he is not pleased about this incident.

This feeling builds, as David witnesses the trio kicking and brutally tormenting chubby Oscar (Jeffrey Winner), during gym class. Mark tries to excuse it, saying that they are ultimately helping him. David starts asking the same question a lot of viewers may be thinking, which is why isn’t anyone stopping these guys? The have-nots far out number them, but yet much of the student body walk around like whooped animals, lest they be the next targets for abuse. To hear Jane (Lani O’Grady) and Mary (Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith) tell it “they get to everyone sooner or later.”

The bullies hassle the student librarian.

David begins actively talking to their assorted victims, starting with Rodney and offers to help him fix up his car. He also helps Arthur (Dennis Kort), the partially-deaf student librarian, after the gang shove him around and tear apart the library. Appreciating his friend’s act of kindness, Mark tells David that “he is playing with fire.” David’s response? “You tell them the same thing.” None of this endears David at all to Mark’s buddies, though he is temporarily spared, for the time being, due to Mark’s pleading. The really heartbreaking thing about all this is Arthur telling David that he is “breaking a long school tradition.” There’s the really terrifying thing, the fact that bullies are not just a school institutional trope but in fact can be a multi-generational culture.

Things continue to fester, with Paul, Craig and Bruce, after observing Alice and Mary earlier in the film, calling them “dykes” and stating “that all they need is a couple of good fucks,” decide to “teach something” to the two unwilling girls, dragging them in an empty classroom. Mark meets with Theresa in the parking lot while this going on. He gets pissy with Theresa’s lack of being social and suggests that maybe she would rather go “party” with the boys, just like her friends Alice and Mary. Sensing something is foul, she immediately goes on the run, looking for the girls. She manages to find them and starts chastising the boys, with things escalating from verbal to physical. One the bullies ends up restraining her, while the other two are still trying to execute the rape. Hearing commotion, David bursts in and efficiently pummels the three attackers, before anything can get even worse. Theresa runs off and Alice and Mary, looking stunned, turn down his offer of a ride home.

David and Theresa

Worried, he follows Theresa, who is at first disturbed by his violent actions, but ends up being glad that he stood up to the terrors of the school. They go down to the beach where David reveals that he has a lot of inner rage, stating that “anger just builds up inside.” But his fix for it is going for a run. Meanwhile, Bruce, Craig and Paul are beaten and foaming at the mouth for some revenge. Mark tries to save things, stating that if David was able to single-handedly kick their collective asses, that he could be a good ally. Grudgingly they agree, but only if Mark can talk some sense into him. Seeing David’s jeep near the beach, he goes down there only to see his friend and girlfriend skinny dipping in the ocean. Hurt, he goes back to his “friends” and lies, saying that David said no. Being the complete coward that he is, Mark all but okays their retaliation, just as long as he is not directly involved.

Mark realizes something bad is on the horizon.

The result is the gang harass David while he is working on Rodney’s car. One of them kicks the carjack in, propelling the blunt force of the car onto one of his knees. The “accident” ends up leaving David with a permanent limp and having him return to school looking like a veteran of the psychic war. What ends up resulting is a series of violence that turns out in ways that are both expected and completely unexpected, with the ending leaving you with the a taste of one grim Lord of the Flies meets La Ronde experience.

Massacre at Central High is one of the best films about high school life and what happens when no one looks out for the students. It is absolutely telling that you do not see one adult in the whole film until the climax at the school dance. Even then the adults are just there, as ineffectual in presence as they were absent. Which is part of the real life problem with bullying is that the adults that should be there to help guide, educate and protect students either turn a blind eye, especially if it’s just a “boys will be boys” kind of situation or even worse, aid and abet it. (I actually had a teacher in junior high snicker as some kids picked on this one boy who was both dirt poor and developmentally disabled. Sartre said hell is other people, but I would argue that junior high is right next to it.)

Mark and Theresa at the Dance.

The film is almost forty years old and yet all the same problems are there. The only real difference is if Massacre at Central High was made nowadays, one of the bullies would be shooting video of their various attacks on their cell phones and uploading it to YouTube and Twitter. The ghosts of Steubenville are still omnipresent and bully culture thrives long and strong.

