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'Dongmei' set to premiere in Cleveland at the Indie Gathering International Film Festival
Short film to be honored at festival's closing award ceremonies
A New Jersey production (Messinger is from Parsippany and Hill from Union City), "Dongmei" is the story of a Chinese woman walking a thin line between reality and madness.
"It's also a powerful reflection on diverse cultural reactions to mental illness and the varied and often devastating effects of those reactions on individuals,"
By assembling a multi-cultural and multi-lifestyle cast and crew, the writer and director brought the experiences of all production members into play to best depict the story's premise.
Heidi Li plays the title character, Dongmei, whose confrontation with a couple of thugs triggers a psychotic episode, landing her in the E.R. psych ward. Li was featured in "The Spectacular Jihad of Taz Rahim." She stars in the episodic comedy-drama "Yellow Fever," and she also appears on Chinese TV as a pop culture host and reporter. Li is most recently featured in the web series "Not Another Immigrant Story," currently in post production.
Jorge Consejo plays opposite her as a psychiatrist with his own issues who battles with Dongmei to figure out why the confrontation triggered her psychotic episode. Born in Mexico City, Consejo is best known for his film roles in "Código Postal" (2006), "La Cueva de los Secretos" (2008) and "Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real" (1985) and is frequently seen on the Telemundo and Venevision television networks in popular shows such as "Mas Sabe el Diablo," "Sacrificio de Mujer, " "El Rostro de Analia" and others.
Director of Photography Jack F. Solomon uses his experiences as a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to bring his unique perspective to the project.
Director Cedric Hill, who also serves as executive producer, is a native of Dominica. A professor at the New York Film Academy, his credits include "Great with Nothing," "The Service List: NYC," "My Great Great Aunt on My Stepfather's Side Through Marriage," "The Story of Milo & Annie," "R.W.D: Red, White and Detroit," and many others.
Production coordinator Danielle Cooper hails from Newark and is a theater major at Rutgers. She is a published poet ("Love's Twisted Lessons") and is a committed advocate for LGBT rights. Danielle has performed her truthful-yet-
"The Indie Gathering has special significance to me," says Messinger. "It was at a previous Indie Gathering that I'd decided the time had come to produce my own scripts. The organizers and attendees of this festival make up one of the most-supportive creative communities I've ever been associated with."
Messinger's script for "Dongmei" (http://www.dongmeimovie.com) won best in category and best short script in festival at last year's Indie Gathering. This year, the produced film has not only been selected for screening, it is also going to be presented with an award at the August 14 closing ceremonies. At the ceremonies, Messinger will also receive a first-place award for his new short script, "Over the Line," which he hopes will be his next produced film.
"Dongmei" was completely financed through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiogogo.