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Montana Film Office

Jul
8
2015
‘Winter Light’ Montana Premiere in Missoula Saturday July 18th

FILM VERSION OF STORY BY LOCAL AUTHOR JAMES LEE BURKE COMES TO MISSOULA

Star-Studded Short Film “Winter Light” Was Shot In Missoula Area

Will Play The Roxy in Missoula For One Day Only, Saturday, July 18

WL-Roxy-social

A film adaptation of a story by New York Times-bestselling author and Missoula resident James Lee Burke will play at the Roxy Theater in Missoula on Saturday, July 18. Winter Light, based on Mr. Burke’s short story of the same name, shows at 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:00 pm, with the filmmakers on hand for Q&As after each showing.

Winter Light is a modern-day Western thriller in the vein of No Country For Old Men. The half-hour short tells the story of Roger Guidry, an aging college professor who unwittingly starts an escalating battle of wills when he confronts two hunters trespassing on his property. As tension mounts, hunter and hunted become harder to distinguish, and Roger must choose what sort of man he will ultimately be.

The film’s all-star cast is led by stage and screen veteran Raymond J. Barry, best known for roles in Dead Man Walking, Training Day, and the television drama series Justified. Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men’s Pete Campbell) and Josh Pence (Tyler Winklevoss in The Social Network) play the hunters, and Q’orianka Kilcher – who made her big-screen debut as Pocahontas in Terrence Malick’s The New World – rounds out the cast, playing one of the professor’s students.

Winter Light was directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Julian Higgins. A graduate of the American Film Institute, Higgins won the 2011 Student Academy Award gold medal for his thesis film, Thief. On the strength of that film, he made his television directing debut at the age of 26, with one of the final episodes of the long-running drama series House.

The film also marks the first exclusively producorial effort of celebrated actress Abigail Spencer. Known for her roles on Mad Men, Suits, and in numerous films including Cowboys & Aliens and Oz the Great and Powerful, Spencer can currently be seen in HBO’s True Detective and in her starring role as Amantha on the Sundance Channel’s Rectify (for which she was nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award).

Spencer, Pence, Higgins, and producer Justin Allen produced Winter Light through Spencer’s company Innerlight ­Films – which she founded with director/producer Duke Johnson. The film was financed by Prelude Pictures chairman Mark W. Koch, his partner Steve Dunkle, and co-executive producers Julie and Chad Smith.

Spencer, Higgins, Pence, and Allen previously collaborated on the 2013 short film Here and Now, which was selected by Ron Howard as the winner of Canon’s “Project Imagination” Film Contest. Winning that competition inspired the group to re-team for Winter Light, a much more ambitious film that Spencer calls “a short feature.” Higgins and Pence traveled to Montana to meet with James Lee Burke – whose novels have won him worldwide acclaim, two Edgar Awards for Best Crime Novel of the Year, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination – and Mr. Burke gave the project his blessing.

The project was a recipient of the Montana Big Sky Film Grant, and the Montana Film Office, led by Film Commissioner Deny Staggs, also threw its full support behind the project, making it possible for production to take place in the state. Filming utilized numerous regional crewmembers and actors, as well as many locations that may be familiar to locals, including Harold’s Club in Milltown and Accu-Arms in Missoula.

Winter Light played at the Atlanta Film Festival and Palm Springs International Shortfest, won top honors at the Cine Gear Expo at Paramount Studios, and is currently booking more festivals across the country. An Oscar-qualifying theatrical run is planned for September in Los Angeles.

The Roxy Theater is Missoula’s non-profit community cinema, with a mission to inspire, educate, and engage diverse audiences through cinematic and cultural events. Under the leadership of Executive Director Mike Steinberg, the Roxy hosts screenings and events seven days a week, including first-run films, independent, foreign, and classic films, live music, and community events.

Tickets to Winter Light are available at www.theroxytheater.org, or at the box office one hour prior to showtime.

For more information please contact:

Rachel Gregg, Montana Film Office, (406) 841-2880, rgregg2@mt.gov

Louise Henderson, Associate Producer, louisehenderson44@gmail.com