One of the many smart moves that director Daalder made with this film is that the reactionary violence is neither condemned nor endorsed. It is there, all for you as a viewer to soak in and process and think about. With a film like this, cliché and heavy-handedness would be the easiest twain approach but Daalder skillfully avoids both. The only real misstep is the awful MOR theme song which sounds like something David Soul would have expectorated out. No surprise that this was a powers-that-be decision, reportedly making Daadler not being able to stomach seeing his own film for three decades. The film is too solid to be ruined by such a trite song, but it is bad enough to where one can completely sympathize with the director.

The fracas with the music was only the beginning, between a weird print of the film being released as Sexy Jeans (?!?) in Italy with hardcore inserts that are visibly not the actual actors and the fact that the film remains unreleased on either DVD or Blu Ray in America. (Though cross your fingers, since there is word that Cult Epics, who have also released Daalder’s incredible apocalyptic, post-punk musical Population 1 as well as his more recent feature, Hysteria, are prepping to release it later this year.) There was a DVD release in the United Kingdom with the cover art looking like something out of a bargain basement slasher film, which is beyond misleading.

Awful UK DVD release Cover Art

Further proof of the film’s punch is that while it was originally scheduled to air on Turner Classics Movies “Underground” segment back in 2009, it ended up getting pulled, reportedly due to it being excessively violent. While there is undoubtedly violence in the film, it is no more brutal than some of the other films that have gone on to air on “Underground,” including Blue Velvet and Herschell Gordon Lewis’ gore classic, Blood Feast. One cannot help but suspect that the subject of school related violence has made this film more taboo now than it was back when it was theatrically released. And it’s a taboo that needs to be broken, not just because this is a smart, strong film, which it is to the nth degree, but also because the less we communicate as a culture, the more we are damned to repeat what hurts us. Art is considered a mirror for a very good reason. Massacre at Central High is one of those reasons.

Posted by Heather Drain (Reprinted from Dangerousminds.net)

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Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer Director Gil Cates Jr

gil catesAugust 05- 201329-1 copy

Director Producer Gil Cates Jr will be attending the Milwaukee Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Surface’ shot entirely in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The movie stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey (both will be in attendance) and Mimi Rogers. Tickets are on sale now for the Thursday October 9th Premiere at the Oriental Theater on Farwell Avenue.

GIL CATES, JR. , Director / Producer  has produced and directed many films and documentaries.  His motion picture directorial debut was the 1997 short film Screening. With an ensemble cast including Morgan Freeman, the film played at numerous film festivals and was subsequently purchased by Showtime and The Sundance Channel.

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer director Gil Cates Jr.

Following up on the success of the short, Gil wrote and directed his debut feature film $pent, a serio-comic look at life, love, and addictions. The film stars Jason London (“Dazed and Confused”) and was distributed by Regent Entertainment in the summer of 2000.

In 2002, Gil wrapped the twisted comedy The Mesmerist, based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story. The film, released by Seventh Arts Releasing, stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jessica Capshaw, and was Executive Produced by Barbara De Fina (“Casino”).

In 2003, Gil completed the ensemble A Midsummer Night’s Rave, released by THINKFilm. “Rave” features Andrew Keegan (“10 Things I Hate About You”), Chad Lindberg (“The Fast and The Furious”), Sunny Mabrey (“XXX 2”), and Carrie Fisher.

In 2005, Gil shot the documentary feature Life After Tomorrow, which follows the girls that were in the original productions of Annie on Broadway. The film won Best Documentary and Best Director at the Phoenix Film Festival and had its premiere on Christmas Eve of 2006 on Showtime.

In 2006, Gil directed the feature Deal, which he co-wrote with Marc Weinstock. The film stars Burt Reynolds as an ex-gambler who is sucked back into the popular game of Texas Hold’em. The film, shot in New Orleans, also stars Bret Harrison, Shannon Elizabeth, and Charles Durning, and was released by MGM in the spring of 2008.

