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October 28, 2008

Sundance Festival Prize-Winning director talks about self-reliant filmmaking

Sundance Festival Prize-winner Paul Harrill shows his new short film, Quick Feet, Soft Hands, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre. The College of William and Mary Film Studies Program sponsors the event.

Set against the backdrop of our national pastime, Quick Feet, Soft Hands follows a young couple in their pursuit of the American Dream. Greta Gerwig stars as Lisa, a young woman whose hopes of moving up are tied to Jim (Jason Von Stein), a minor league ballplayer.

Gina, an Actress, Age 29, an earlier production of Harrill’s, also will be shown. Harrill will talk with the audience about his ideas on “self-reliant filmmaking.”

Additional national and international documentaries and movies to be shown at the Kimball Theatre during November and December include:

  • Frozen River, 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. Nov. 1-7. A desperate single mother living in upstate New York resorts to smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States as a means of making ends meet in first-time feature director/screenwriter Courtney Hunt’s emotionally wrenching drama. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Rated: R.
  • Baghead, 6:30, 8 and 9:30 p.m., Nov. 8-14. While the Duplass Brothers were shooting their last feature film, “The Puffy Chair,” a crew member raised the question, “What’s the scariest thing you can think of?” Someone immediately said, “A guy with a bag on his head staring into your window.” Some agreed, but some thought it was downright ridiculous and, if anything, funny (but definitely not scary). Thus, “Baghead” was born, an attempt to take the absurdly low-concept idea of a “guy with a bag on his head” and make a funny, truthful, endearing film that maybe, just maybe, was a little bit scary too. Rated: R.
  • Quick Feet, Soft Hands and Gina, an Actress, Age 29, 7 p.m. Nov. 11. Paul Harrill’s work has screened at film festivals and on television around the world. Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” his awards include the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival. One critic has called Harrill “the Alice Munro of dramatic shorts.” He also teaches at Virginia Tech and runs the well-regarded filmmaking blog “Self-Reliant Film.” The event is free but tickets are required.
  • Bottle Shock, 7 and 9 p.m. Nov. 15-20. There are certain moments in history when America has proven itself to the world. One such moment never got the recognition it deserved. In 1976, a small American winery bested the exalted French wines of the time and sent the wine industry into a tizzy—putting California wines on the map for good. Based on a true story, “Bottle Shock” chronicles the events leading up to the famous “Judgment of Paris” tasting. Starring Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor and Dennis Farina. Rated: PG-13.
  • In Search of a Midnight Kiss, 7 and 8:45 p.m. Nov. 21-26. This ode to technology-fueled romance and indie filmmaking is a funny and bittersweet look at love, sex and modern romance. As New Year’s Eve approaches, Wilson (Scoot McNairy) is close to age 30 and far from where he wants to be in life. His best friend browbeats him into posting a personal ad for New Year’s Eve on Craig’s List, which leads to a date with Vivian (Sara Simmonds), a sexy, sarcastic blind-date-from-hell. The two embark on an unexpected, chaotic and hilariously awkward journey through the streets of Los Angeles hoping to meet the “Right One” before midnight. Not rated.
  • The Lucky Ones, 6:45 and 9 p.m. Nov. 25-Dec. 1. When three very different U.S. soldiers find themselves on an unplanned road trip across America, they form a deep bond that may be the closest thing any of them has to real family. They experience a string of surprising adventures ranging from the hilarious to the heartbreaking on their interstate journey. This humorous and timely drama about coming home stars Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Pena, and is directed by Neil Burger. Rated: R.
  • A Girl Cut in Two, 6:45 and 9 p.m. Dec. 2-8. French master of suspense Claude Chabrol returns with the razor-sharp, darkly seductive “A Girl Cut in Two.” Gabrielle Deneige is an independent, ambitious TV weather girl torn between her love of a distinguished author several decades her senior (François Berleand) and the attentions of a headstrong, potentially unstable young suitor (Benoit Magimel). Soon, she’s encountering emotional and societal forces well beyond her control, inexorably leading to a shocking clash of violence and passion. Inspired by the sensational Gilded Age murder of Madison Square Garden architect Stanford White. Not rated.
  • I Served the King of England, 7 and 9:15 p.m. Dec. 9-17. A busboy with a driving ambition to become a millionaire quickly rises to become a head waiter, but the respect he craves continues to elude him. When he marries a Nazi, the Czechs despise him even more, while the Germans barely tolerate him. Rare stamps taken from wealthy Jews make his dream come true after the war, but his first-class hotel is soon nationalized by the Communists and he ends his life in poverty and isolation. This feature is an adaptation of a novel by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabel. Czech with subtitles. Rated: R.
  • Towelhead, 6:45 and 9 p.m. Dec. 16-23. “Six Feet Under” creator and “American Beauty” screenwriter Alan Ball makes his feature directorial debut with this screen adaptation of author Alicia Erian’s controversial novel “Towelhead.” Jasira (Summer Bishil) wants something she can’t define: attention, love, acceptance or a normal life. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know the right way to find it. When her mother exiles her to Texas to live with her strict Lebanese father, she quickly learns what aspects of herself to suppress in front of him. In private, however, she conducts her sexual awakening with all the false confidence that pop culture and her neighbor’s magazines have provided. The result is a funny, dark, bold and harrowing look at the confusion and misguided exploration of youth in America’s tract houses, public schools and suburban wasteland. Rated: R.
  • Moving Midway, 6:45 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 25-30. Award-winning film critic Godfrey Cheshire uses the relocation of his family’s North Carolina plantation house to embark on a surprising journey. While observing the elaborate preparations for the colossal feat of moving a centuries-old house over fields and a rock quarry, unexpected human drama—from both the living and the dead—emerges. And a chance encounter leads Cheshire and his cousins to discover a previously unknown African American branch of the family. Through movies and music, Cheshire examines the Southern plantation in American history and culture and how the racial legacy from the past continues into the present. Not rated.

    Unless otherwise indicated, movie admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors, students and children. For more information, contact the Kimball Theatre box office at (757) 565-8588 or visit

    The Kimball Theatre, located in downtown Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, is owned and operated by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. The Kimball Theatre box office is open 4-9:15 p.m.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation, is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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