Mental note: Look out for this one
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
FILMMAKERS OVERCOME LIFE-CHANGING OBSTACLES FOR AWARD-WINNING, CHRISTIAN-FUNDED FEATURE FILM "FINDING HOME"
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (ANS) -- Former child star and award-winning producer Victoria Paige Meyerink and her husband, award-winning director Lawrence David Foldes are traveling the country city-by-city promoting their new film "Finding Home," as it opens in several new markets each month. (Pictured: Finding Home's producer Victoria Paige Meyerink is a former child star, having co-starred legends like Rock Hudson, Clint Walker and Danny Kaye. Victoria is pictured with co-star Elvis Presley in the 1968 film Speedway).
Meyerink played the role of "Ellie Esterlake" opposite Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra in MGM's Speedway (1968). She also co-starred with Rock Hudson, Clint Walker and opposite Danny Kaye on his popular CBS variety series, and was a regular on such popular series as Green Acres, My Three Sons and Family Affair.
According to details released to the media by Brian Mayes of the Nashville Publicity Group, Meyerink was in 1998 diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a nonmalignant brain tumor. They dropped everything to research the ailment.
Mayes told ASSIST News Service (ANS): "Shunning traditional surgery that would have most likely caused partial paralysis and other devastating effects, Meyerink eventually was treated successfully with a new form of therapy involving a gamma knife, a device that can deliver radiation doses with pinpoint accuracy to deep- seated tumors within the brain."
He continued: "The medical crisis caused the filmmaking couple to ponder their cinematic legacy with renewed intensity. They wanted to leave behind something meaningful that would touch people's lives and have a lasting impact. The journey led them to make FINDING HOME -- the story of a young, big-city workaholic who re-evaluates her life and investigates her past after inheriting a picturesque island inn from her grandmother in Maine."
Mayes says the message is simple: "Love is the ultimate forgiveness."
FINDING HOME stars Academy Award® winner Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), Academy Award® nominee Geneviève Bujold (Anne Of The Thousand Days), Academy Award® nominee Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer, Sixteen Candles), Academy Award® nominee Jason Miller (The Exorcist), Johnny Messner (Anacondas, Hostage, Tears of the Sun), Emmy Award nominee Sherri Saum (One Life to Live, Beggars & Choosers) and Lisa Brenner of Mel Gibson’s The Patriot. Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Michael Cimino and Arthur Hiller personally consulted on the project. (Pictured: Cover of Finding Home from Clear Star Pictures, now playing in select cities around the country).
Mayes said that FINDING HOME has garnered numerous awards on the festival circuit including 5 Best Picture awards, Best Director and Best Actress awards at the Monaco Int’l. Film Festival, and named "Best of the Festival" at both the Sarasota and Nashville Film Festivals.
"The picture was also honored with the Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Song Awards at the Rome Int’l. Film Festival, as well as the Excellence in Producing Award at the Montréal World Film Festival," he said.
"Many churches around the country are finding the film valuable as a discussion topic and lesson tool in Bible study programs, and we are having a tremendous response from pastors and religious leaders. One Nashville-based pastor said last week that every mother should take their daughter to see this film," said Mayes.
Mayes said that Foldes' critically acclaimed, award-winning motion picture FINDING HOME is gaining national attention.
"Shot with Christian funding, FINDING HOME is currently in regional release around the U.S., expanding to Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis and Little Rock in September."
Details in a press release e-mailed to ANS state that FINDING HOME is "a powerful story of forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption.
"The film tells the story of a young woman who must unravel the mysteries of her family's troubled past when she returns to her grandmother's remote island inn where she is forced to re-evaluate her own life and values.
"Filmed at spectacular locations on Deer Isle, Maine, the story addresses important social and psychological issues such as sexual responsibility, the importance of family, and making the right choices in life. Many churches around the country are finding the film valuable as a discussion topic and lesson tool in Bible study programs."
MOVIEGUIDE® film critic Ted Baehr says FINDING HOME is "a well-crafted, evocative moive."
Baehr commented: "Strong moral points are made throughout and the Bible is quoted in a magnificent way. The movie works extremely well and is highly entertaining. MOVIEGUIDE® urges audiences, especially young people, to see this movie for its entertaining, profound insights."
The film stars Academy Award® winner Louise Fletcher, best known for her role as Nurse Ratched opposite Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Geneviève Bujold, and Justin Henry, the Academy Award® nominated child star of Kramer vs. Kramer and star of John Hughes' Sixteen Candles.
The cast also includes Lisa Brenner of Mel Gibson's The Patriot, Johnny Messner (Anacondas, Tears of the Sun) and Emmy Award nominee Sherri Saum (One Life to Live, Beggars & Choosers), and Academy Award® nominee and Pulitzer Prize winner Jason Miller (The Exorcist) in his final role. Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Michael Cimino and Arthur Hiller personally consulted on this heartfelt drama.
Mayes says FINDING HOME is the culmination of a five-year odyssey for award-winning director Lawrence David Foldes and award-winning producer Victoria Paige Meyerink who invested their entire life savings in finishing the picture.
