Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Screenplay Reading Series to present "Someplace Like America" on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.

The New Hampshire Film and Television Office, in partnership with Red River Theatres, will present a reading of the original screenplay Someplace Like America written by Aaron J. Wiederspahn, on Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m. at Red River Theatres in Concord, as part of the ongoing Screenplay Reading Series.

Someplace Like America, which is scheduled to be filmed in New Hampshire later this year, is a contemporary tale set in New Hampshire's North Country after the closing of its paper mills. It follows Dutch, a long-unemployed steel worker and transient poet, as he returns to his family after a prolonged absence and attempts to reestablish contact with his grandson. Focusing on the struggles of the unemployed and disenfranchised, this narrative feature reflects on the possibility of personal and communal rebirth in the aftermath of economic collapse, illuminating in human terms a growing national issue in this post-industrial age.

The reading of Someplace Like America will be followed by a discussion with members of the New Hampshire-based production company, Either/Or Films, which produced The Sensation of Sight, starring David Strathairn. Either/Or Films Executive Producer Buzz McLaughlin and Writer/Director Aaron Wiederspahn will lead the discussion. The screenplay is inspired by the nonfiction book Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson, both of whom will be on hand for the discussion along with documentary filmmaker Ron Wyman, who will be working with the project.

The Screenplay Reading Series showcases new motion picture scripts read live by actors before an audience, followed by Q&A, creating a unique movie-going experience. The series focuses on the craft of cinematic storytelling, long before a frame of film is shot, and is dedicated to fostering a forum where screenwriters can hear their words come to life and network with actors, potential film investors, and other artists involved in filmmaking.

The Screenplay Reading Series accepts screenplays for consideration on an invitation-only basis and screenplays must have an emphasis on New Hampshire, either in their setting or their potential to be filmed in the Granite State. The screenplays are read in an intimate setting at Red River Theatres and can last anywhere between ninety minutes to two hours.

"Our Screenplay Reading Series launched in October with Plowing Up a Snake and it was a huge success," says Matthew Newton, director of the New Hampshire Film and Television Office. "We're looking forward to having another sell-out crowd at Red River for Someplace Like America."

With three screenplay readings held throughout the course of a year, audiences have the rare opportunity to "listen" to a film script, take part in a dialogue with the writer afterward, and hear the artistic conversation that happens "behind-the-scenes."

Tickets are $8 ($6 members) and are available at the Red River Theatres box office or online. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly suggested. Information on the Screenplay Reading Series can also be found here.