WINS AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE
New York (October 11, 2001) -- The New York International Independent
Film and Video Festival announced this week that "Macbeth
The Comedy" has won the Audience Award for Best Feature at its September
Produced by New Jersey based Tristan Films, "Macbeth The Comedy"
played to a sell-out audience of more than 300 people at Manhattans
Clearview East 59th Street Cinema on September 10th.
Upon hearing the news of the award, writer and director Allison L. LiCalsi
reacted, "Im really honored and pleased for our entire cast
and crew who worked so hard. I set out to make a movie that I would enjoy
watching and hoped others would too. I was overwhelmed by the audience
reaction at the screening. Macbeth is my first feature and to get that
kind of response is really encouraging."
Renata Bialkowski, Marketing Director for the eight year old New York
festival, remarked "'Macbeth The Comedy' impressed our selection
committee because it isnt the typical work of independent filmmakers.
We gave it a prime screening slot because we felt it would generate a
lot of buzz. And it did."
Shot using digital video technology, the movie is a retelling of Shakespeares
classic tragedy with a comic twist. The script also mixes contemporary
dialogue with the plays original language, making the story accessible
to a larger audience. LiCalsi explains, "When you think about it,
all of Shakespeares tragedies are based on extremely funny situations.
Anyone should be able to say, If I take these steps, it will not
come to good. Yet Shakespeares characters always take those
steps. Which is something I find interesting about the play. And funny."
In recasting the title role as a woman, "Macbeth The Comedy"
also examines issues of gender and sexuality within the power politics
of the story. Says LiCalsi, "I didnt set out to make this an
edgy piece. I just had an actress in mind who I wanted to play Macbeth.
That led to some very interesting situations between Macbeth and Lady
Macbeth. Now I can only think of Macbeth as a woman."
The movie was shot on a whirlwind 11-day schedule in January 2001, utilizing
locations in Manhattan and New Jersey. Producer Patrick Murray recalls,
"Even with digital video technology, shooting a 90 minute feature
on such a short schedule is virtually unheard of. We had a great cast
and crew who were all on the same page as the production team. And we
were able to get some terrific locations." Adds Murray, "This
New York screening was our first festival participation our world
premiere, in fact. So to get a major award right off the bat is great.
We ended up doing what we set out to do make a really smart, fun
movie that appeals to a wide audience."
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