March Spotlight on Leah Warshawski | BIG SONIA

…audiences are responding to the positive messages within the film sort of like an “antidote” to the hate. They leave feeling like there might be just a little bit of hope for humanity.

Leah Warshawski via IMDB

Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday are the brave filmmakers who produced the documentary feature FINDING HILLYWOODThrough the eyes of Warshawski and Soliday we witness the power of healing through a newly emerging film industry bringing people together in post-genocide Rwanda. Creative expression, storytelling and collaboration mark the incredible journey of repairing a country after unimaginable atrocities. I had the great pleasure of welcoming Leah and Todd to Kansas City in 2014 when they came to screen FINDING HILLYWOOD for a KC FilmFest Spotlight event. I was taken with the clarity of their vision, the boldness of their documentary work and I knew then that they were artists to watch. Their next project is a feature documentary six-years in the making – BIG SONIA, the story of an unlikely hero…a woman with “an enormous personality and fragile frame [that] mask the horrors she endured in the Holocaust to make a new life in Kansas City…” [via BigSonia.com]

We are thrilled Leah Warshawski agreed to be our next KC Film Spotlight. Leah is the co-director and producer of FINDING HILLYWOOD, the director and producer of BIG SONIA and has been assistant marine coordinator on familiar titles such as – LOST, ALONG CAME POLLY, HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, SURVIVOR and BAYWATCH to name a few.


KCFO: Your latest documentary feature film BIG SONIA is about the life of Sonia Warshawski, a national treasure [and Kansas City treasure] and Holocaust survivor. What motivated you to make this film?

socialmediagraphicLEAH: We were motivated to make BIG SONIA because Sonia – and her family – have important lessons that are so needed in today’s world. We began making a humorous short film about a tiny tailor shop in a dying mall, but the film turned into a deeper exploration of trauma and the affect this has on generations – and lots of other surprises along the way. Our story arc grew and changed throughout 6 years of production and we could not be happier with how the film turned out.

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Updated: 18 MO and KS Connected Films at 2017 Sundance and Slamdance

People travel from every corner of the globe to be among the first to see what the festival’s curators have determined are the best independent narrative and documentary films, selected from nearly 11,000 submissions.    – Pat Mitchell, Producer

Each year the KC Film and Missouri Film Offices go to Sundance Film Festival to network, host a party and support Missouri and KC connected films that screen at Sundance or Slamdance. In 2017, there are at least 16 films that are MO and KS connected. If you are going to Park City this year, consider adding these films to your ticket wish-list. And if not, it’s great to know that we have Midwest ties at one of the biggest and most prestigious festivals of the year.


#1  BRAD CUTS LOOSE | Writer/Director: Christopher Good

Summary: Brad, an uptight office drone, seemingly discovers the perfect vehicle for letting off steam when an advertisement for a business catering to his innermost desires pops up one morning on his computer. Brad’s subsequent visit to the business and encounter with its receptionist Janine, however, don’t quite go as planned. (via IMDB)

Connection: Writer/Director Christopher Good, Producer Andreina Byrne, Cinematographer Jeremy Osbern and Sound Mixer Danny Bowersox are from the Greater Kansas City area. Their work is can be seen in film, music videos, commercials and webseries. This is the third year that Jeremy Osbern will have a film at the Slamdance.

BRAD CUTS LOOSE is in Shorts Block 3 at Slamdance Film Festival, January 20-26 in Park City, Utah.


#2  COLOSSAL Writer/Director: Nacho Vigalondo

Summary: Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a hard partying New York scene girl who is thrust into crisis when her boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens), grows sick of her antics and kicks her out of their apartment. With no other options, she moves back to her hometown and quickly regresses, drinking every night until last call and accepting a job at a bar owned by her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). One day she wakes up and blurrily finds out that Seoul was terrorized by a giant creature the night before. Eventually, Gloria begins to suspect her own drunken actions are bizarrely connected to the monster rampaging in South Korea. (via Sundance.org) Continue reading

Booth Experiences: Maker Faire KC “Script-to-Screen”

MakerFaireBooth Experiences  Stop by and interact with representatives of the KC Film Production community!