In 2008, Gil produced the indie feature Order of Chaos, starring Rhys Coiro, Milo Ventimiglia, Samantha Mathis, and Mimi Rogers. The film, directed by Vince Vieluf, was released February 12th, 2010.

In 2010, Gil directed the feature Lucky. The film, a dark comedy about a serial killer who wins the lottery, stars Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Ann-Margret and Jeffrey Tambor and was released by Phase 4 Films in the summer of 2011.

In 2012, Gil co-produced the feature film Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Modine, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, and J.K. Simmons. The film, which tells the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of our most revered creative entrepreneurs, was released by Open Road in the summer of 2013.

In 2013, Gil directed the feature The Surface, starring Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey, and Mimi Rogers. The indie drama, about two strangers who meet in the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan, recently completed post-production and will be released in the winter of 2014.

Gil also made his TV directorial debut in 2007 with an episode of the NBC comedy, Joey,starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc.

**** NEWS NOTE: Gil will be attending the Milwaukee Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Surface’ shot entirely in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The movie stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey and Mimi Rogers.  Tickets are on sale now for the Thursday October 9th Premiere at the Oriental Theater on Farwell Avenue.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Milwaukee Film 2014 Festival|Record Number Of Special Guests Will Attend!

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The Milwaukee Film Festival has announced a record number of guests visiting Milwaukee and attending the film festival. These guests include critically-acclaimed directors Debra Granik and Marshall Curry to attend with film subjects;  Director Gil Cates Jr and actors Sean Astin and Chris Mulkey attending Closing Night Film

On top of that the stats on the number of guests up – an increase of 37% from last year.  A total of 113 out-of-town guests are confirmed.

“The opportunity for audience members to interact with the creators and stars of the films is one of the most unique aspects of the film festival experience. It adds a deeper level of connection and engagement between our audience and films, and that has always been one of our goals,” shares Jonathan Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director at Milwaukee Film.

Attending the festival and adding significantly to audience interaction are the directors and subjects for two of the year’s most critically acclaimed documentaries–Debra Granik’s Stray Dog and Marshall Curry’s Point and Shoot*** (See Program Note at end of blog).  Both Oscar-nominated filmmakers are scheduled to attend screenings and participate in question and answer sessions with their respective film’s subjects, Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, of Stray Dog, and Matthew VanDyke, of Point and Shoot.

Both Opening and Closing Night films boast a record number of guests and filmmakers. The riveting documentary opening the festival, 1971, screens with director Johanna Hamilton and four film subjects in attendance, and will include an extended question and answer session following the film.

I have a special place in my heart for the Milwaukee-made Closing Night film, The Surface. It celebrates its world premiere at the Milwaukee Film Festival, with cast, crew, and star of the film, Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings, Rudy, and The Goonies fame. Director Gil Cates, Jr.*** (special program note see info at bottom) writer, producer, and Milwaukee native, Jeff Gendelman, cinematographer and co-producer, Jimmy Sammarco, and actors Astin, Chris Mulkey (Captain Phillips, First Blood), and Megan Lorie will also be in attendance.

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Wesley Morris (presenting the festival’s State of the Cinema address), and comedy kingpins originally from Milwaukee, Jim Abraham and Jerry Zucker (Top Secret!), previously announced as part of Tributes, are all scheduled to attend select film screenings.

Wisconsin native Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense, Take Me to the River) is also among notable guests attending this year’s festival.

The extensive list of scheduled guests also includes at least one guest for each film in the festival’s new Black Lens program, including Robert Townsend, director, writer, and star of the 1987 classic comedy, Hollywood Shuffle, for a total of ten Black Lens guests.

For the first time since launching its Passport program, Milwaukee Film has secured a filmmaker for this program. Passport: Mexico director Rodrigo Reyes (Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border) is scheduled to attend the festival.

