The Suicide Flowers Short Film to Bloom at the Gasparilla International Film Festival
An aging rock star. A dying fan. A connection. Tampa Writer Pete Conrad to Debut Film Based on Novel.
The Suicide Flowers tells the story of Raeburn Messiah, who is an arrogant, self-destructive rock star sinking quickly into the sunset of his career. Gabriel Dalton, terminally ill with leukemia, is Raeburn’s biggest fan. A chance encounter during a last hurrah for both reveals that they have many things in common, including a secret that could save both of their lives. The short, directed by John E. Seymore, was filmed on location in Los Angeles in October 2015, and stars London May and Dylan Ramsey.
Writer and Producer Pete Conrad holds a degree in English from the University of South Florida - St. Petersburg. In addition to The Suicide Flowers, he has written two other novels, several feature screenplays, and an eight-hour miniseries based on the Pulitzer-nominated book, A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith. His novel, Going Home, reached #4 in January 2016 on Amazon in the free Women’s Romance category. A native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, Conrad currently resides in the Tampa area, and has several projects in development, including an “apocalyptic geriatric love story,” called The Survival of the Sparrows.
Director John E. Seymore is the President of Seymore Films and the creator of the Scriptsation Screenwriting Competition, the Maine Summer Shorts Festival, and the Bathhouse Shorts Film Series. John's feature directorial debut, Tangled 8, was released in January 2015. In addition, he wrote and produced the short film, She Feast, which won the Killer Film Challenge and Best Production at the Phoenix Short Film Festival. On directing The Suicide Flowers, Seymore says, “It is the kind of story that pulls us toward the fire as we want to get closer, yet reminds us that there is always hope.”
Executive Producer Erika Tobiassen, also from Haverhill, Massachusetts, has an MA from the University of New Hampshire, and she currently resides in the New Hampshire seacoast area. In addition to her work on The Suicide Flowers, she is a freelance editor and has worked with Conrad on all of his novels. Tobiassen also holds a BA from the University of Dallas, where she and director John E. Seymore were classmates. As the catalyst that brought together Conrad's writing with Seymore's directorial vision, she observes, "This short film showcases Conrad's novel in such a way that the key elements and characters are present in a brief and compelling manner, beautifully enhanced by music, which is integral to the story."
Conrad notes, "The most striking thing to me about making this film was the emotional connection that the actors and director had with the characters. They spoke of their characters as real people - they shed real tears for them, and genuinely cared about them. That seemed crazy to me, because I also have that connection."
The Suicide Flowers premieres at Gasparilla Film Festival, as part of a block of shorts called “Music in Motion” at Muvico Centro in Tampa on Saturday, April 2, 2016.
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