World Premiere of Frank Oz’s “Death at a Funeral”; Special Screenings of Jamie Kennedy’s “Heckler” and John Landis’ The Rickles Project with an appearance by Don Rickles.
New York, NY February 12, 2007 – The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (USCAF) and HBO announced the lineup for the 2007 Film Program sponsored by HBO Films, at the 13th installment of the prestigious festival to be held February 28 – March 4 in Aspen, Colorado. The film program line up showcases 30 features – including three world premieres and two North American premieres – 20 shorts, culled from entries around the world.
Headlining the film lineup is the opening night film “Waitress,” directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, which will screen at the Wheeler Opera House on Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m. The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Fox Searchlight, and her husband Andrew Ostroy announced the creation of the “Adrienne Shelly Foundation” to support the efforts of women writers and directors.
“Waitress” will be Shelly’s second film to appear at the USCAF. In 2000 her film “I’ll Take You There,” was awarded the prize of Best Director.
World premieres include Guy Shalem’s “Cook Off!,” Armen Kaprelian’s “Closing Escrow,” Frank Oz’s “Death at a Funeral,” Jim Pasternak’s “Certifiably Jonathan,” and Gary Toll’s “Judy Toll: The Funniest Woman You’ve Never Heard Of.”
The film program will also feature special screenings of works in progress including John Landis’ “The Rickles Project,” “The Combacks” directed by Tom Brady and Jamie Kennedy’s “Heckler.” Jamie Kennedy will also host this year’s Festival awards ceremony.
“The films that we have selected to showcase alongside the live performances at the festival offer a diverse group of talent from different backgrounds and experiences, but all solidified in the foundation of comedy,” said Kevin Haasarud, Director of the USCAF Film Program. “Each year the festival looks forward to bringing together such a vast community of filmmakers, film buyers, television executives, comedians, writers and actors and giving them the rare opportunity to collaborate with each other and admire one another.”
Joining the World Premieres is a collection of American and International films that include:
· The Comebacks directed by Tom Brady (USA) – Work in Progress
· Heckler directed by Jamie Kennedy (USA) – Work in Progress
· Rocket Science directed by Jeff Blitz (USA)
· Starter for 10 directed by Tom Vaughn (UK)
Feature Length Narratives In Competition:
· American Fork directed by Chris Bowman (USA)
· Cashback directed by Sean Ellis (UK)
· Closing Escrow directed by Armen Kaprelian (USA)
· Colour Me Kubrick directed by Brian Cook (UK)
· Cook Off! directed by Guy Shalem (USA) – World Premiere
· Death at a Funeral, directed by Frank Oz (UK) – World Premiere
· Delirious directed by Tom DeCillo (USA)
· Eagle vs. Shark directed by Taika Waititi (New Zealand) – World Premiere
· I am Reed Fish directed by Zachary Adler (USA)
· Ira & Abby directed by Robert Cary (USA)
· Park directed by Kurt Voelker (USA)
· Razzle Dazzle: A Journey Into Dance directed by Darren Ashton (Australia)
· Severance directed by Christopher Smith (UK)
Feature Length Documentaries In Competition:
· Certifiably Jonathan directed by Jim Pasternak (USA) – World Premiere
· Judy Toll: The Funniest Woman You’ve Never Heard Of directed by Gary Toll (USA) – World Premiere
· King of Kong directed by Ed Cunningham (USA)
· 12:08 East of Bucharest directed by Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania)
· Ahimsa: Stop To Run directed by Kittikorn Liasirikun (Thailand)
· Chariton’s Choir directed by Grigoris Karantinakis (Greece)
· The Host directed by Bong Joon-ho (South Korea)
· Hula Girls directed by San-il Lee (Japan)
· Ice Cream, I Scream directed by Yuksel Aksu (Turkey)
· Lights in the Dust directed by Aki Kurasmaki (Finland)
· The Longest Penalty Shot in the World directed by Roberto Santiago (Spain) – North American Premiere
· Manual of Love directed by Giovanni Veronesi (Italy)
· Schnitzel Paradise directed by Martin Koolhoven (Netherlands)