FILMS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR AT THE 2014 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL:

1971
Sep. 25, 7PM | Oriental Theatre (Opening Night Film)
Sep. 27, 1:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Johanna Hamilton: Director Bonnie Raines: Film Subject John Raines: Film Subject Athan Theoharis: Film Subject Betty Medsger: Film Subject

25 to Life
Oct. 4, 7PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 7, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Leah Natasha Thomas: Producer Khaliah Neal: Producer William Brawner: ­Film Subject

Anchovies (Prefeature for Serial Daters Anonymous)
Oct. 3, 7PM | Times Cinema
Annabelle Attanasio: Director

Art and Craft
Oct. 6, 7:15PM | Downer Theatre Mark Becker: Director Mark Landis: Film Subject

Carnival of the Animals (Prefeature for Psychopath)
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Sitora Takanaev: Director

Cairo Drive
Oct. 4, 9:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Sherief Elkatsha: Director

The Case Against 8
Oct. 4, 6:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 5, 1:30PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Kris Perry: Film Subject Sandy Stier: Film Subject

The Chaperone (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Fraser Munden: Director

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys
Sep. 27, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Wesley Morris: Film Critic

Cootie Contagion (Kids Shorts: Size Large)
Sep. 27, 10:45AM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 28, 11:30AM | Fox Bay Cinema
Josh Smooha: Director

CRU
Sep. 28, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Sep. 30, 7:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Antwon Tanner: Actor

DEAR MKE
(Oct. 9, 5:30PM | Oriental Theatre) Jack Turner: Executive Producer Ryan Dembroski: Executive Producer Rob Schoonover: Producer Barry Poltermann: Story Supervisor Dan Didier: Post Supervisor, Editorial Assistant

All in the Family
Sam Macon: Director Jessamy Meyer: Editor

BuildMoto
Matt Mixon: Director Matthew Prekop: Editor Ian Anderson: Editor

Come Sail Away
Jack Davidson: Director

Cooking with Kumar
Frankie Latina: Director

High Art
Chris Thompson: Director Matthew Prekop: Editor

Lo with the Fro
Jessica Farrell: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

Mondo Lucha
Sam Macon: Director Travis Auclair: Cinematographer Alex Youngen: Editor

The Right Ingredients
Matt Mixon: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

Rory: Milwaukee’s Most Famous Cab Driver
Frankie Latina: Director Vinnie Besasie: Cinematographer  Randy Russel: Unit Production Manager

To See What You Can Do
Jack Davidson: Director

Tour de Space
Blyth Meier: Director Dave Myszewski: Editor

The Truck Driver
Matt Mixon: Director

Underwater Harvey
Steve Farr: Director Steve Roeder: Producer

Evolution of a Criminal
Sept. 30, 3PM | Oriental Theatre
Darius Clark Monroe: Director

The Forgotten Kingdom
Oct. 4, 7PM | Downer Theatre
Oct. 5, 1:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Andrew Mudge: Director

Freedom Summer
Sept. 26, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Cyndee Readdean: Producer

Funnel (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sept. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Andre Hyland: Director

Give It Up For the Girl (Prefeature for Pester)
Oct. 5, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Carol Brandt: Director John Roberts: Executive Producer Martin Kaszubowski: Producer

Gnarly in Pink (Kids Shorts: Size Medium)
Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.)
Oct. 4, 11:30AM | Times Cinema
Oct. 5, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Ben Mullinkosson: Director

Goose Trouble (Kids Shorts: Size Small)
Oct. 4, 11AM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 5, 11:30AM | Fox Bay Cinema
Monika Downer: Director

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists
Sep. 26, 4:30PM | Downer Theatre
Brian Ashby: Producer, Cinematographer, Editor Suellen Rocca: Artist, Film Subject Jim Falconer: Artist, Film Subject

Hamlet A.D.D.
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 7, 9:30PM | Times Cinema
Andrew Swant: Director, Actor Bobby Ciraldo: Director, Actor Evan Maruszewski: Animator Mark Borchardt: Actor  Eric Gerber: Actor Drew Rosas: Actor

Hollywood Shuffle
Oct. 3, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Robert Townsend: Director

An Honest Liar
Oct. 5, 4:15PM | Downer Theatre
Tyler Measom: Director James Randi: Film Subject Deyvi Pena: Film Subject

The Immaculate Reception (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.) Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre
Charlotte Glynn: Director

Kids For Cash
Sep. 26, 7PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Robert May: Director

