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57 th International Film Festival, Locarno Official Competition PROMISED LAND. a film by Michael Beltrami

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57 th International Film Festival, Locarno Official Competition PROMISED LAND a film by Michael Beltrami minutes - 35mm - Colors - 1: Dolby Digital Produced by Amka Films (Switzerland) In
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57 th International Film Festival, Locarno Official Competition PROMISED LAND a film by Michael Beltrami minutes - 35mm - Colors - 1: Dolby Digital Produced by Amka Films (Switzerland) In co-production with Orione Cinematografica (Italy) and TSI-Swiss Television Istituto Luce Produced by And Co-produced by And World Distribution Swiss Distribution Italian Distribution Contacts in Locarno Tiziana Soudani AMKA FILMS PRODUCTIONS, SA Via Sole, 2, 6942 Savosa Switzerland Tel mobile: Fax TSI-Swiss Television Silvia Innocenzi, Giovanni Saulini ORIONE CINEMATOGRAFICA Via Papiniano, 10, Roma Italy Tel Fax Istituto Luce ADRIANA CHIESA ENTERPRISES, Rome COLUMBUS FILM AG, Zürich Istituto Luce, Rome Swiss and international press: Jean-Yves Gloor Tel Tina Boillat Tel Italian press: Maria Antonietta Curione, Istituto Luce Tel Photos available on the website: PROMISED LAND SHORT SYNOPSIS Ethan Wildwood lives in his own world, midway between reality and dream. Escaping Los Angeles and an actor s life full of hardship and failure, he is given the task of shooting short on-the-road stories by a documentary producer friend. Driving his strange self-promoting car and equipped with a small video camera, he tells the story of his journey and his encounters with ordinary people in the vast American countryside. Haunted by memories and obsessive fantasies about when he was a successful child-actor, Ethan seeks refuge in the simple everyday life of an aimless traveler. Until one day when he meets Vicky, a singer traveling from place to place searching for her daughter Mary Jane, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances ten years earlier. Ethan intrigued by the story starts his own personal investigation, which will uncover hidden and unexpected truths. At the same time new roads open up to him; roads that will lead him to better understand the latent aspects of his suffered, peculiar existence. PROMISED LAND - CAST CHAD SMITH RUTH GERSON LALAINE Ethan Wildwood Vicky Dalton Norma GIUSEPPE CEDERNA Mulligan and PATRICK BAUCHAU Jim Williamson WILLIAM SANDERSON DEBORAH STRANG SONYA EDDY JAMES OTIS CONNIE SAWYER MELINDA PAGE HAMILTON DAVID RIPLEY PAMELA GORDON ERNIE BANKS JOHN MAYNARD SUSAN JOHNSTON STANLEY B. HERMANN MARY STRONG JANE YAMAMOTO MARCELLA LAASH CAREY DI PIETRO ROB MATHES STEPHAN CALLAS LILLY JOHNSON NIKKA MANGURAMAS Clark Sue Claire Ray Hazel Marisa Duane Pearl Ozzie Hank Pamela Snitch as herself as herself mother at gas station woman at gas station man at gas station Billy Boy Marisa and Duane s daughter sad girl in the car PROMISED LAND - CREW directed by screenplay by director of photography film editor production designer music by original songs by casting sound costume designer photographer on set sound editors re-recording mixer sound supervisor first assistant director unit production manager line producer co-producers producer A production by made with the support of A film sanctioned by World Distribution Swiss Distribution Italian Distribution MICHAEL BELTRAMI MICHAEL BELTRAMI STEVE ANDERSON FRANCESCA DEMICHELIS RICHARD ALEXANDER ALEXA IHRT ILARIA FRAIOLI FABRIZIO NICORA GIOVANNI VENOSTA - C.A.M. Originalsoundtracks RUTH GERSON JORY WEITZ GREG COSH FRANCINE LECOULTRE PAWEL GULA ALESSANDRO FELETTI MARTA BILLINGSLEY DAMIEN BOUVIER JEAN HOLTZMANN MIRCO MENCACCI - S.A.M. Rome T.K. SHOM MAJA ZIMMERMANN FULVIO VALSANGIACOMO SILVIA INNOCENZI GIOVANNI SAULINI TIZIANA SOUDANI AMKA FILMS PRODUCTIONS - Switzerland ORIONE CINEMATOGRAFICA - Italy TSI - SWISS TELEVISION in association with ISTITUTO LUCE THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF CULTURE - (DHA) CULTURAL FUNDS SUISSIMAGE REPUBBLICA