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March 24, 2005 2:00 AM
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Method Fest Celebrates Acting and a "Steal Me" Opener

Method Fest Celebrates Acting and a "Steal Me" Opener

by Brian Brooks



A scene from Melissa Painter's "Steal Me," which will open the 7th Method Fest Film Festival in Calabasas, CA April 1. Image courtesy of Method Fest.


The 7th edition of Method Fest, which touts itself as a celebration of the actor, will open with Melissa Painter's drama "Steal Me" on April 1 in Calabasas, CA. Stars Danny Alexander, Hunter Parrish and Cara Seymour will attend the opening night event for the film, described by the fest as a "complex drama about growing up, innocence lost and family love." "Steal Me" had its world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

This year's lineup includes 25 feature fims, with 14 world premieres, and 47 shorts selected from 600 admissions. Brian McNelis' "East of Sunset," starring Emily Stiles is among the slated world debuts. Also a world premiere is Ron Brown's "A Perfect Fit," a drama thriller starring Adrian Grenier about a man who seeks help from a psychiatrist, but increasingly finds himself tormented due to an unstable relationship.

This year's centerpiece film is Jim Wilson's coming-of-age story "Whirlygirl," which Method Fest calls a "drama about the harsher realities of falling in love for the first time." Wilson, who has produced many of Kevin Costner's films, and is a Calabasas resident, will attend the screening along with the film's star, Monet Mazur, who will receive this year's "Method Fest Rising Star Award."

In other festival honors, the first "Family Legacy Award" will go to the Bridges family, including Jeff, Beau and their late father Lloyd on Sunday, April 3 in a program called "Bridges to Film -- Family Legacy Award." The Method Fest Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Martin Landau, while Method Fest alumn Jena Malone ("Book of Stars") will receive the Indie Hero Award, which recognizes "an actor's commitment to and support of independent film." Actor/director Crispin Glover, meanwhile, will receive The Method Fest Maverick Award at the festival's "Filmmaker Kickoff Party," on Thursday, March 31, also in Calabasas.

Closing night will feature the festival's awards ceremony, with honors going to best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress as well as ensemble. Prizes for best film, director and screenplay in addition to a "Young Actor to Watch Award" will also be presented during the event, hosted by actor Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings" series) and KNBC-TV weatherman, Fritz Coleman.

Danish director Susanne Bier's Sundance 2005 world cinema audience award-winner, "Brothers" will close the festival April 8. The film follows the story of two brothers, whose roles change when one is sent to war in Afghanistan.

Named after the famous school of acting, and styled as "the actor's festival" by Method Fest, the event promotes itself as "the only major film festival in the U.S. focusing on acting, seeking breakout acting performances in story-driven independent films."

[ For a full line up and additional information, please visit http://www.methodfest.com. ]

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