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Route 66 Film Festival
D.I.N.K.s WINS!!! This past weekend at the Route 66 Film Festival in Springfield, IL, D.I.N.K.s (Double Income No Kids) won in the BEST COMEDY FILM category. Here is a “play by play” account of what happened.
DAY ONE: I arrived on Friday evening, November 2 at the Legacy Theater (that’s right, The LEGACY Theater) when the doors opened. On the outside steps to the theater, I was greeted by the Festival Director, Tom Szpyrka and Special Events Coordinator, David Gutierrez. “You’re Robert Alaniz? D.I.N.K.s, right? We’re so excited to have you here. We loved D.I.N.K.s! Some newspaper and radio people contacted us and were asking about you!” I was quite surprised and as they continued to praise D.I.N.K.s, all I could say was “thank you” over and over again. I am not used to that kind of admiration.
Inside the theater, we were greeted by more committee members who were just raving about D.I.N.K.s. I continued with thanking them for their compliments, still taken back by their enthusiastic praises. As the festival began, we watched the first set of films which included the feature film A Blood Red Sky by Director, Chad Calek. I’m not into ghost stories or paranormal documentaries, but did enjoy the Q&A with the Director afterwards.
Later that night, we met up with Michael Stoskus (Key Grip and Harlan Avery in D.I.N.K.s) and his Dad at the first of two after-parties. While there, I found out that D.I.N.K.s was in competition with six other films in the Comedy category. What I thought was strange was that the other films were shorts (19 minutes or less). When I asked one of the committee members about it, they said that they agreed it was unusual but it was a result of only having the theater for two days instead of the usual 3 days as in previous years.
This was not the first time I had a film in this festival. Some of you may already know that my second film, Barrymore’s Dream, won BEST FEATURE at the Route 66 Film Fest in 2007. When I was notified, it was a done deal. However, this was the first time they decided to have film competition at the festival to be judged by the audience, no less! I thought it would be just my luck that D.I.N.K.s would lose to one of the short films who had more people in attendance than D.I.N.K.s did.
As the night went on, I was approached by another film fest committee member who was also a local radio personality who saw D.I.N.K.s and asked if he could do an interview with me on the air in the next couple weeks, to which I agreed to do.
DAY TWO: Met up with actor, Steve Parks (who played Leonardo Randall Tolstoy III) and watched the film Coin Toss by Director, Satya Kharkar. The film also featured Steve in a supporting role. I was thoroughly impressed with the film, being Satya’s very first effort. Having grown accustom to Steve’s unique portrayals of slightly over-the-top characters, I was even more impressed with his amazing heart-felt performance in the movie.
After several films and dinner, it was time for the Comedy Session. I was nervous but not so much for how the audience would respond, but hoping that I wouldn’t experience the same mishap that occurred at the Illinois International Film Festival the previous year when the film froze halfway through the movie and wouldn’t play. I had to get up and explain the rest of the movie to the audience. Fortunately, the film played all the way through and the audience once again responded as I knew they would, based on previous showings.
Then came the awards ceremony. Was I nervous? Yes and No. I was happy that D.I.N.K.s was chosen to be a part of the fest, which was an honor within itself, so if for whatever reason it DIDN’T win, I could live with just that. The time came, my name was called and the audience CHEERED. It was clear that D.I.N.K.s was the audience favorite as the “buzz” at the fest over the two days had indicated.
At the second after-party, I was swamped by the new fans of the film, signing autographs and taking pictures. I agreed to come back to Springfield and speak at the next Illinois Film Commission meeting in November about the making of D.I.N.K.s. It was truly an overwhelming experience. But the raves weren’t just for me and the film.
