"Marilyn Hotchkiss" and "Five of Us" Bookend Stony Brooks Film Festival
by Ellen Keohane
The 10th annual Stony Brook Film Festival recently announced this year's line-up, which includes 21 features and 14 shorts. Opening the festival tonight (July 21) will be the east coast premiere of writer/director Randall Miller's "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School." The film, starring Robert Carlyle and Marisa Tomei, is about a man who makes a promise to a dying stranger and as a result, finds his life profoundly altered. The festival will take place at Stony Brook University's Staller Center for the Arts, Long Island, NY July 21-30.
Terry Green's "Heavens Fall" is among the offerings slated for this year's festival. The film, featuring Timothy Hutton, is based on the controversial 1931 Scottsboro trial of nine black men accused of sexually assaulting two white women on a train.
On Sunday, July 24, writer/director Jonathan Nossiter's wine making documentary "Mondovino" will screen. Following the film will be a panel discussion with wine makers, wine journalists and members of the wine industry. Following the panel -- for an additional charge -- festival goers can participate in a wine tasting at the Charles B. Wang Center.
Other festival highlights include the world premiere of Tom Anton's love story "At Last," Craig Lucas' thriller "The Dying Gaul," Melissa Painter's drama "Steal Me," Pete Schwaba's romantic comedy "The Godfather of Green Bay," Glen Scantlebury and Lucy Phillips' dark comedy "My Tiny Universe," and Sijie Dai's coming-of-age story "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" (Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise).
The closing night film on July 30 will be East Coast premiere of Ghyslaine Côté's "The Five of Us" (Elles Étaient Cinq). The French-Canadian drama explores the relationship between five female friends who struggle to overcome a brutal crime in their shared past. Following the screening will be the festival's closing night awards reception and party where jury competition winners and audience awards will be announced.
[ For more information, and a full line up, please visit: http://www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com. ]