· The Valet directed by Franis Veber (France) – North American Premiere
Shorts In Competition:
· A Gentlemen’s Duel directed by Francisco Riz and Sean McNally
· Alpha Mail directed by Bryan Sipe
· Carmichael & Shane directed by Rob Carlton and Alex Weinress
· Coming to Town directed by Carles Torrens
· Equal Opportunity directed by Howard Duy Vu
· Goodnight, Vagina directed by Brie Turner-O’Banion and Stacy Sherman
· High Maintenance directed by Phillip Van
· Hold directed by Aloura Charles
· Hot Air directed by Elliot Mallon
· My Lunch With Larry directed by Barry Edelstein
· My Wife is Retarded directed by Etan Cohen
· No Vacancy directed by Gael d’Ynglemare
· Recall directed by Michael Noonan
· Richard directed by Mick Elliott
· Sheldon directed by Dan Mirvish
· Silencer directed by Frazer Bailey
· t.o.m. directed by Tom Brown and Daniel Gray
· The Pre-Nup directed by Marty Weiss
· The Strange Trip: It’s Jerry Time directed by Orrin Zucker
· Who I Am and What I Want directed by Chris Shepherd and David Shrigley
Also included as a part of the film program will be a curated collection from Guest Directors Stella & Bill Pence, the recently retired co-founders of the Telluride Film Festival:
· The Alloy Orchestra will play live to Buster Keaton’s “The General,” and Paul Fejos’ “Lonesome.”
· A Chuck Jones Looney Tunes Collection
The film program has also launched an online companion piece to its regular shorts programs called Funny Picture Show, a site for viewers to upload, watch, rate, and review comedic short form content (www.funnypictureshow.com).
The program will also feature:
· Fireside Chat Series with Debbie Liebling (Fox Atomic), Ted Sarandos (Netflix), Gregg Spiridellis (JibJab), and many others.
Mile High Club brings together industry executives and filmmakers in formalized 12-minute “speed-dating” type meetings.
Jury Awards presented by Variety will be announced at the Festival Awards Gala on Saturday, March 3rd. The winning films will be screened at the Isis Theater in Aspen on Sunday, March 4th.
The USCAF is sponsored by: HBO, HBO Comedy, TBS, Kellogg’s, Ziddio, NetJets, Sierra Mist, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Aspen Magazine, Cinemax, Kodak, Roots and Stay Aspen Snowmass. Comcast’s newly launched user-generated site Ziddio is bringing the ten winners of their short comedy and music parody "No Talent Nation" contest to USCAF. They will perform in "Accidentally Famous" and the show will be featured online and ON DEMAND. For more information, visit www.ziddio.com/notalentnation. The first annual Kellogg's Ski and Snowboard Race will be held Saturday, March 3rd at 11:00 a.m. on Aspen Mountain.
About The USCAF
Since its inception in 1995, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen has become known as a primary launching pad for comedic talent and for hosting one-of-a-kind events such as reunions of Swingers!, Monty Python, SCTV, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Saturday Night Live, as well as of the casts of The Larry Sanders Show, Cheers, Animal House, Waiting for Guffman and In Living Color; The AFI Star Awards to Goldie Hawn, Jim Carrey, Diane Keaton, Mike Myers, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Albert Brooks, Rob Reiner, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg; the original The Simpsons Live, and the Freedom of Speech Awards which have honored Russell Simmons and Def Comedy Jam, George Carlin, Bill Maher, Dick Gregory, The Smothers Brothers, Michael Moore, August Wilson and Garry Trudeau.
In the past, strong USCAF performances by Ray Romano, Camryn Manheim, Jack Black, Eddie Izzard, Anthony Clark, Candy Ford, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Jason Kravitz, Loni Love and The Hollow Men among others, helped attract or solidify network deals.
The 2006 USCAF featured appearances by Louis CK, Robert Wuhl, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, Jim Henson’s Puppet Improv and the world premieres of Damon Wayans’ “Behind the Smile,” Scott Lew’s “Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas,” Bruce Leddy’s “Shut Up and Sing,” and Leslie Greif’s “Funny Money” feature films.