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“I WISH I WERE STEPHANIE V” wins IndieFest and gets a New York City Premiere
College sports romance I WISH I WERE STEPHANIE V wins IndieFest. It will have its North American premiere at the New York City International Film Festival on August 22nd and is one of five festival films chosen by the city to screen in Times Square.
The story follows three girls, their immigrant families and their budding romances, in the lead up to a university tennis championship. It’s told by Helen, a 21 year old virgin being raised by her crazy matchmaking Greek grandmother.
The film, directed by JD Cohen, is a modern day “My Darling, My Hamburger”, in the tradition of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", “Looking for Alibrandi”, and particularly "Bend it Like Beckham" … only this time with a Greek family and tennis.
The film stars Clayton Watson (The Kid in THE MATRIX RELOADED & REVELATIONS, THE ANIMATRIX, ALWAYS GREENER, UNDER THE RADAR, CREDO, THREE BLIND MICE, BBC TV series OUT OF THE BLUE, soon to be seen in 33 POSTCARDS), Nathan Ramsay (FAT PIZZA, SHOT OF LOVE, DOPE, THE LOST WORLD, BIG SKY), Kain O’Keeffe (HOME AND AWAY, BLUE WATER HIGH, MCLEODS DAUGHTERS, ALL SAINTS, SWIMMING UPSTREAM, FIREFLYS, OUT OF THE BLUE), Bree Desborough (HOME AND AWAY, ALWAYS GREENER, SALEM’S LOT) , and Australian stage and screen veteran Jill McKay (OUR LIPS ARE SEALED, TWISTED TALES, ANGST, ALL SAINTS, TWO DOOR MANSION, A COUNTRY PRACTICE, NUMBER 96).
It also introduces Danielle Crane, Aimee Falzon, and Chloe Traicos, who also wrote the film.
Musically the film has a wonderful ethnically colourful and playful score by Telly and Emmy award winning Mark Chait (Donna Summer’s “The Power of One”, Disney animations such as The Pokemon Movie), and is beautifully complimented by original songs by: Body and Soul, Little Red, The Winston Gilles Orchestra, George Byrne, Rachel Gaudry, Mark Olsen, White Soul, Filthy Saphire and Melbourne based Greek pop singer Bill Floratos.
The film is a testimony to independent filmmaker determination.
In 2009, the film had used up all of its tiny $35k production-only budget, but, because of a change in funding guidelines, was no longer eligible for government post production funding.
It was a particularly stressful time in the life of producer, Laura Sivis, who had a whole batch of hard disk drives fail simultaneously, “We almost lost the whole film!”
It was soon after, that Optical & Graphic and Frame Set & Match came on board to assist with I WISH I WERE STEPHANIE V’S post-production.
Once the edit was locked, the production company, Courage Films, transferred the post-production to Optical & Graphic, in North Sydney, and the picture’s finishing and delivery was put in the care of Peter Newton.
First, the edit was seamlessly conformed on O&G’S AVID edit suites.
The film was then transferred to O&G’s NUDCODA for picture grading by O&G’s Colourist. The film, which had been shot on a Sony Z1 and incorporated many night shots, needed significant work to achieve an image that would be presentable for screening, so the NUCODA’s imaging processing algorithms were given a serious workout. O&G also used FUSION to do a few VFX shots and image corrections.
Finally, stunning titles designed and animated by FRAME SET & MATCH’s Emile Rademeyer, were integrated with the film, as well as the End Credits and Outtakes that were prepared by OPTICAL & GRAPHIC.
“I WISH I WERE STEPHANIE V” premiered at WIFT’S World of Women’s Film Festival, with a temporary sound mix. The college sports romance, received a wonderful response from the WOW festival audience. The festival director, Nyin Cameron, described the film as “exuding playful fun and energy while exploring themes with serious undercurrents relevant to modern youth. Surprisingly refreshing, a mixture of lots of fun and poignant moments.”
After the festival, the film underwent some further edits, which of course entailed re-rendering and re-outputing the film. All of which was worth it when the film received it’s Best Film Nomination at DIGISPAA in 2010, and won Best Feature Film at INDIEFEST, USA, in June 2011.
IndieFest’s festival director Thomas Baker described the film as a “hilarious romantic comedy. The strong storyline and the outstanding casting makes for strong character development. This film is an audience pleaser.”
Optical & Graphic will again be called in for service this month with STEPHANIE V’S New York premiere at the NEW YORK CITY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, on August 22nd 2011.
Producer Laura Sivis elaborated, “The film will screen to a G-Rated audience, so we’re going to have to redo some of the dialogue and a replace a few shots with less confrontational ones, as there may be children in the audience.”
Optical & Graphic has continued to support Courage Films at the Cannes Film Market in both 2010 and 2011, preparing a Teaser and a Trailer respectively for presentation to sales agents.
The film’s post production won’t officially be complete until the filmmakers can find the money to do a full final sound mix, including separate tracks for dialogue and for music and effects, for distributor delivery.
However Sivis remains confident, “The generosity of Australian companies like Optical & Graphic and Frame Set and Match, means the world to independent filmmakers, and we have been incredibly lucky to have had their ongoing support.”
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About Courage Films:
Courage Films develops and produces feature films. Courage films has experience with bringing productions to Australia, taking local productions offshore (eg USA, Africa, France etc), and experience in the production and post-production of 3D Stereoscopic Films.
Page Updated Last on: Aug 12, 2011