Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The Forgotten

The Forgotten Wins Sedona Film Festival's Best of Fest Award

The Sedona Film festival celebrated its tenth anniversary last week, and an indie film of which I am a fan won the Best of Festival Award!

According to the Festival's website: "Our schedule includes a Southwest Classics and Emerging Filmmakers Series, childrenÂ’s hands-on filmmaking and highly regarded industry professional workshop series hosted by our Workshop Founder and Academy award winner Frank Warner. Of course, features and short films from around the world are screened in competition with world premieres. All films are channeled through our selection committee in Sedona, Los Angeles, New York, Canada, Austria, Denmark and Australia. For 2004, we anticipate an engaging and entertaining festival as we celebrate our 10th anniversary."

The festival schedule lists "The Forgotten" this way:

October, 1950 (North Korea) - - As the war intensifies, a young soldier and his tank crew find themselves isolated from the company. Fighting against unseen enemies and waning spirits, Corporal Byrne and his men crisscross the landscape in search of allies. Struggling with his faith in the face of this chaos, William must lead his men to safety and - with hope - to those they've left behind.

Director/Filmmaker: Vincente Stasolla
Producers: Vincente Stasolla, Mark Rabinowitz, Henry Simonds, Laura Berning
Cinematographer: Learan Kahanov
Editor: Joel Hirsh
Principle Cast: Randy Ryan, David McMahan, Salim Rahman, Stephen Kilcullen, Malcolm Barrett, B. Ouyang
Print Source: Headwater Films LLC, 412-877-3528,

Last year, I enjoyed the privilege of attending a screening of the film while the producers were looking for a distributor.

This is not your standard glitzy, gleeful war movie. There are no Hollywood affleck-tations presented as tedious, nonsensical love interests. No plot twists based on the self-centered emotionalism of some half-baked proto-television cum pin-up star. No schpielberg-ian special effects. The movie is a well-crafted, almost noir production that is elegant in its sparsenesss. The story grabs you without the aforementionedd mainstream tricks so familiar in modern cinema.

The film follows a tank crew who have become separatedd from the rest of their company in enemy territory north of the 38th Parallel, in 1950. The intensity of the stressful relationships between soldiers is amazing, and is complicated when a wounded POW is taken and cared-for while the crew searches for the rest of their company.

Done in a style that harkens back to the films of Sam Fuller, the sparseness of the production and the minimalist cast also reminded me of the television show "Combat" which I remember quite fondly from my childhood. (The production is of a much higher quality than that television show, and I got goosebumps from the memories.)

When "The Forgotten" comes to your city, go and see it.

Congratulations to the cast, crew, and producers of this wonderful film!



The Forgotten Official Site

The Sedona International Film Festival and Workshop official site

Here is the write-up