PollyGrind eyes Victory with fifth festival that almost wasn’t and partnership with Wild Eye Releasing
Screening of Play Hooky officially debuts PollyGrind Presents distribution label with Wild Eye Releasing and Albert Pyun’s The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper will have a red carpet world premiere Oct. 30 prior to the festival's awards ceremony.
The screening officially debuts the PollyGrind Presents distribution label with Wild Eye Releasing and will close what Freeman is calling the genre friendly film festival’s event that almost wasn’t.
“It’s been a crazy year,” Freeman said. “We got a record number of entries, lots of great content, and the distribution partnership with Wild Eye is finally happening after a few years of working on it, but finding sponsors and finding a venue for the event itself has been such a struggle.”
PollyGrind 5: Victory will take place at the Galaxy Luxury+ Theatres in Green Valley on Thursday and then move to Hell Town Studios and Back Lot Friday, before going into the wee hours at the zombie themed pizza bar The End on Saturday.
“I had a couple of potential venues, and planned Hell Town and The End as after parties,” Freeman said. “Eventually, I secured and paid for a movie theatre to host screenings all three days. But then they decided they weren’t a fan of the event’s content and they pulled the plug just seven days before hand.”
Banned in his own city, Freeman and company had to scramble quick, but eventually were able to book at Galaxy Theatres and expanded on what was originally planned at the other two venues.
“PollyGrind has always been about making something out of nothing, and turning negatives into positives,” Freeman said. “I’ve always said creativity bests everything else. It’s hard, and trust me, it was so hard for me, but when all hope is gone, you have to hustle, fight and grind to make it happen. That’s what this year’s event has truly become about and that’s what Play Hooky represents.”
The no budget found footage film Play Hooky will get an Oct. 21 release on DVD and VOD. It won Most Innovative Film and Best Poster when it world premiered at PollyGrind in 2012. Wicked Channel has called it "the best found footage film of 2014."
The DVD release of Play Hooky will exclusively feature hours of bonus features: a feature length commentary with the director, cast and crew, an introduction by Freeman, two short films, bonus scenes, trailers, and an alternate ending.
Wild Eye Releasing has been a sponsor of PollyGrind since 2011. They’ve given distribution contracts and consultations to winners the past two years and are doing the same this year.
“Wild Eye and PollyGrind are very much on the same page in many regards,” Freeman said. “We both look for different and exciting projects, regardless if they’re grindhouse, arthouse, horror or whatever, and really like to discover and help new and upcoming talent.”
Wild Eye Releasing is also sponsoring a free distribution panel for a third year, hosting a free Special Wild Eye Showcase and presenting day three, which is being promoted as The End at The End.
The Distribution Shark Tank takes place Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. It will be hosted by Wild Eye CEO Rob Hauschild and feature grindhouse legend Ted V. Mikels and cult filmmaker Glen Coburn of Whacked Movies.
The Wild Eye Releasing showcase film will be at 8:30 p.m. on October 18. It will be the U.S. premiere of Shawn Holmes’ Memory Lane, a sci-fi drama made for $300. The showcase is part of The End at The End, a free event that will also feature screenings of Matt Johnson’s exploitation feature Lust of the Vampire Girls and live performances by the cinematic rock outfit Angular Gyrus and the rap duo MC Randumb & Jewish Dave.
Wild Eye Releasing has been called a modern day New World Pictures that “digs deep into the world of independent films to find the gems” and specializes in creating mainstream opportunities for low woddf budget films made outside of the system. Their eclectic library includes The Perfect House, The Story of Rock N' Roll Comics, The Turnpike Killer, Night of the Living Dead Reanimated, Showgirls 2, The Disco Exorcist, and many more.
World premieres at PollyGrind this year will include Video Rahim’s punk rock documentary Rebel Scum, Justin Decloux’s action comedy splatterfest Teddy Bomb, Daniel Ray’s creepy doll found footage film Heidi, G. Correli’s cinema vérité piece The Beauty Strip, Todd Sheets’ experimental found footage project Spirits, and the World of Death Special Short Film Showcase: PollyGrind Edition.
Rounding out the features will be the west coast premiere of Stuart Simpson’s Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla and the RXSM Film Exchange Showcase featuring Love Child and See You Next Tuesday, as well as Hi-8: Horror Independent 8, an anthology directed by Sheets, and other 90s straight to video legends such as Ron Bonk, Donald Farmer, Marcus Koch, Tony Masiello, Tim Ritter, Chris Seaver, and Brad Sykes.
There will be red carpet photo opportunities for all of the films.
Plans are for a final night before Halloween with the world premiere of Albert Pyun’s The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper, followed by a special sneak peek of Cyborg Nemesis. The night will also feature some of the best shorts of the festival and the audience is encouraged to come in Halloween costumes.
The Victory Night on October 30 will feature the 2014 Awards Ceremony and red carpet guests. Expected are Sasha Mitchell (Kickboxer 2, Cyborg Nemesis), Joei Fulco (Heidi), Tommie Vegas (The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper), Shane Ryan (My Name is A by Anonymous), Brittany Bochart ( The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper), Scott Paulin (The Right Stuff), Norbert Weisser (Schindler's List), Pyun (The Sword and the Sorcerer, Cyborg, Nemesis, Captain America), Cynthia Curnan (Road To Hell), Michael Su ( Doom, My Demon Within), Olivier Gruner (Nemesis), Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Road To Hell, Streets of Fire), Tony Riparetti (Mean Guns, Brainsmasher)
Pyun was so upset that the first venue canceled, he stepped in and helped put Freeman in touch with the vice president of Galaxy Theatres.
“In what it considered its darkest hour, PollyGrind lived its motto,” Pyun said. “Hustle! Fight! Grind! It's a valuable lesson to real independent filmmakers. You got to take on all the challenges and not stand on the sidelines. Glad I had a small part in PollyGrind's miracle. And it’s nice to give back to the festival in my small way.”
An international film festival steeped in artistic freedom, PollyGrind celebrates individuality, diversity, creativity, and empowerment by showcasing the work of filmmakers with defiantly independent visions. Named one of 2014’s “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker, PollyGrind has seen its official selections earn distribution deals from Lionsgate, Sundance, Showtime, IFC Midnight and a slew of other reputable outlets.
“I always subtitle each year of the festival,” Freeman said. “This year I named it PollyGrind 5: Victory early on in a fun and cautionary homage to the Jackson’s Victory Tour. But after the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into this year’s event, the fact this fifth installment is actually happening and the DVD release is launching with a company I very much respect and have been building a strong working relationship with for years, this really is a victory.”
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