Iowa Financed/Iowa Made film "16 to Life" breaks festival records at MethodFest in Los Angeles

Emmy nominated director, Okoboji, Iowa born Becky Smith's first feature film "16 to Life" broke festival attendance records at MethodFest in Los Angeles last weekend. Financed in Iowa, Filmed in Iowa, includes sultry screen legend Theresa Russell.
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March 31, 2009 - PRLog -- Emmy nominated director and Okoboji, Iowa native, Becky Smith's first feature film "16 to Life" broke festival attendance records at MethodFest Film Festival in Los Angeles last weekend.  Financed in Iowa, filmed entirely on location in Iowa, and loaded with both Hollywood and Iowa actors, including sultry screen legend, Theresa Russell, teen actors Hallee Hirsh, Mandy Musgrave and Shiloh Fernandez, and "Nash Bridges" veteran, Jaime Gomez, plus Iowa actors Ryan Gourley, Brendan Dunphy, Steward Hayden Butler and Rachel Salowitz,  the romantic comedy was the buzz of the festival.

"16 to Life" was shot entirely on location in beautiful McGregor, Marquette and Stone City, Iowa. Film writer/director Becky Smith worked closely with the  Iowa Film Office to find financing and production crew locally.  "Tom Wheeler at the Iowa Film Office was a big reason this film got made," Smith says.  "He was passionate about the project, and passionate about making an Iowa production possible."  Executive Producer, Terry Trimpe is from Eastern Iowa, and worked with Smith from the start of the project.

Smith grew up in Okoboji, and attended film school at Stanford University in California.  She has directed series and pilots for NBC, ABC Family, PBS, BRAVO, and numerous other networks,  and was nominated for an Emmy for "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" in 2005.  Her girls' basketball documentary "In The Game" premiered nationally on PBS FRONTLINE and won the award for best television documentary by Women in Radio and Film.

Method Fest director, Don Franken said, "Method Fest's Saturday night premiere of Emmy nominated writer/director Becky Smith's romantic comedy "16 to Life" had an ecstatic audience and several not so ecstatic fans who couldn't get in to see the film.  Theater management was sighted grinning from ear to ear.

"We had to turn over 50 people away for our sold-out screening of "16 to Life" on Saturday. We could have sold 100 more tickets for the film.  So much energy.  The buzz screening of the festival thus far and the first "sold out" screening in MethodFest history," said Franken.

Writer/Director Becky Smith says, " 16 to Life" got the kind of reception you dream about as a filmmaker.  "Possibly my best moment was when a young woman came up to me after the festival screening and said 'This is now my favorite movie!' "

A few distribution executives were spied in the back rows of the theatre, equally charmed as the rest of the audience.

"16 to Life" is a romantic comedy of small town misfits. Kate, a rural American teen, is turning 16 and has never been kissed. Kate is obsessed with books on eclectic subjects, currently the Cultural Revolution in China.  Kate's angst about sexual inexperience and guilt will drive a comic quest for love and understanding on a birthday to end all birthdays.  Before the clock strikes midnight, Kate and her best friend Darby will discover more about love than most 16 year-olds can imagine.  And Kate will learn what a 16-year old American girl has in common with a 16-year-old Chinese girl half a world, and a cultural revolution away.  Trailer and website:

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About Becky Smith and Waterdog Films - Waterdog Films is the production moniker of Emmy nominated writer/director Becky Smith. Smith was nominated in 2004 for an Emmy in directing (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), the same year the show won an Emmy, and has directed numerous series and pilots for networks including MTV, MTV2, NBC, Fox, Disney Channel, PBS, Fuse and ABC Family. Her documentary onTitle IX, “In the Game,” received numerous awards, including Best Television Documentary of the Year from Women in Radio and Television.

Smith is a Professor in the UCLA School of Theatre, Film & Digital Media. She received her Masters degree in film from Stanford University.. She is an alumna of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.
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Tags:Iowa, Local Financing, The Iowan, Okoboji, Becky Smith, Theresa Russell, Iowa Made, Midwest, Independent Film, 16 To Life
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Location:California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Apr 01, 2009
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