Contact: Margot Gerber

213.466.3456, ext. 115





Plus short film"Reassurance"


HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque’s THE ALTERNATIVE SCREEN: A FORUM FOR INDEPENDENT FILM EXHIBITION & BEYOND... presents a special screening of ANIMA (1997, 90 min.) on Thursday, May 28th at 7:30 pm. Writer/director Craig Richardson (BY A THREAD) creates a highly unusual blend of dark comedy and extraordinary romanticism in his story of Sam and Iris, an elderly German couple living out their last years in loving, secluded bliss – that is until a crack New York investigative journalist seeks them out for a documentary on taxidermy – an art in which Sam was once a master. Suddenly their idyllic Eden is threatened and the dark secrets of their past overwhelm their current, peaceful existence. ANIMA is the latest film from the producers of WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE. Roye Segal’s short film "Reassurance" (1997, 12 min.) will precede the feature. Segal creates a portrait of a young man (Walter Lewis) who learns a hard moral lesson when he takes a job collecting funeral insurance money from poor black families over the sweltering summer of 1949 in the deep South. Craig Richardson and Roye Segal will both appear in-person for discussion following the screenings. All screenings are at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater, 5300 Melrose Ave. in Hollywood (between Bronson & Van Ness). Parking is free on the studio lot.

ANIMA (1997, 90 min.):

As darkly comic and peculiar as it is beautiful and highly romantic, this extraordinary love story evokes a lifetime of thoughts, feelings and emotions shared by an elderly German

American Cinematheque, 1800 N. Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA 90028

tel (213) 466.3456 fax (213) 461.9737

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couple, now living in rural seclusion on an idyllic upstate New York farm. Sam (George Bartenieff) and Iris (Jaqueline Bertrand) have each other… they have Iris’ music (she plays haunting melodies on the cello) and… they have an elaborate show of handmade marionettes, preserved animals and various mechanizations, that they use to re-enact their history in war-torn Nazi Germany. They also have a dark secret. Suddenly New York investigative TV reporter "Wild Bill" Hickock (Bray Poor), disrupts their peaceful existence when he seeks out Sam, (a legendary master of preserving animals), as an interview subject for a piece on taxidermy. Sam’s ardent secrecy convinces Hickock that he is onto a larger story and he relentlessly tries to break into the couples’ private world to exploit their past. His reckless maneuvers threaten to jeopardize their idyllic Eden and what he finally discovers is far from his wildest dreams. This unusual new film is written and directed by Craig Richardson and produced by Dan Partland and Chris Roberts, the producers of WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and A PERFECT CANDIDATE.

Writing about the film in Film Threat Online, Chris Gore said, "…ANIMA is in a category all its own. Visually stunning, touching, romantic and creepy all at once…" In The Charleston Post & Courier, Jeff Johnson wrote, "A fascinating and timely parable of the self-perpetuating desire to look for the dark side of others’ nature, while ignoring our own." In the Flagpole Arts Journal, a critic wrote, "ANIMA is a unique approach to a dark theme, visually and spiritually."

ANIMA has played at many regional film festivals, including: The 23rd New England Film & Video Festival in Boston; The Athens Film Festival in Georgia; The Charleston Film Festival and most recently, The Gen Art Film Festival in New York City.

A theatrical press screening of ANIMA is planned. Please call for date and time. Press kits & photos are available upon request. Call 213.466.3456, ext. 115.


"REASSURANCE" (1997, 12 min.):

The scorching Southern summer of 1949 finds Jerry (Walter Lewis), a fresh-faced opportunist, desperately trying to earn some extra cash to put himself through college. After an unsuccessful attempt at selling encyclopedias door-to-door he lands a job selling funeral insurance to low-income black families. By paying small weekly installments, his clients are ensured a lavish funeral and in their folklore, "an unhindered passage into heaven." Jerry’s

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boss chuckles when he explains that if a client misses one payment, they lose everything they’ve paid in so far! Its a "get-rich-quick" scheme that can’t fail. Jerry preys upon his customers’ "misconstrued faith," that is, until he meets Mrs. Battle (Virginia Capers), a kindly old black woman who begins to crack Jerry’s conscience. Now Jerry must figure out how to reconcile enterprise with morality. With a score by two-time Academy Award-winning composer Joel Hirschorn (POSEIDEN ADVENTURE, THE TOWERING INFERNO). Produced at USC.

"Reassurance" is available on tape for press preview. Press kits & photos are available upon request. Call 213.466.3456, ext. 115.

If you are interested in interviewing Rhode Island-based director Craig Richardson and/or Los Angeles-based director Roye Segal, please contact Margot Gerber at 213.466.3456, ext. 115.

Ticket giveaways are available to all broadcast programs in the LA area. Please call for details.

Admission for the general public is $7 and $4 for American Cinematheque Members. Information about purchasing tickets to our programs is available at (213) 466.3456, extension 3. Acess extension 2 for additional information.

Our website has complete schedule information as well as updated changes to our schedule, announcements about special guests and information about the Egyptian Theater project. This press release is also available on the website. To log on:

The Alternative Screen: A Forum For Independent Film Exhibition And Beyond..., the American Cinematheque’s on-going series focusing on independent and new forms of cinema was created to serve the public as well as the independent film community in Los Angeles by providing a year-round venue for independent feature films that have not yet secured wide commercial distribution. Whatever the ALTERNATIVE SCREEN offers from month to month, it promises to be provocative, innovative and fiercely independent. Select Alternative Screen alumni include THE BIBLE & GUN CLUB, HABIT, STAR MAPS and THE LAST BIG THING.

Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque, is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which range

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from the classics and world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater and other Los Angeles venues. Exhibition of

rare works and special prints within our series are a Cinematheque tradition that keep the avid film lover coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. We also treat our audiences to fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work.

The American Cinematheque is currently working with the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City Los Angeles to develop the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard as the site of the American Cinematheque's permanent home where daily, year-round programming will be offered. The theatre will open December 4, 1998.

The Alternative Screen takes on-going submissions for consideration of fiercely independent work in all genres. Please send a 1/2" tape to: Margot Gerber, The Alternative Screen, c/o American Cinematheque, 1800 N. Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA., 90028. Include a SASE if you would like your tape returned. Phone inquiries should be directed to 213.466.3456, ext. 115. Please note that we are not currently accepting music video or short film submissions.

For information regarding the Alternative Screen or any other American Cinematheque event, please call (213) 466-FILM. THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

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