Life Partners
Oct. 5, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Susanna Fogel: Director, Co-Writer Jordana Mollick: Producer

Man With a Movie Camera
Sept. 30, PM | Oriental Theatre
Alloy Orchestra

Meet The Patels
Sep. 28, 7:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 29, 5:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Vasant Patel: Film Subject Champa Patel: Film Subject

THE MILWAUKEE SHOW I (Sep. 29, 8PM | Oriental Theatre)

The Death of Corey Stingley
Spencer Chumbley: Director Erik Ljung: Producer Craig Stingley: Film Subject

An Evening at Angelo’s
Kara Mulrooney: Director Tate Bunker: Additional Camera Angelo Mortellaro: Film Subject Jerry Grillo: Singer Ginni Smith: Singer Bobby Baker: Singer Joe Kral: Piano John Hefter: Piano Danny Keegan: Singer Mario Crivello: Bartender

The Harpist
Erica Thompson: Director Bethany Michaels: Producer Ellie Wells: Writer

The Kenny Dennis
Wes Tank: Director

Little America
Kurt Raether: Director

New Planet
James Tindell: DirectorShaun Hosseini: Assistant Producer

Settlers
Nathaniel Heuer: Director Timm Gable: Producer Erik Ljung: Cinematographer Sean Williamson: Assistant Director Diana Ehlers: Casting/Costume Heather Hass: Editor Joe Kirschling: Photography Eileen Blom: Actor Amelinda Burich: Actor Ahris Kim: Actor Margaret Muza: Actor Laura Theissen: Actor Michelle Warren: Actor Jen White: Actor Erin Wolf: Actor Shawn Stephany: Band Member Marielle Allschwang: Band member

THE MILWAUKEE SHOW II (Oct. 6, 7PM | Oriental Theatre)

Balloons
Sitora Takanaev: Director

Geoffrey Broughe Handles Confrontation Poorly
Jon Phillips: Director Quinn Hester: Cinematographer Casey Harris: Costume Designer Peter Batchelder: Sound Engineer, Compose Matthew Balz: Art Director  Ricardo De Herrera: Actor Matt Nichols: Actor

MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous
Chris James Thompson: Director Andy Gorzalski: Producer Jack Turner: Producer Travis Auclair: Cinematographer  Michael T. Vollmann: Editor Barry Poltermann: Story Editor Jannell Gorzalski: Film Subject Stephen Marcus: Film Subject Ben Koller: Film Subject Hal Koller: Film Subject Judie Koller: Film Subject George Gonis: Film Subject Robert Byrd: Film Subject

One Week Vacation
Brendan T. Jones: Director Jenny Vanderheiden: Art Director Ryan Lowe: Actor Evan Koepnick: Actor Angie Campbell: Actor Kenny Somerville: Actor

Smoky Places
Michael DiMilo: Director Jeff Stehr: Music Director Tom Plutshack: Guitar Dave Bolyard: Percussion

This is Jackie.
Anna Sampers: Director

Tis the Season
Kirsten Stuck: Director

To Hold In The Heart
Pang Her: Director Jean Yang: Camera

The Waystation in the Stars
Brandon Morissey: Director, Producer, Writer Lyssa Kay: Producer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen: Cinematographer

THE MILWAUKEE YOUTH SHOW (Sep. 28, 10:30AM | Oriental Theatre)

200,000
Gavin White, Tyler Matthews, Jeremy LeCleir, Scott Meade: Directors

Assist Bhopal
Megan Sai Dogra: Director

The Autumn Vignette
Serbata Tarrer: Director

Counting the Dead
Alexandra Van Den Heuvel: Director

Get Real People
Griffin Anderson, Mitch Dykstra, Tanner Dykstra, Ronnie Al-Ramahi: Directors

Iero
Gabriella Avila, Alexia Jaso: Directors

If You Weren’t Here
LaVarnway Boys & Girls Club workshop participants: Directors

La Decisiones de Tu Vida Alondra Mercado, Ana Ornelas: Directors:

Let the Children Live
Clarke Street Boys & Girls Club workshop participants: Directors

Media and Mental Illness
Eden Raduege, Mikayla Bell: Directors

Protect Yourself
Youth from Townsend CLC Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: Directors

