Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"16 to Life" in Select Theaters starting September 3

When Los Angeles based writer-director Becky Smith chose to return to her home state of Iowa to shoot her first feature film, "16 to Life", she had no idea the film would receive international acclaim. To date, the romantic comedy has earned six “Best Feature” awards, including honors from Landlocked Film Fest and the Iowa Motion Picture Association. 

This September, Iowa residents will have the opportunity to view this award-winning film during limited engagements in six Iowa theaters. Waterdog Films has announced that several theaters will showcase "16 to Life" with special appearances by the film’s cast and writer-director.  Visit the "16 to Life" blog for a full schedule.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Iowa Film On Immigration To Premiere On Documentary Channel

While immigration is a hot topic in Arizona and other states, a film by an Iowa producer/director and Drake University professor premiering this month on the Documentary Channel focuses on the impact of immigration in one Iowa community.

'"A Little Salsa on the Prairie: The Changing Character of Perry, Iowa,' looks at immigration-related issues that have gained much attention in the national media," said Drake English professor Jody Swilky, who wrote and co-produced the documentary.

"Our documentary examines immigration and culture change over time in a rural Midwestern community, including a bilingual community dialog process on immigration and the future of the community” added producer/director Kent Newman, head of Full Spectrum Productions who also serves as President of the Iowa Motion Picture Association.

The film has had more than 30 screenings in Iowa, California and New York. It has also been shown on Iowa Public Television and will premiere this month on the Documentary Channel, which airs documentaries from around the world, including never-before-seen and independent films. Read more online at http://www.documentarychannel.com. The film will air on the Documentary Channel on:
.            Friday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m.
.            Tuesday, Aug. 24, 1 p.m.
.            Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2 a.m.
.            Monday, Sept. 13, 11:30 a.m.

The film will continue to be broadcast in rotation on the DOC Channel over the next two years. In addition, the film will be featured for sale by the Documentary Channel's DOC Store, which offers a large selection of quality films available for purchase. Access the DOC Store online at http://documentarychannel.com/store/index.php?main_page=index.

"A Little Salsa on the Prairie" features local Perry residents who emigrated to the rural community from Mexico, as well as Central America and the U.S. It focuses on changes in Perry that began in the 1990s when the largely white community experienced an influx of Latino workers and their families.

Many of the workers traveled to Perry from Texas, California, Mexico and Central America to work in the local meat packing plant. In 10 years, Perry's Latino population increased from 47 to 1,873, with Latinos accounting for 24.5 percent of the population by 2000.

“A Little Salsa on the Prairie” present a historical look at Perry with a focus on immigration, ethnicity and industry, specifically the presence of the meat packing plant as the major employer during the 1960s and the rise and fall of the railroad.  The film also addresses the impact of Latino immigration on the economy, society and physical environment in Perry.

The Documentary Channel, which launched in 2006 and is available on Dish, Direct TV and many cable networks, is independently owned and operated. Recently, it featured its first original series, DocTalk@USC, a half hour interview program with filmmakers conducted by Mark Harris of the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. The series, taped at USC with a live audience, will start playing in the fall.

The channel was founded by Oscar nominated and Emmy winning documentarian Tom Neff and is run by President and CEO James Ackerman. It also won its first Emmy Award, for Outstanding Documentary, in September 2007, for "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire."

For more information or to arrange a special screening of the documentary, contact Newman at kent@fullspectrumproductions.com or Swilky at jody.swilky@drake.edu.