Sunday, January 17, 2010

World Premiere of "Expecting Mary" at the Palm Springs Film Fest

Last nightI attended the world premiere screening of the new film "Expecting Mary", featured at the Palm Springs International Film Fest. Expecting Mary is an independent film with close ties to Palm Springs. Written and directed by Dan Gordon, the Producer was Kim Waltrip and the Executive Producer was Jim Casey, both residents of Palm Springs. Expecting Mary is the story of a young well-to do girl who finds herself pregnant and runs away from him. While hitch-hiking across country, she ends up in a small New Mexico town, in a downtrodden trailer park for a few days. There, in this unlikely place she learns the real meaning of family, friends, and love. It is a wonderful story with lots of genuine laughs, emotional and touching moments and a strong story line. An incredible cast brings the story to life. Linda Gray plays Darnella, a sort of washed up Vegas showgirl, Cloris Leachman is hilarious as Annie, an aged neighbor in the trailer park who raises and cares for pigs. Olesya Rulin (of High School Musical fame) plays young Mary, Elliot Gould is a polka-loving truck driver, Cybill Shepherd is the snobby mother of Mary, Della Reese is the owner of the dumpy trailer park and is hysterical. Lainie Kazan plays Lillian Littlefeather, the last of an Indian tribe who owns a tiny casino, Gene Simmons is Mary's aging rock-star father and Fred Willard is a has-been Vegas agent whose clients are all of the by-gone era. There is a really hilarious scene when a crazed Cybill Shepherd arrives at a small local airport and interacts with the baggage handler, gate agent, and rental car clerk (all the same person, but just changes a hat or jacket). It was a very well done scene with perfect comedic timing. Several cast members were on hand for the premiere, including Linda Gray, Cloris Leachman, Olesya Rulin and Teresa Ganzel (see photo above).

above: at the after party, I had a chance to spend some time with Olesya and catch up on things. At just 23 years old, she is very sweet and developing solid skills as an actress. For those of you who may not know Olesya, she is a Russian born actress best known for her role in the first three High School Musical films as Kelsi Nielsen, along with
Zac Effron,Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale.

above: the official movie poster from Expecting Mary. This is a scene where Darnella (Linda Gray) is out walking a little pig who lives in the trailer park. In full disclosure, imagine my surprise when at the end of the film, as the credits were rolling, I saw my name listed, as thanks from the Producers. Such a sweet gesture (thanks Kim and Jim). My contribution was a connection to get one of the stars to sign on for the film, but I was happy to do so. Anyway, mark this film down as one to watch- it will be a gem of a film in 2010. Not sure of the official release date yet, but I"ll keep you posted when I hear more.
-Rick Rockhill


kenju said...

You make it sound like a lot of fun, Rick. I am looking forward to it!

Aren't you going to tell us who you got to sign on?

Anonymous said...

OOOH, I'll have to watch this one. Love the casting and story concept! Woo hoo, Rick, you're famous! I know someone famous ... bwahahahahahaahahahahaha!

KathyA said...

What a cast!!! I'm going to have to start attending movies again.

Alan Mercer's PROFILE said...

Great reading Rick. Linda Gray helps me celebrate one year of blogging

Diane J Standiford said...

Fantastic cast!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like a very sweet story...Good People in it and I look forward to seeing it eventually...(I have to wait for the it will be quite a

snowelf said...

Olesya is my daughter's favorite HSM actress. She would have loved to have been there! :)



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