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

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July Spotlight: AMERICAN HONEY

AMERICAN HONEY Filmed in KC

If you didn't know the 2016 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize
winning film AMERICAN HONEY filmed in Kansas City last year, don't worry. 
The reason you didn't know is because the production kept their presence 
here very quiet. They asked  us not to discuss the project, actors or locations 
with anyone outside of those who were involved on a "need-to-know" basis. 
That meant no media, no social posts, no newsletter content about how 
exciting it was that they were here filming here. 

It was a great pleasure assisting this production. Knowing that this 
brilliant director was bringing her first US feature to Kansas City was 
incredible. Now that filming is done and they have premiered at Cannes, we 
can share some anecdotes that shed light on how the film office works with a
production like AMERICAN HONEY. First, watch their trailer and see how 
much KC you can find -

Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey” plunges the audience, with dizzying hand-held exhilaration, into the lives of a couple of dozen young pierced and tattooed drifters who have banded together into a roving derelict cult, driving around the Midwest in a van, where they have a scam going to use their hustle and beauty to guilt-trip people into buying magazine subscriptions. You may never have seen a movie that so eloquently captures the feeling of living not for the future but for the moment — and, let’s be clear, living that way is not a good thing. But there’s a haunting question that shadows the flying-high hip-hop catharsis of “American Honey,” and that is this: How did these kids get here? -Owen Glieberman, Variety

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April Spotlight: Misti Boland | Red Bird

Each  month we connect with an influential professional in the industry. This month our Spotlight is on Misti Boland – screenwriter, director, producer, production designer, art director.

Using the internet to distribute film and TV content is sort of like the new Wild West…

You might recognize Misti Boland from the Sundance/Slamdance blog we did earlier this year when we highlighted area people at the fests. Misti was a member of the jury at Slamdance Film Festival. We got together at the Missouri Film/KC Film party in Park City and we had a good laugh as she shared a story about dancing with Emilio Estevez, who was very much enjoying himself at the party she just came from. She also spoke of her exciting project Red Bird that she was in post-production on.

Misti Boland is known as a a production designer and and art director, with more than thirty (30) films to her credit. She is one of the founders of Women of Lawrence Film (WOLF). She has been finding success as a writer-director as well and has just launched a new webseries called Red Bird. We are honored to have this rising star as our film office spotlight this month.


Misti Boland on Location Directing "Red Bird"
Misti Boland on Location Directing “Red Bird”

KCFMO: Where did the idea for Red Bird come about? And where did the name come from?

MistiI grew up watching Western television shows and movies, and as a filmmaker I’ve been looking for the opportunity to create one.  When I was approached by actor friends Alexandra Goodman and Ian Stark about writing a script with two characters who encounter struggles with living off the land, I thought it would be a perfect fit Misti-Boland-on-setfor making a Western.

My co-writer, Jeremy Osbern, and I live in Lawrence, Kansas, and we both share an interest in the history of Bleeding Kansas and in particular Quantrill’s raid. We wanted to showcase a woman who lived through a similar event and witnessed the murder of her young son, which sparks her bloody quest for revenge.

The name for the web series came about when Jeremy and I decided that Sam’s (Kitty Mae’s father) special nickname for her would be Red Bird. 


RED BIRD HorizontalKCFMO: You are the writer, director and co-creator of this series. Tell us about those roles and any others you took on. Continue reading

February Spotlight: Kevin Willmott

Each  month we connect with an influential professional in the industry. This month our Spotlight is on Kevin Willmott -screenwriter, director, producer, actor and professor.

To have one of your film heroes say that about your work is about as good as it gets.

Kevin Willmott

Kevin Willmott grew up in Kansas and attended college to study Drama at Marymount University in Salina. His work as a peace and civil rights activist after college resounds in his filmography. After Marymount he created two shelters for the homeless and fought for integration within several long-standing segregated institutions. Later he went on to the graduate program at the prestigious NYU, Tisch School of the Arts where he won several writing awards and earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing.

Although I didn’t have Willmott as a professor at KU, I did have the great pleasure of working as a camera assistant/loader for a 2nd unit team in 1999 on his critically acclaimed feature film, “C.S.A.: Confederate States of America” (2004). The film explores what America might be like had the Civil War been won by the South. “C.S.A.”, as well as “The Only Good Indian” (2009) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and represent only a few of his many professional credits.

Willmott’s numerous credits range from actor (11 credits), writer (8 credits), producer (9 credits) and director (8 credits). [Source IMDB]

As a professor Willmott inspires students by example – by creating consistently, working hard and having the determination to make films he believes in that often take years to enter into production. Our intern, Rachel Kephart, a former student of Willmott says, “he’s very present as a professor and teaches from a real knowledge of filmmaking from idea to distribution without pretension.”

We are grateful that he shared some of his experiences and photos with us, even with an incredibly busy schedule.


KCFMO: What were you doing before you came to University of Kansas to teach?

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Spotlight on TRUST FUND MOVIE

One of our favorite locations to film at was the “Italian Villa” which was an amazing home located only about 15 minutes south of downtown…we could not have asked for a better place to shoot our Italy scenes. The funny thing was, we filmed the family home in “Chicago” right across the street, that’s how diverse some of the neighborhoods are in Kansas City.

It’s not everyday that an independent film gets a deal with the AMC Independent program. But that’s exactly what Kansas City filmmakers Sandra Martin (SM), writer/director and Isaac Alongi (IA), cinematographer have done. Their film, Trust Fund, opens in KC on January 8 at AMC Theatres.  We invited Martin and Alongi to be the January KC film spotlight to celebrate the release. Congratulations to these incredible KC film talents and to all the cast and crew!

KCFMO: How did you film KC as Chicago and Italy? Tell us about your location selections.

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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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