"Movie Hero" Opens Cinequest and Closes with a "100 Mile Rule"
by Brian Brooks
Straight from the once invincible economic mecca of Silicon Valley the Cinequest Film Festival has announced its 2003 program for its event taking place February 27-March 9. Despite the economic downturn, the festival will host a line up of 64 features including 20 world premieres and 12 U.S. premieres, the largest schedule ever screened according to organizers.
Opening Cinequest, with screenings in San Jose, is the world premiere of Brad Gottfred's "The Movie Hero," starring Jeremy Sisto ("Six Feet Under") and Alexis Arquette ("The Wedding Singer"). The film, which will be followed by an opening party, is described by the festival as a "heartwarming, offbeat and hilarious tribute to cinema." Also making its world premiere at the event is Van Flesher's "Burning Annie," about a college student with an addiction to "Annie Hall." Other world premieres include Joe Brewster's USA/Africa feature, "The Killing Zone"; Thomas Trail's "Klepto"; and Christian Otjen's mystery-thriller, "Reeseville."
Kelly and Tyler Requa's dramatic comedy, "The Flats" will have its North American debut at Cinequest along with Iranian feature, "Black Tape," which screened at the Venice Film Festival. Closing the 11-day event is the Bay Area premiere of Brent Huff's "100 Mile Rule." The film stars Jake Weber ("Mind of the Married Man"), Michael McKean ("Best in Show"), and Maria Bello ("Coyote Ugly") as three Detroit conventioneers in L.A. who find themselves in trouble as a result of their antics.
This year, Cinequest will honor director Ralph Bakshi with its Maverick Spirit Award. During his 50 years, Bakshi's large roster of work includes projects for Rolling Stone, HBO, and Paramount in addition to his controversial 1972 X-rated cartoon, "Fritz the Cat." Actor Lupe Ontiveros ("Real Women Have Curves") will also receive a Maverick Spirit Award. The celebration will begin on March 5 at 7 p.m. with a screening of one of her films and a discussion, followed by a reception at Mexican Heritage Plaza.