Wake Up and Pay Attention
Youth from the Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee: Directors

My Prairie Home
Sep. 26, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Chelsea McMullan: Director

No One Is Listening Anymore! (Shorts: Stories We Tell)
Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre  Oct. 1, 10:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Romi Trower: Director

The Other One
Oct. 1, 7PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 7, PM | Oriental Theatre
Joe Steiff: Director Grace McPhilips: Producer, Actor

The Overnighters
Oct. 4, 9:30PM | Downer Theatre
Jay Reinke: Film Subject Keegan Edwards: Film Subject

Person to Person (Shorts: Stories We Tell) Sep. 28, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Dustin Defa: Director

Pester
Sep. 28, 6:45PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 5, 10PM | Oriental Theatre
Eric Gerber: Director, Writer, Producer Drew Rosas: Producer Andrew Swant: Actor, Consulting Producer

Point and Shoot
Oct. 7, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Marshall Curry: Director Matthew VanDyke: Producer, Film Subject

Psychopath
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 28, 2PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Oct. 4, 4:15PM | Times Cinema
Manny Marquez: Director Victor Marquez: Film Subject Suezette Marquez: Film Subject

Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border
Sep. 27, 2:15PM Downer Theatre
Rodrigo Reyes: Director

Revenge of The Mekons
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Downer Theatre
Sep. 30, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Joe Angio: Director Sally Timms: Film Subject (Only Sep. 27th screening) Jon Langford: Film Subject (Only Sep. 27th screening)

The Starfish Throwers
Attendance date TBD
Pete Tedrow: Outreach & Festival Coordinator

Secundaria
Oct. 8, 7PM | Downer Theatre
Mary Jane Doherty: Director

Serial Daters Anonymous
Sep. 27, 9:45PM | Fox Bay Cinema
Oct. 1, 4PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 3, 7PM | Times Cinema
Christopher Carson Emmons: Director Sam Kozel: Executive Producer

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Oct. 2, 4:30PM | Times Cinema
Oct. 4, 1:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Mary Dore: Director Nancy Kennedy: Producer Mary Jean Collins: Film Subject Fran Beal: Film Subject

Stop Making Sense
Oct. 4, 10:30pm Oriental Theatre
Jerry Harrison: Film Subject

Stray Dog
Sep. 27, 7:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Sep. 29, 4:15PM | Times Cinema
Debra Granik: Director Tory Stewart: Co-Producer/Editor Ron “Stray Dog” Hall: Film Subject Freddie Strickland: Film Subject Robin Smith: Film Subject

Street Fight
Oct. 7, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Marshall Curry: Director

Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told (Shorts: Sports Shorts. Shorts about Sports.)
Oct. 3, 2PM | Oriental Theatre
Joey Daoud: Director

Stumped (Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction)
Oct. 6, 4:45PM | Downer Theatre
Robin Berghaus: Director

The Surface (Closing Night Film)
Oct. 9, 8PM | Oriental Theatre
Gil Cates, Jr.: Director
Jeff Gendelman: Writer/Producer
Jimmy Sammarco: Cinematographer, Co-Producer
Sean Astin: Actor Chris Mulkey: Actor Megan Lorie: Actor

Take Me to the River
Attendance Dates TBD

Martin Shore: Director Jerry Harrison: Producer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell: Subject Frayser Boy: Film Subject William Bell: Film Subject

Taxidermists (Shorts: Stranger Than Fiction)
Oct. 2, 2PM | Times Cinema
Nicole Triche: Director Wendy Christensen: Film Subject

Things Never Said
Oct. 1, 7:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Oct. 2, 1PM | Oriental Theatre
Charles Murray: Director

This May Be the Last Time
Oct. 4, 4:15PM | Oriental Theatre
Sterlin Harjo: Director

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Oct. 9, 7:30PM | Oriental Theatre
Don Perry: Co-Producer, Co-Writer

‘Til Infinity: Celebrating 20 Years of the Souls of Mischief Sep. 27, 9PM | Oriental Theatre
Shomari Smith: Director