E CANTONE TICINO STANLEY THOMAS JOHNSON FOUNDATION THE ITALIAN MINISTRY FOR CULTURAL AFFAIRS ADRIANA CHIESA ENTERPRISES, ROME COLUMBUS FILM, ZURICH ISTITUTO LUCE, ROME PROMISED LAND - DIRECTOR S STATEMENT Where does a story come from? In my experience (and I think I m in good company), stories grow along the fine line that divides the real and the imaginary. Often those two dimensions become confused, to the point where you no longer know which is which. That s certainly true in my case I ve always succumbed to the vital charm of that fascinating confusion and its also true of Ethan Wildwood, the main character in Promised Land. The story of the film was inspired by a real-life character, a would-be actor whom I met on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles some years ago. For me that man became a kind of icon for all the people who dream of making movies and who, when that dream fails to come true, gradually create a world of their own, losing touch with reality. That way of taking refuge in an invented world, which borrows bites from reality then uses the imagination to turn them into a story that is unique and true that s the key to the meaning of this film. In writing the screenplay I slowly transformed the real-life person into a character, and in so doing I re-invented a possible story for him. Without consciously meaning to, I found myself making a film about dreams and nostalgia for lost childhood; about the search for identity of an individual who lives his own life like a film. He s a drop-out, a loser in a society that does not tolerate mediocrity, let alone failure. It s no surprise that Ethan Wildwood would love to disappear without trace, to vanish in the vast open spaces of the boundless America that reminds him, wherever he goes, of what for him is the land of the movies. His solitude verges on madness. Reality blends with fiction in a subtle interaction that the film deliberately never makes too explicit; the idea was to maintain a certain ambiguity and to make room for this meeting point where the real and the imaginary merge, creating a single story. It was exciting to write and then make the film, keeping that ambiguity as a narrative choice. It was a fairly natural choice to make, too, in a film about someone like Ethan. It was my love for a character of his kind, apparently all sham, a childish prisoner of his futile ambitions, a dreamer to the end, that drove me to make the film in the first place. To demonstrate that behind every loser is a human being with his own riches, his own way of existing and his personal interpretation of life. One day when I was still working on the script, an American producer asked me: how come you insist on trying to make a film about a loser, who do you think is going to want to see it? Well, in my opinion, losers or drop-outs, whatever people call them, are not trite and predictable; on the contrary, they re characters that experience the contradictions of our time more intensely than others. Isn t the history of the cinema full of movies whose heroes and heroines are losers and no-hopers? For me, this was a fantastic opportunity to go along for the ride on Ethan s incredible journey, and unleash my imagination together with his. Michael Beltrami DIRECTOR S BIO-FILMOGRAPHY Michael Beltrami Born in Cologne in 1962, Michael Beltrami began at the age of 9 his first filmmaking attempts with a super 8 camera. In 1981, when still a student and as an autodidact, he began shooting his first film Bella? which he finished in The film was presented at various European film festivals and was a revelation in competition at the 33rd Mannheim International Film Festival. After working as an assistant director and assistant editor, Beltrami moved for five years to Los Angeles, where he lived and studied directing and script writing at the University of California. In 1991 he made the documentary Our Hollywood Education, an original and at the same time ironical journey into the myth of film-making. With this documentary he won in 1992 the Swiss Film Center Award. For the following two years