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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

June 6, 2000
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations 218 726-8830
Joseph Maiolo, Workshop Director 218 726-8226

Acclaimed Independent American Film to Hold Premier in Duluth
NorShor Theater-June 26 at 7 p.m.

Event Part of UMD Writers' Workshop Series

Paradise Falls, winner of the Best Dramatic Feature at numerous film festivals including Worldfest Charleston, the Houston International Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival, and the Hollywood Film Festival, will hold its Midwest premier at the NorShor Theater in Duluth on Monday, June 26 at 7 p.m. The screening is being held in conjunction with the 2-week Duluth Writers' Workshop at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) June 18-29.

Producer Peter Wentworth will be in attendance on June 26 to discuss the film and answer questions after the screening. Wentworth has produced numerous feature films, including the Academy Award-nominated Metropolitan.

Joseph Maiolo, Professor of English at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and Director of the Duluth Writers' Workshop, is currently collaborating with Paradise Falls producer Peter Wentworth and director, Nick Searcy, on a feature film, based on the life of a Depression-era minister, titled The Man Who Moved a Mountain.

Paradise Falls director, Nick Searcy, is best known for his work as an actor in the films Fried Green Tomatoes, Nell, and The Fugitive and the HBO Mini-Series From Earth to the Moon. Searcy will be seen this fall/holiday season co-starring with Tom Hanks in the Robert Zemeckis film Castaway. Searcy was excited to direct Paradise Falls, as he felt that Hollywood films seldom captured the South as he knew it as a native of the mountains of North Carolina.

Writers Sue Ellen Bridgers and Sean Bridgers shared comparable views on the portrayal of Southerners in most movies. Sean, an actor who can be seen in Nell and Once upon a Time When We Were Colored, and Sue Ellen (his mother), a highly respected novelist, felt strongly about controlling the script's authenticity. Thus, they hand-picked both the director and the producer.

Paradise Falls draws upon many of the folk tales and myths surrounding the bank robbers who characterized the Depression-era South, such as Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde. Professor Maiolo said, "The film is intelligent, beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and, most importantly, fast-moving and entertaining."

The film will be shown one time only on Monday, June 26 at 7:00 PM at the NorShor Theater in Duluth. This will be the film's Midwest regional premier before its theatrical release later this year.

Attached is a calendar of events of literary readings and a panel discussion on "Getting Published" which are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC as part of the UMD Writers' Workshop.

For press kits and press interviews please contact:
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations, University of Minnesota Duluth (218) 726-8830 FAX: (218 )726-6186

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