Time Lapse
Sep. 26, 9:30PM | Times Cinema
Bradley King: Director

Top Secret!
Oct. 1, 7PM | Oriental Theatre
Jim Abrahams: Director Jerry Zucker: Director

The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga
Sep. 28, 7:30PM | Downer Theatre
Jessica Oreck: Director

Vessel
Oct. 3, 4:45PM | Downer Theatre
Diana Whitten: Director

Watchers of the Sky
Sep. 29, 10:45PM | Oriental Theatre
Elizabeth Bohart: Executive Producer

Winter’s Bone
Sept 27, 11:30AM | Downer Theatre
Debra Granik: Director 

Years (Prefeature for The Other One)
Oct. 1, 7PM | Times Cinema
Rose Curley: Director Nora Burlo: Actor

PANELS
Keynote: State of Cinema
Sep. 27, Noon | Colectivo Prospect

Wesley Morris: 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism; Film and Culture writer for Grantland.com

Working with Actors
Sep. 27, 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect
Debra Granik: Writer, Director (Winter’s Bone, Stray Dog)

Mex-ciné: Mexican Filmmaking, Production, and Consumption in the 21st Century Sep. 27, 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama: Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University

Memory & the Arts
Sep. 28, 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Mary Louise Schumacher: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nancy Armitage: Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin

Dr. Anne Basting: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Diane Knight: Alverno College

After 1971: Media, Freedom of Information, and the Public’s Right to Know Monday, Sep 29 | 12:15 PM | Eckstein Hall, Marquette University
Mike Gousha: Marquette University Law School
Daniel Bice: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Christa Westerberg: Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Ben Wizner: American Civil Liberties Union

Pitch Us Your Doc! Contest
Saturday, Oct 4 | 12PM | Colectivo Prospect
Kim Nguyen: War Witch (MFF 2013 Competition Award Winner) Michael Raisler: Cinereach, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Laurie Scheer: The Writer’s Advantage: A Toolkit for Mastering Your Genre (2014)

Film Financing Panel
Saturday, Oct 4 | 2:30PM | Colectivo Prospect
Tyler Measom: An Honest Liar 
Jordana Mollick: Life Partners

MKE At Risk: Feeding Our Community
Saturday, Oct 4 | 5PM | Colectivo Prospect
Mitch Teich: WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio 89.7FM
Sharon Adams:  Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
Larry Adams: Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
Nicole Angresano: United Way of Greater Milwaukee
Dr. Jennifer Jordan: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Young Kim: Fondy Food Center
Sherrie Tussler: Hunger Task Force

JURORS

Herzfeld Competition Jury
David Fear, Rolling Stone
Theresa Scandiffio, Toronto International Film Festival
Mike Maggiore, Film Forum

Cream City Cinema Jury
Sam Adams, IndieWire
Justine Nagan, Kartemquin Films
Jim Brunzell III, Twin Cities Daily Planet

Shorter Is Better Jury
Dan Doody, Seattle International Film Festival
Jessica Farrell, Filmmaker Spencer Gillis, Filmmaker

Rated K: For Kids Jury
Octavia Grimes Piper Grimes Quinn Hammerlund Julian Singh Anna Weiss

I will see you there! Be sure to come up and say hello. Enjoy the festival and all these wonderful activities and guests.

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema. Passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival are currently available at discounted rates exclusively online at mkefilm.org/tickets.

Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting September 10 for Milwaukee Film Members and September 11 for the General Public.

*** Special Program Note: Debra Granik is guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Wednesday Sept 24, 2014 3pE 12pC NoonP. Join us for our live discussion, chat will be open too. Show will be archived and available 24/7 to listen if you are unable to listen live. For more info click the bolded link:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Academy Award Nominated Director Debra Granick 

*** Special Program Note: Gil Cates Jr Director Producer is guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Thursday Sept 25, 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP. Join us for our live discussion, chat will be open too. Show will be archived and available 24/7 to listen if you are unable to listen live. For more info click the bolded link:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director producer Gil Cates Jr.

Festival begins September 25, the date of this discussion with Gil Cates Jr. Enjoy

 

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