he worked as a line producer for some independent U.S. and European features. Since 1993 he has collaborated with Swiss Television, making a dozen or so documentaries to date. If his film Bella? made exactly twenty years ago, was a sort of first practical film school, Promised Land has now to be considered his true first professional feature film. Films BELLA? ( ) Debut film, feature, 115 minutes Participation at several Film Festivals: Mannheim; Torino, Solothurn, etc. CITY (1985) Experimental film, 12 minutes OUR HOLLYWOOD EDUCATION (1991) Documentary/Fiction, 85 minutes Participation at several Film Festivals: Locarno; Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, Figueira da Foz, Solothurn, etc. SWISS FILM CENTER AWARD FOR THE BEST LONG FILM OF THE YEAR PROMISING YOUNG DIRECTORS (Prize awarded at the Solothurner Filmtage 1992) PRIZE FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF CULTURE SWITZERLAND JOHANNA AND PATIENCE GO TO HOLLYWOOD (1992) Documentary, 20 minutes FIGLI DI TELL: L EUROPA S AVVICINA! (1993) TV Documentary, 47 minutes FIRST PRIZE AS BEST EUROPEAN TV DOCUMENTARY PRIX CIRCOM 1994 VIA DEL CENTENARIO DEL CINEMA ( ) TV Documentary, 54 minutes In the video competition Locarno int. Film Festival STORIE DI ORDINARIA MUSICA (1995) TV Documentary, 48minutes 7 GIORNI IN OSPEDALE (1996) TV Documentary, 54 minutes MISSING IN BOSNIA - THE STORY OF AVDO PALIC (1997) Docu-drama for SWISS TV, 90 minutes DANZA LA TERRA (1997) TV Documentary for the European TV Magazine ALICE, 8 minutes IL PAESE CHE NON C E ( ) TV Documentary, 48 minutes INVITO A NOZZE - appunti per un film sulla coppia (1998) TV Documentary, 52 minutes MURI E FANTASMI (1999) Portrait of the writer and poet Alberto Nessi for the television series: Letters from Switzerland, 17 minutes NIGHT & DAY - Fragments of American Life (1999) TV Documentary, 53 minutes VALENTINA E PARTITA (2000) Documentary, 80 minutes In competition Torino int. Film Festival Honorable Mention PROJECT ONOMA ( ) 7 Short films (7 x 7 minutes) for the National Swiss Exposition - EXPO.O2 TRISTE E ARRABBIATO - LA STORIA DI MARIAN (2002) Documentary, 88 minutes In competition Torino int. Film Festival PROMISED LAND ( 2004) Feature Film, 99 minutes In competition 57 th International Film Festival, Locarno CHAD SMITH Ethan Wildwood Chad Smith grew up in a small mountain ski town in the rocky mountains of Idaho. He was cast in his first movie at 18 years old, which solidified his ambition to become an actor. After studying theater in college, he spent ten years traveling around America doing Community Theater and odd jobs to seek out a living. In 2001, Chad met up with Bruce Willis in the same tiny ski town he grew up in and did a production of True West by Sam Shepard. The play was a success and was filmed for Showtime. With Bruce Willis encouragement Chad went to Hollywood and started his film career with the war film Tears of the Sun. Ethan Wildwood in PROMISED LAND is his first starring role in a film. Chad Smith s Films Promised Land Ethan Michael Beltrami Abominable Deputy Parker Ryan Schifrin Hostage Knocks Florent Siri Tears of the Sun Flea Antoine Fuqua Dark Horse Clint David Hemmings Theatre: Buried Child Vince Company Of Fools, Id True West Austin Side Man Jonesy The Seagull Medvedenko The Philadelphia Story Sandy The Pied Piper Pied Piper A Christmas Carol Scrooge Picasso At The Lapine Agile Einstein New Theatre Co., Id Television: True West Austin Showtime RUTH GERSON Vicky Dalton Ruth Gerson was born in New York and grew up in Brooklyn, listening to the songs and music of Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin and REM. She graduated from a Performing Arts High School and is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University. Ruth Gerson made her recording debut in 1995 with a low-budget concert album, Very Live! that captured the fire of her shows. Since then, she has released another four albums: Fools and Kings (1997); Not Around Town Bootlegs ( ); Wish (1999) e the recent Wake to Echo (2003). With a voice that rises from tender endearments to a bluesy, impassioned