The Director of the Fest, Tom Szpyrka specifically asked that I pass it on to Deborah Craft that he was now her biggest fan. Deborah’s great comedic timing and reactions got much praise as did the strip tease scene which got one of the biggest audience reactions. Another compliment went out to both David Tibble and Deborah’s performance in the film. Many saying that it was their sincere portrayal of the Brooks’ that makes the movie work. Several people complimented Marco Garcia’s performance as the Mayor. The maxi-condom scene between Marco and Devorah Richards again had the audience roaring. Many people said that the courtroom scene was one of the best scenes in the movie if not, THE best and that David’s heart-felt plea to the Judge won the audience over. As a matter of fact, during the screening, the audience cheered for Richard and Rachel (more than previous showings) when the Judge announced his decision. Not to mention a HUGE gasp and laugh when the Judge told the Mayor off. And, oh my God, EVERYONE wanted to know if there would be a sequel; no doubt a result of the ending getting the usual audience “gasp” of surprise when Maryrose says “And so do you.”
Finally, I just wanted to say how proud I am of this film. The story means a lot to me and I am so happy that it has proven to me again that this is a great concept for a film and that the potential is still there. I’d like to thank my Assistant Director, Sarajane Crowley, Michael Stoskus and the crew. And thank you all again for making D.I.N.K.s an award-winning film. My most heart-felt thanks go out to my co-producers, Max Nayden, Dave Branigan and Billy Wagoner for their continued support (financial and otherwise).
Robert Alaniz – Producer/Director
D.I.N.K.s at Marcus Theaters in Orland Park on May 1st
Independent Filmmaker Robert Alaniz’s latest film D.I.N.K.s (Double Income No Kids) will return to the Marcus Theaters in Orland Park for a one-day-only engagement on Sunday, May 1st with five showings starting at 12 Noon. D.I.N.K.s is Alaniz’s fifth Independent film and first comedy. D.I.N.K.s tells the story of Richard Brooks (David Tibble), a frustrated free-lance writer and his wife Rachel (Deborah Craft), who buy their dream home in the fictional town of Legacy, Illinois, which is populated mostly by families with children. When he decides to write articles about discrimination against married couples without children, his career skyrockets him to local fame as the leader of a citywide D.I.N.K.s movement that suddenly lands him in court for slander when one of his articles involves the town’s pro-family Mayor. The result is a film that takes a comical yet sincere look at parenting (or lack of), birth control, sex, discrimination and the right to choose.
A Successful "Sneak Peek"
The Sneak Preview of D.I.N.K.s took place at the Marcus Theaters in Orland Park on February 17th. It validated what Writer/Director Robert Alaniz needed to know, which was "will the audience laugh?” Sitting in the back of the theater, Alaniz was counting the intended humorous moments in the script (and there were several) and not only did they laugh at those moments, they laughed at many unexpected times as well.
"From Script to Screen" Presentation - Wednesday, February 9th
Lemont Public Library - 50 E. Wend Street, Lemont, IL 60439
MEET THE STARS AT BORDERS BOOKS
"From Script to Screen" a presentation on the making of D.I.N.K.s will take place on Saturday, February 5 at Borders in Orland Park at 2 PM. This 90 minute event will feature Director Robert Alaniz, music composer Doug Adams, the stars David Tibble, Deborah Craft and select cast & crew members discussing the film. Highlights include music & film clips. This event is FREE and open to the public.
ADVANCE SHOWING in ORLAND PARK, IL
There will be a Special SNEAK PREVIEW of D.I.N.K.s (Double Income No Kids) ONE NIGHT ONLY on Thursday night,
, 7:30 PM at the Marcus Theaters, 16350 South La Grange Road, Orland Park exclusively for Chicago South-Siders! Tickets are $20.00 each and are now on sale at EMPIRE BOOKS, 20879 S. La Grange Road (located in the WALT'S FOOD CENTER PLAZA) in Frankfort, IL or through authorized SOLE PRODUCTIONS personnel. Tickets purchased for this exclusive local event are CASH ONLY!
