Stony Brook Fest Kicks Off Tonight with U.S. Premiere of "Swimming Upstream"
by Adam Burnett
The ninth-annual Stony Brook Film Festival has amassed what Festival Director Alan Inkles calls "an eclectic, diverse and enlightening series" of feature and short films for its 2004 line-up. Taking place on the Stony Brook University campus in Long Island, N.Y., from July 21-31, the showcase will include films from a dozen countries. The festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Tony Fingleton's "Swimming Upstream."
"Swimming Upstream" is an Australian against-all-odds Olympic tale starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. Other highlights include Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's French family drama "It's Easier For a Camel," Yoji Yamada's internationally popular romance "Twilight Samurai," Antoine de Caunes' Napoleon epic "Monsieur N.," Campbell Scott's "Off the Map," the U.S. premiere of Stephen Whittaker's Scottish war-time true story "The Rocket Post," and Mark J. Gordon's New Zealand coming-of-age tale "Her Majesty."
Familiar films to the festival circuit include Chris Kentis' thriller "Open Water," Zach Braff's "Garden State," Rick McKay's documentary "Broadway: The Golden Age," Jane Weinstock's "Easy," Mark Milgard's "Dandelion," and Jeff Balsmeyer's comedy "Danny Deckchair," which will close the festival.
In collaboration with Holland Film, the festival will present three films from the Netherlands, including Alex van Warmerdam's surreal "Grimm," Ruud van Hemert's romantic comedy "Love Trap," and Sietske Tjallingii's short satire "The General."
The festival's plan for "An Afternoon with Patricia Neal" has been cancelled because Neal is unable to travel for health reasons. Her biographer Stephen Shearer and "Broadway: The Golden Age" director Rick McKay will, however, accept a Lifetime Achievement Award on Neal's behalf prior to a screening of her film "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
A panel discussion "A Filmmaker and Distributor's Journey" will include the directors and distributors of "Broadway: The Golden Age," "Her Majesty," and "Saints and Soldiers." Jury prizes and audience awards will be presented on closing night.
[For more information, please visit: http://www.stonybrookfilmfestival.com]