growl, Ruth sings folk-rock songs that reach for the status of anthems; as someone wrote she's a Bob Dylan fan who can be as galvanic as Bruce Springsteen. She writes songs that combine an almost revolutionary political passion with a wry intellectual sensibility. Ruth's goal as a singer is not to lecture but to connect with audiences through humor and humility. She makes the kind of music that builds strong bonds with audiences. Many of her songs tell stories and she sings them in a raw, passionate style. Ruth was the first actress who was cast for PROMISED LAND. The director Michael Beltrami saw her during a concert and was astonished by her resemblance with Vicky Dalton, the character he was developing for the upcoming Promised Land script. This encounter was so powerful that Beltrami decided to offer to Ruth her very first role in a film. PROMISED LAND is in fact her film debut. LALAINE Norma Recently named one of Teen People's 20 Teens Who Will Change The World, Lalaine (actress, singer-songwriter) is internationally known as the charismatic and outspoken teen Miranda Sanchez on the hit Disney Channel series, Lizzie McGuire. When Lalaine was 10, she landed a leading role in the Broadway production of Les Miserables playing Little Cosette. Touring nationwide for almost a year with Les Miserables, Lalaine spent most of her time with three other child actors in the play and they had opportunities to experience things that most kids their age aren't exposed to - which included creating their own charity events. Lalaine went on to appear in numerous commercials, stage productions, and television movies, including a key role in the Disney movie Annie with Kathy Bates, Audra McDonald and the original Annie from Broadway, Andrea McArdle. Then came Lizzie McGuire. Lalaine's role as Miranda on the Disney series has given her cult status in the teen world and she now receives thousand of fan letters a week. Her website averages 5,000,000 hits per month and she is recognized by kids everywhere. Lalaine has also appeared on Buffy on the Vampire Slayer, and starred in the Disney movie, You Wish, which featured her first hit single. You Wish could be heard on Radio Disney for over 6 months. The young talent has been carving a reputation in the entertainment industry for more than six years and in addition to several upcoming acting projects, she is now returning to her roots of music and working on her first album which will be released in the spring of This is just the beginning for Lalaine. She continues her charity work and speaks on behalf of the Disney program Imagineer That! She is also the celebrity spokesperson for the 5 a Day Power Play California campaign to encourage children to eat healthy and get physically active. Norma in PROMISED LAND is her first key role in a feature film. GIUSEPPE CEDERNA Mulligan Giuseppe Cederna was born in Rome in He s been acting in film and theater. Best known for his roles in Gabriele Salvatores Oscar winning film Mediterraneo and Marrakesh Express. He is also a respected writer for travel related magazines and newspapers. Recently he has published his first book Il grande viaggio. In PROMISED LAND he plays the role of Mulligan (in fact Antonio Muligani), a small time documentary producer who deals with road stories. Giuseppe Cederna s Films Promised Land Michael Beltrami 2004 Cielo e Terra Luca Mazzieri 2003 El Alamein Enzo Monteleone 2002 Il partigiano Johnny Guido Chiesa 2000 Tu ridi Paolo e Vittorio Taviani 1998 Porzus Renzo Martinelli 1997 Bidoni Felice Farina 1995 Anime fiammeggianti Davide Ferrario 1994 Un'anima divisa in due Silvio Soldini 1993 Gangsters Massimo Guglielmi 1992 Mediterraneo Gabriele Salvatores 1991 (Academy Award Winner Best Foreign Film in 1992) Italia - Germania 4-3 Andrea Barzini 1990 Marrakech Express Gabriele Salvatores 1989 La famiglia Ettore Scola 1986 Mamma Ebe Carlo Lizzani 1985 Giulia in ottobre Silvio Soldini 1985 Fracchia contro Dracula Neri Parenti 1985 Enrico IV (2) Marco Bellocchio 1984 Occhei, occhei Claudia Florio 1984 Sogno di una notte d'estate Gabriele Salvatores 1983 