Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bunker Hill/ Suspension News

Just in from Ethan Shaftel co-director of SUSPENSION:
Our movie is finally ready for the public!  This May, Warner Brothers
Home Video will release SUSPENSION on DVD, packed with special
features including a "Making of the Visual Effects" featurette,
commentary tracks, and deleted scenes. The DVD will be widely
available for rental and retail, but we've also retained the right to
sell it directly off our website.
Sounds like it'll be a packed disc...

Also, news about BUNKER HILL - the film will have its premiere in Lawrence, KS on March 29, 2008 at Liberty Hall at 7:30pm. Following is the press release by Charla Jenkins:

LAWRENCE---An advance screening of the newest Kevin Willmott feature film,
“Bunker Hill,” will launch a new support organization for the University of Kansas Film
Program. The first public showing of the film will follow a gala reception for Friends of
Film (KUFF) Saturday, March 29.

The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Big Six Room of the Eldridge Hotel, 701
Massachusetts, in downtown Lawrence. The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in Liberty Hall,
642 Massachusetts, across the street from the hotel.

Formation of KU Friends of Film, a companion organization to Friends of the
Theatre (FROTH), has been in the organizational stages for several months.

“The film area of the department felt that having an organization to support
students in their future film endeavors made sense,” explained Tamara Falicov,
associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Theatre and Film. “We are
growing in leaps and bounds—film now has 10 faculty members and film majors
abound. We hope that forming this new organization in partnership with community
members will provide future film studies and film production opportunities for KU
students in the forms of improved facilities and future scholarships for our
undergraduate and graduate students. We feel that raising awareness of the need for a
larger facility is necessary.”

Falicov added that premiering Willmott’s latest work as a KUFF event is
especially exciting.

“Willmott's previous work has put KU Film on the map. He is a fantastic colleague
and one who is always working to support the aspirations of our film students. For this
reason it makes sense that he would offer to show his latest feature film in a special
advanced screening so the local community will have an opportunity to preview the

Willmott, associate professor of theatre and film at KU, finished filming “Bunker
Hill” late in 2007. Production began in May 2006 with footage of the wheat harvest shot
between Russell and Hays. Principal photography was shot over a five-week period in
several Kansas locations, including Lawrence, West Mineral, Sedan, Nortonville,
Topeka, and the actual Bunker Hill.

The independent film stars the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning actor James
McDaniel, who portrayed Lt. Arthur Fancy on the NBC-TV series, “NYPD Blue,” as well
as Saeed Jaffrey, a legendary Indian actor, who starred in more than 150 films,
including “Gandhi,” “Passage to India,” and “The Man Who Would Be King”; Laura Kirk,
a KU alumna, who co-wrote and starred in the feature film “Lisa Picard is Famous”;
Broadway, TV and film star Kevin Geer, whose credits include “American Gangster” and
“The Contender”; Blake Robbins, from the HBO series “Oz” and FOX-TV‘s “24”; Scott
Allegrucci, who appeared on “Chicago Hope” and “The Feud”; and local
singer/songwriter Kelley Hunt.

“Bunker Hill” is the story of a former Wall Street executive who leaves prison and
heads for the small town of Bunker Hill in Kansas, where his ex-wife and their children
have started a new life. Soon after he arrives, an apparent massive terrorist attack
against America darkens the town. Cut off from the world, the town’s militant past is
reawakened and forces coalesce to protect citizens from an unseen enemy. The town’s
fear leads to the creation of a posse of gunmen, resulting in torture, illegal searches,
and eventually, murder.

Filmmaker Willmott, a native of Junction City, attended Marymount College in
Salina and New York University Film School, and then began writing, first for the stage,
and then for TV and film. Willmott’s screenplays have been commissioned by Oliver Stone, 20th Century Fox and others, and he co-wrote the NBC mini-series, “The 70’s”
with Mitch Brian. “Ninth Street,” a feature film starring Martin Sheen and Isaac Hayes,
was written, produced, and co-directed by Willmott. “CSA: Confederate States Of
America,” written and directed by Willmott, premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film
Festival. He is currently in postproduction on a new feature, “The Only Good Indian,”
written by Thomas L. Carmody and starring Wes Studi.

Willmott directed “Bunker Hill” from a script he wrote with Greg Hurd. Matt
Jacobson, KU associate professor of theatre and film, whose credits include “CSA,”
Bukowski,” and “Born To This,” is the Director of Photography. Robert Hurst, assistant
professor of theatre and film, was responsible for the postproduction sound for the film.

Reservations for the reception, which has a $15 admission charge, can be made
through the KU Film Program at Oldfather Studios, 1621 W 9th Street, W. Ninth, Lawrence, KS 66044, or by calling 785-864-1340. General admission tickets for “Bunker Hill” are
available through the Liberty Hall Box Office for $15 for the public and $10 for students.

In other exciting news, more of my reviews have been posted over on the Micro-Film blog - hit the link on the right to check them out. Currently working on more, and on a couple of articles for the next issue coming up.

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