D.I.N.K.s Goes Into Post Production
D.I.N.K.s Stars at Coldwater Creek in Orland Park
On Saturday, May 29th, the stars of D.I.N.K.s will be making a personal appearance at Coldwater Creek, 9500 143rd St, #200 in Orland Park from 11 am to 3 pm. David Tibble (who plays Richard Brooks), Deborah Craft (Rachel Brooks) and Maura Locke Antas (Sierra Haggerty) will be there signing autographs, showing "behind-the-scenes" footage, and more! Stop, shop and meet the stars!
Frankfort Filmmaker’s Fifth Film Goes Into Production
Frankfort filmmaker Robert Alaniz will begin production on his next Independent film project titled D.I.N.K.s (Double Income, No Kids) in June. The story is a dark comedy that revolves around a childless freelance writer, who lives with his wife in a predominantly family-oriented suburb of Chicago. When he decides to write articles about discrimination against married couples without children, his career skyrockets him to local fame as the leader of a citywide D.I.N.K.s movement that suddenly lands him in court for slander.Although D.I.N.K.s is a comedy, it also touches on serious issues. “Married couples without children have a life-style and mentality altogether different from parents,” Alaniz explains. “They are a minority. And as it is with all minorities, there is discrimination. The film also deals with poor parenting, birth control - or lack of it and political manipulation. People will definitely have a lot to talk about after seeing this film”
Consisting of mostly professional actors from the Chicagoland area, D.I.N.K.s has the largest adult cast Alaniz has ever worked with. “I have worked with over 60 teens and preteens in Bitterblue back in 2006, which was a huge challenge,” Alaniz says. “But this time around I’m directing experienced, seasoned actors who all bring a lot to the table and are anxious to develop believable and strong characters. Which makes the creative process much easier.”
The film is being filmed in the south suburbs which will create the fictional town of Legacy, Illinois. Locations include: Green Food & Produce, Orland Chateau, Papa Joe’s Restaurant, Wehmeier Portraits (all in Orland Park), Lemont Public Library (Lemont), Lydia’s & Groucho’s Café, Frank’s Guitars & Art, 164 North Restaurant (Kankakee) and Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant (Homer Glen). “Inside Looks” and Debi Ross from Orland Park are in charge of set decoration. It will be up to them to make all the locations look as if they exist in the imaginary town of Legacy.
Coldwater Creek of Orland Park will be providing wardrobe fashions for the leading ladies in the cast. Trendsetters College of Cosmetology in Tinley Park will be heading the hair and make-up department and The Schaefer Corporation in Lemont will be designing and building sets for the production. “Thanks to the support we are getting from all the local businesses, this film will be the closest we’re ever come to a full-blown Hollywood style production,” says Executive Producer, Max Nayden of Frankfort.
The film will once again be scored by music composer Doug Adams, who has scored Alaniz’s last two films. “Doug is amazing,” says Alaniz. “He has worked with some of the top movie composers in the business including Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and has just finished a book on the making of that score. It is an honor to be working with him again.”
Sole Productions is also looking for people interested in being movie extras in a scene that is being shot at Orland Chateau the second week of June. “We are looking for as many as 100 adult and teenagers (age 16+) to participate,” says Production Coordinator, Jackie Cusimano. Interested parties can inquire by emailing Jackie at email@example.com for dates and times.
Robert Alaniz and his Sole Productions have been making full-length feature films in the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois since 2003. He and his films have been featured on FOX NEWS and ABC Morning News with Linda Yu and Sylvia Perez. His past films include Timeserver (2004) Barrymore’s Dream (2005) Bitterblue (2006) and most recently THE VISION (2009) all of which are now available on DVD at www.sole-productions.net. His film Barrymore’s Dream won BEST FEATURE FILM at the Route 66 Film Festival in September 2007 and THE VISION is presently making the rounds in the 2010 film festival circuit around the country. D.I.N.K.s will premiere sometime at the end of the year.
Contact: SOLE Productions / Phone (815) 464-7681 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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Last Update 04/13/2011