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Local indies score at national film festivals

Posted by: Colin Covert under Movies Updated: March 9, 2011 - 4:03 PM
Brady Kiernan (center) on the set of "Stuck Between Stations." Photo: Kris Drake Photography.

Brady Kiernan (center) on the set of "Stuck Between Stations." Photo: Kris Drake Photography.

It’s been a nice month to be Twin Cities filmmakers Brady Kiernan and Todd Cobery.

Two of their projects were accepted by gold-standard film festivals. The romantic drama “Stuck Between Stations,” which Kiernan directed and Cobery produced, will debut at Tribeca in late April. The short supernatural chiller “Good Morning, Beautiful,” directed by Cobery and produced by Kiernan, premieres Friday at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, followed by a run at the Boston Underground Film Festival.

Also showing at SXSW by Minnesota filmmakers:

-- “Better This World,” a documentary by Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega about St. Paul's 2008 Republican National Convention protests.

-- "Man & Machine: A Naked Robotic Love Story, a short doc by Jesse Roesler and Jonathan Nowak about a pair of Belgian musicians and performance artists who created a robot orchestra that they conduct in the nude using a Doppler system.

Driving to Texas for this weekend’s screening of  “Good Morning, Beautiful,” Kiernan said he is lining up sales agents and publicists with a view to getting “Stuck Between Stations” a limited theatrical release. It’s the story of a soldier, home for one night on bereavement leave, who crosses paths with his high school crush, who is sealing with crises of her own. The film stars Sam Rosen -- who co-wrote the script -- and Zoe Lister-Jones, with a supporting turns by Michael (Christopher Soprano) Imperoli and friend of the project Josh Hartnett.

Filming after hours in downtown Minneapolis in the fall of 2009 was a charmed experience, he said, except for crowd control issues with the occasional warehouse district bar fly wobbling by.

“We’re encouraged because this year Toronto, Sundance and Berlin they all seem to be active sales markets. So we have hopes we’ll be able to find a partner to help release our film.”

The SXSW-screening short “Good Morning, Beautiful” charts a bereaved parent’s descent into madness as the loss of his infant daughter triggers violent hallucinations.

It was a deeply personal project for Cobery, who dealt with a similar loss three years ago, and used the filmmaking process to heal those emotional wounds. “It was a film he needed to make no matter what,” Kiernan said. “We’re all very excited that it’s been as widely accepted and liked as it has been.” The film will have its area premiere at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival in April.

Kiernan was quick to praise his "Stuck" stars, who appear to be on the verge of career breakthroughs. Rosen is soon to be in a movie titled “The Oranges” alongside Hugh Laurie, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt and Catherine Keener.  “That movie will make a lot of hoise when it comes out,” he said. Lister Jones is an actress-writer whose film “Breaking Upwards” premiered at SXSW and sold to IFC films in 2009. Fox Searchlight, the studio behind “Black Swan,” “127 Hours” and “Cedar Rapids,” is about to go into production on her latest script, "Lola Versus."

“I’m excited to show people their performances in this film because they’re both spectacularly talented,”  Kiernan said.

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