 

gone-girl-flicks-and-bitsFilm Offices – “What Does a Film Office Do?”
The KC Film + Media Office, Missouri Film Office and Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission will be at the Film Offices booth at the entrance to Level B’s Script-to-Screen area to welcome you to our show-and-tell! 

Storyboarding – “Visualizing a Film”Vince_Brawlhalla_Visual development
Vince Medellin will share character  development boards, environment boards and storyboards  from his own work as a visual developer/art director as  well as storyboards from the films of local director, Patrick  Rae. You will see how a production is ‘seen’ well before any  camera roll. Plus you’ll have a chance to give storyboarding  a try yourself!

Casting  – “Audition to Land the Part”wright laird casting
Heather Laird of Wright/Laird Casting in Kansas City will be will be at Script-to-Screen Saturday, June 27th in the Casting Booth area. Heather has worked on 65+ films including THE GOOD LIE, PETE’S DRAGON, WINTERS BONE, ALL ROADS LEAD HOME (screening at Maker Faire) and more than 1,000 commercial and print projects such as Google, McDonalds, Walmart, MetLife, Microsoft, United Way, Time Warner Cable, Wendy’s, Sprint, Gillette, MasterCard and many more.  The W/L booth will provide the opportunity to observe the audition process and for the fearless, a chance to try it yourself!!

Jason-Sudeikis (2)Talent Agency Booth – “Have Your People Call My People”
Several area talent agencies will be in the Talent Agency Booth – I&I Agency, Exposure Inc and Moxie Talent Agency. You may be surprised at all of the amazing talent Kansas City has – from actors, to models, to voice over artists. Stop by the booth and they can teach you about the world of booking a job from headshots to auditions – they may even send you to one!  Continue reading

Screenings: Maker Faire KC “Script-to-Screen”

MakerFaireSCREENINGS  A big part of our industry ‘Show and Tell’ is a sampling of PG-rated (family friendly) documentaries, narratives and videos.

Downloadable Script-to-Screen schedules will be available here soon.

“All Roads Lead Home”   Sat., June 27 10:30 AM & Sun., June 28 10:30 AM  

All Roads Lead HomeThe winner of Best Feature Drama at the International Family Film Festival and winner of the Crystal Dove Seal Award from The Dove Foundation is directed by Kansas City’s Dennis Fallon. It is “the story is about a 12 year old girl who loses her mother in an automobile accident. Her father struggles with the loss of his wife and trying to raise his young daughter who believes her father is partly responsible for her mother’s death. Belle’s maternal grandfather is a changed man since losing his daughter in the accident. He finds it difficult to have a relationship with Belle since she is a constant reminder of her mother. It is Atticus the new puppy who will change Belle’s life and the lives of those who love her.” Star-studded cast includes Peter Boyle, Jason London, Peter Coyote, Vivien Cardone and Vanessa Branch.         – To view the trailer click here

Maker – Movie” – Saturday, June 27 12:45 PM & Sunday, June 28 10:30 AM

Maker movie

is a movie that looks at the Maker Movement in America – a “new wave of Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together culture fueled by passion and powered by the advent of new technologies…”

“Robots Movie” Saturday, June 27 1:50 PM & Sunday, June 28 11:35 AM

“The Monument Comes Alive – The 100 Year Union Station Anniversary Special” – Sat., June 27 2:30-3 PM with Q&A and Sun., June 28 12:30 PM

Monument comes alive

A breathtaking digital show that transformed the facade of Union Station into a 3D “mind-blowing masterpiece.” Producer Quixotic will be on-hand with Bazillion and Bic Media to discuss the project and answer questions from the audience. Get ready for an amazing ride!!

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