Cercasi Gesù Luigi Comencini 1982 PATRICK BAUCHAU Jim Williamson The versatile Patrick Bauchau has done a great deal of work in both TV and films worldwide. Patrick Bauchau was born in Brussels and raised in Belgium, England and Switzerland. Patrick attended Oxford University on an academic scholarship and holds a degree in modern languages. He speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Italian. Patrick Bauchau's career began in the 1960s as a runner for French New Wave director Eric Rohmer. That job eventually led to a starring role in Rohmer's La Collectionneuse in In the '70s Patrick took a break from acting, during which time he built furniture and created large stuffed-animal pillows for Salvador Dalì. He returned to acting by the '80s, starring in the Wim Wenders film The State of Things; the film won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival in He has divided his time between the U.S. and elsewhere, appearing in a diverse range of movies. Bauchau's credits include the critically-acclaimed indie films Choose Me, The Rapture and Twin Falls Idaho, foreign films Entre Nous and The Music Teacher (both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film) and big-budget movies like Clear and Present Danger, The Cell and Panic Room. Patrick Bauchau has also had several roles in television movies and series, including a Columbo movie special, the Fox series, Kindred: The Embraced and the NBC show The Pretender. His first series was the Canadian show Mount Royal, for which Patrick earned a Gemini Award nomination. He currently appears as Professor Lodz in the new HBO series, Carnivàle. Outside of work, Patrick spends time gardening, practicing yoga and preparing vegetarian meals. He and his wife, Mijanou, have one adult daughter, Camille. In PROMISED LAND, Patrick plays the role of Jim, a guitar shop owner who once knew Vicky Dalton. Patrick Bauchau s Films 1. Promised Land Threat Matrix: Flipping - TV, 2003 (Frederick Vorn) 3. The Five Obstructions (AKA De Fem Benspænd) (The perfect man, obstruction #3 Bruxelles) 4. Carnivale - TV, 2003 (Professor Lodz) 5. Shade (Malini) 6. CEO (AKA Zhouxi zhixingguan) (Monsieur de Reaumur) 7. Secretary (Thomas Twardon) 8. Panic Room (Stephen) 9. Jackpot (Sevon Voice/Santa Claus) 10. The Pretender TV, 2001 (Sydney) 11. The Beatnicks (Hank) 12. The Cell (Lucien Baines) 13. The Sculptress (Paul) 14. Twin Falls Idaho (Miles) 15. The Pretender - TV series, 1996 to present (Sydney) 16. Kindred: The Embraced - TV Series, 1996 (Archon Raine) 17. Enfants de salaud (AKA Bastard Brood) (Pierre-Yves) 18. I Magi randagi (AKA We Free Kings, Amour pour Amour) (Balthasar) 19. Jenipapo (AKA The Interview) (Father Stephen Louis) 20. OP Center (AKA Tom Clancy's 'OP Center') - TV, 1995 (Kurt) 21. Serpent's Lair (Sam) 22. Earth 2: The Greatest Love Story Never Told - TV, 1995 (Sheppard) 23. Damascus - Film Short, 1995 (Gunther) 24. Clear and Present Danger (Enrique Rojas) 25. Lisbon Story (AKA Lisbonne Story, Viagem a Lisboa) (Friedrich Munro) 26. The New Age (Jean Levy) 27. Fortune Hunter: Triple Cross (AKA Fortune Hunter: The Corkscrew Intercept) - TV, 1994 (Arno Rutman) 28. Dark Side of Genius (Sherman McPhee) 29. Day of Reckoning - TV, 1993 (Andre Rouselle) 30. And the Band Played On (Dr. Luc Montagnier) 31. The Beatnicks - Film Short, 1993 (Hank Kerchief) 32. Acting on Impulse (AKA Eyes of a Stranger, Roses are Dead, Secret Lies, Secret Lives) (Yoram Sussman) 33. Every Breath (Richard) 34. Havanera (Mr. Johnson) 35. Chain of Desire (Jerald Buckley) 36. From Time to Time (AKA Timekeeper, Le Visionarium) (Part of an attraction at Disney World's Tomorrowland) 37. Murder She Wrote: The Monte Carlo Murders - TV, 1992 (Inspector Morel) 38. Complicazioni nella notte (AKA Complications at Night) (Boris Peralta) 39. Cat's Cradle - Film Short, Blood Ties (Eli Chelarin) 41. The Rapture (Vic) 42. Cómo levantar 1000 Kilos Il Nodo alla cravatta (AKA The Knot in the Necktie) Robert's Movie (Robert) 45. Terranova (AKA Terra Nova, New Land) (Roman Stal) 46. Nestor B
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