"Eye on Entertainment" Interviews Cast and Crew of "Dim Sum Funeral" and "Spooner" at Newport Beach Film Festival

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Dawna Lee Heising, John Cox and John Alsedek Film Interviews at the Newport Beach Marriott and Edwards Big Newport in Fashion Island

Dawna Lee Heising, John Cox and John Alsedek of "Eye on Entertainment" (EOE) filmed interviews with the cast and crew of the films "Dim Sum Funeral" and "Spooner", both of which were featured at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival on Saturday, April 25. The Spooner interviews took place at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel before the "Spooner' screening. EOE interviewed Drake Doremus and Lindsay Stidham, the director and writer of the film. "Spooner" premiered at Slamdance in Park City in early 2008 and recently won the Jury Award for Best Feature at the 12th annual Sonoma International Film Festival Joe Leydon of Variety said in his review, "Lindsay Stidham's script percolates with straight-faced absurdities and amusing non sequiturs, occasionally recalling the trademark style of Hal Hartley."

Director Drake Doremus is a recent graduate of the American Film Institute (AFI), and at 25 is the youngest fellow to be accepted into the AFI program. Doremus's many award-winning shorts have screened at festivals across the country. Doremus, an Orange County native, has been performing improvisation and sketch comedy since he was six, and began directing when he was twelve. He has studied with respected improvisational teachers, Michael Gellman, and Gary Austin, a founding member of The Groundlings, along with his mother, Cherie Kerr. Doremus has worked with many seasoned actors, including Danny DeVito, Sally Field, Jason Biggs, and Johnny Knoxville.

Lindsay Stidham, "Spooner" screenwriter, holds an MFA in screenwriting from AFI, as well as a BA in journalism and Spanish. She has completed six screenplays to date, and was chosen as a finalist in the Warner Brothers mentorship program. Stidham has had documentary stories featured on statewide NPR and PBS programs. In addition to her work as a screenwriter, Lindsay performs comedy and improvisation, produces features, web television, and award-winning shorts and follows the burgeoning world of new media production for Tubefilter News. "Spooner" stars Matthew Lillard, Nora Zehetner, Chris McDonald and Joe Nunez.

"Dim Sum Funeral" follows a traditional Chinese funeral that the estranged siblings of the Chinese-American Xiao family must put together upon news of their mother's death. The one brother and three sisters don't get along, however they share one thing: hatred for their domineering and manipulative mother, the "Dragon Lady." Yet, as they honor her request for a traditional seven-day funeral, the siblings face an adventure of surprises, clashes, and unveiled secrets. In the end they learn about themselves, each other, their mother, forgiveness, and what it means to be Chinese. The cast of "Dim Sum Funeral" includes Bai Ling, Steph Song, Talia Shire, Julia Nickson, Lisa Lu, Kelly Hu and Russell Wong. The film was executive produced by Tom Berry, Clark Peterson, Donald Martin, Ray Cuerdo, Stefan Wodoslawsky and Andy Reimer, and produced by Jeffery Lando. "Dim Sum Funeral" was written by Donald Martin and directed by Anna Chi.

Director Anna Chi was a political child star in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her father had been sent to an education camp and she wrote him a letter telling him to listen to Chairman Mao and the Party. The government in China found the letter and popularized it, making Anna a symbol of the ruling Party. In time, the Chinese Party sent her to a university to become a film editor. The Party arranged a marriage and she agreed to the union. She remained married until 1988 when she divorced, and she had a son with her husband. After her divorce, she had trouble finding work. She came to America, learned English and studied film at UCLA. She married Douglas Smith, who won an Oscar for Independence Day. Chi worked on the films "Joy Luck Club" and "Nixon", and her first film as a director was "Blindness".

Eye on Entertainment
"Eye on Entertainment", a division of Eye on Excellenceâ„¢ Productions, is a high-energy, high-impact television program focusing on extraordinary individuals and the entertainment industry. The show, aired on Time Warner Cable in Orange County, covers entertainment events and awards shows and features powerhouse interviews with successful people in all walks of life, exploring the traits that they have in common. Dawna Lee Heising is the executive producer and host of EOE. Dawna is also Ms. Universe Ambassador 2009 and is a long-standing member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). The show is produced and directed by John Cox, an educator in the film and video department at Orange Coast College. John Alsedek is the director of cinematography and has had several scripts produced for the 'Tales from Dark Fall' web series.


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