The Method Fest has announced the lineup for its 8th annual independent film festival taking place today (March 31st) through April 7th in Calabasas, California. Jason Matzner‘s directorial debut “Dreamland” will open the event tonight. The film is about an 18-year old girl named Audrey (Agnes Bruckner), a selfless character who spends her days taking care of her agoraphobic father and ill best friend.
The woman lives in a mobile home park in the desert of New Mexico and because her father and friend depend on her, she rarely spends time dreaming about what kind of life she wants for her future. But that changes when a teenage boy arrives to spend the summer with his family and Audrey begins to see the choices she has beyond the mobile park in Dreamland, New Mexico.
The film’s star, Agnes Bruckner, was the breakout star in the 2002 Sundance film “Blue Car.” The film also features rising actors Kelli Garner (“The Aviator,” “Thumbsucker“) and Justin Long (“Dodgeball,” “Herbie“).
Method Fest, named for a famous school of acting, is distinct from other festivals in that it focuses heavily on the acting in films and celebrates breakout performances. Method Fest has dubbed itself a “discovery festival,” helping to launch the careers of new filmmakers and actors alike.
Method Fest will close with D.B. Sweeney‘s “Dirt Nap,” a film directed by an actor, which will be making its world premiere. The film is a comedy about two life-long buddies who fumble along life’s path together and get into ridiculous predicaments.
Other world premieres that will be screening at this year’s event include Dave Rodriguez‘s “Push,” which the festival describes as a “drama about drugs, sex and the allure of fast money blurring the boundaries between two different sides of society,” and Colin Drobnis‘ “Bangkok” about a soldier’s journey in modern-day Southeast Asia to find his long lost father.
Additionally, the Canadian film “The Cabin Movie” by director Dylan Akio Smith about a swingers party that forces the characters to question the value of monogamy and looks at the nature of desire and sexuality, will make its U.S. premiere. Other festival highlights include the screening of Jimbo Barnett‘s “Oh, Mr. Faulkner, Do You Write?” The film documents John Maxwell‘s acclaimed one-man show based on the life of writer William Faulkner, which was performed and taped before a live audience in Faulkner’s hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. Method Fest’s centerpiece film will be “December Ends” by Calabasas filmmaker Lee Krieger. The films stars Josh Janowicz, “a young man who attempts to take care of his alcoholic father after his mother’s death, by working for a local drug dealer,” a Method Fest description says. A question and answer session with the director and cast will follow the screening.
Method Fest presents their Lifetime Achievement award to two actors and this year, Julie Harris and Ruby Dee will receive the honor. Harris is known for her role in “Knots Landing,” but has appeared in other big screen productions such as “East of Eden,” “The Haunting,” and was nominated for an Oscar in 1952 for her role in “The Member of the Family.” Dee has appeared in Spike Lee‘s “Do The Right Thing,” and “The Stand,” in addition to winning an Emmy for her role in the 1990 TV miniseries “Decoration Day.” Both actresses will attend the festival and the screening for their film, “The Way Back Home,” about a man who reevaluates his life after returning home to take care of his grandmother who has suffered a stroke.
For more information and a complete lineup of films, please visit the festival website.