The husband and wife team erected a full service temporary movie studio on Deer Isle, and faced the challenges of marine filming and 14-foot tidal shifts. They also had to extend the New England "fall color" from Labor Day until Christmas. The project originated at The Int’l. Film & Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine where Foldes and Meyerink, faculty members for over fifteen years, were approached by a student with the original storyline. Foldes and co-writer Grafton Harper then wrote the screenplay, spending over a year researching the field of traumatic and repressed memories with the medical community’s top experts and their patients. (Pictured: The award-winning husband/wife filmmaking team of Lawrence David Foldes (Director) and Victoria Paige Meyerink (Producer) on Deer Isle, Maine, the location of their latest feature film Finding Home).
Meyerink gained international fame at age four when she co-starred for four seasons with Danny Kaye on his CBS variety series. She also co-starred with Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra in MGM’s Speedway as well as Brainstorm with Anne Francis, Seconds with Rock Hudson, and Night of the Grizzly with Clint Walker and Martha Hyer. On television she was a regular on the popular series Green Acres, My Three Sons and Family Affair. Foldes gained industry prominence with the highly successful cult classic Malibu High which he produced at age 18, making him the youngest professional filmmaker in history.
FINDING HOME marks the 20th anniversary of filmmaking duo Foldes and Meyerink and is a personal triumph for producer and former child star Meyerink, who battled a brain tumor and created a controversial new radiation treatment during the film’s production.
Mayes commented: "The drama and challenges the filmmakers faced on the rocky cliffs of Felsted, a famous inn and property on Deer Isle originally designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (designer of New York City’s Central Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park), were exponentially increased by Meyerink’s medical ordeal."
He said that after producing four successful features with Foldes, Meyerink was diagnosed in 1998 with an acoustic neuroma, a deep-seated brain tumor that, if surgically removed, would have left her deaf in one ear with the possibility of facial paralysis, imbalance, and other serious side effects.
He added: "She was determined to find a better treatment, so she and her husband took matters into their own hands. After consulting over forty doctors on both coasts and in Europe and interviewing hundreds of patients, Meyerink convinced Dr. Georg Noren, a prominent physician at the New England Gamma Knife Center at Rhode Island Hospital, to attempt a new protocol involving two different forms of radiation treatment. Dr. Noren believed the treatment could be successful and he and Meyerink created what is known as Fractionated Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (FGK), and Meyerink became the first patient in the world to undergo the new treatment. It worked.
"Since then, Dr. Noren has successfully treated over fifty patients and the procedure is about to be implemented in other countries. A portion of the film’s proceeds are being donated to fund further research at the New England Gamma Knife Center at Rhode Island Hospital."
Mayes said the film, which came about at the most turbulent time in the filmmakers' lives, is a major shift in the careers of Foldes and Meyerink, whose previous credits also include actioners Young Warriors and Nightforce, and comedic festival favorite Prima Donnas.
"This change in the filmmaker's focus was brought on by the life-altering challenges they encountered with Meyerink's illness and their realization of the preciousness and frailty of life.
"I could not have made this picture six or seven years ago," says Foldes.
"Victoria’s illness and her resiliency in the face of such adversity forced us to confront our mortality and allowed me to mature as a filmmaker. We began to think about the legacy that we would leave behind as filmmakers. Did we want to be known for a shelf full of action movies at Blockbuster? Or could we use our talents to create something meaningful that would enhance the lives of audiences for generations."
"We felt that we could do something more than simply babysit audiences and sell popcorn," adds Meyerink. "We have the ability to use the powerful medium of film to have a positive impact on peoples' lives.”
FINDING HOME opened in Nashville and Knoxville on September 9, and plays in Memphis and Little Rock on September 16. Castle Hill Productions, the film's New York based distributor, will continue releasing the film throughout the rest of the country in the fall.
Said Mayes: "It's in limited release now around the U.S. It opened in Nashville and Knoxville, and Little Rock and Memphis open this Friday. Atlanta, L.A., Seattle, New York and others are coming this fall."
"Foldes and Meyerink are traveling to each city, and appearing at select screenings to introduce the film and answer questions from the audience. Their grassroots approach in marketing this film has proven highly successful, resulting in extended stays and frequent sell-outs coast to coast," said Mayes.
Critics have called FINDING HOME "Stunning," "Heartfelt" and "Impeccably crafted," predicting a potential Oscar nomination for Geneviève Bujold.
Mayes said that Rex Reed of the New York Observer hails the film as "Exhilarating!" and calls it "Honest and relevant, intense and riveting, a cause for rejoicing."
"One of life's great pleasures for a film critic is the serendipitous jolt of happening upon a new work at a film festival that reaffirms the love of making movies. Lawrence David Foldes' impressive memory drama FINDING HOME is such an experience," says film critic Jake Jacobson of Westwood One/CBS Radio.
More information visit: www.FindingHomeMovie.com or contact: Brian Mayes (615) 417-8149; firstname.lastname@example.org
Nashville Publicity Group
Post Office Box 291705
Nashville, Tennessee 37229
(615) 417-8149 phone
(615) 523-1831 fax
|** Michael Ireland is an international British freelance journalist. A former reporter with a London newspaper, Michael is the Chief Correspondent for ASSIST News Service of Garden Grove, California. Michael immigrated to the United States in 1982 and became a US citizen in September, 1995. He is married with two children. Michael has also been a frequent contributor to UCB Europe, a British Christian radio station.|
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