Political comedy set against election turmoil screens trailer in election night benefit party


As the countdown to the election moves into its final days, Suree Towfighnia and Andrew Piccone are racing to keep their political comedy “Plan B” true to the unfolding realities of a divided nation.

Director Towfighnia and DP Piccone are collaborating on the script for “Plan B,” a fiction feature set against the backdrop of real-life political turmoil ? la Haskell Wexler’s ’68 DemoCon classic “Medium Cool.”

A trailer for “Plan B” (“a title that rings true on so many levels,” said Towfighnia,) screens election night, Tuesday Nov. 2 at Buddy.

Towfighnia’s Prairie Dust Films and producer Eldridge Huntington’s Big Brain Studios brought a crew of nine to New York to shoot 59 hours of principal action and B-Roll during the Republican Convention.

“Plan B” stars Sara Laudonia and Benjamin Steger as, respectively, a Chicago TV reporter relegated to covering street protests, and a Kansas anti-war activist, who are thrown together during the convention.

“We had units all over New York, covering the action from every vantage point,” Towfighnia said.

“Armed with the contemporary tools of democracy ? cameras and shotgun microphones ? we headed into the streets, attending activist meetings, critical mass bicycle rides, bell ringing at Ground Zero, art and music festivals, direct action outreach on subways, and testing out local bars in Brooklyn.”

President Bush in “Plan B”

Towfighnia managed to obtain a single press credential to gain access to Madison Square Garden and cover the convention proper on her own.

“It was truly a frightening experience for me to see all the players gathered to celebrate the myths of the administration and the ?prosperity’ of our country,” she said.

Shooting (and script revisions) continue in Chicago and Mexico, through the election and the inauguration, as the two characters’ lives play out amidst the shifting political landscape.

Towfighnia comes from a mainly documentary background. She and Prairie Dust partner Courtney Hermann, with whom she formerly ran the Columbia College doc center, are in production on the feature doc “Standing Silent Nation,” about Lakota Indian Alex White Plume’s legal battle against the U.S. government to grow hemp on his land on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

The “Plan B” trailer screens, along with footage from other local political films, during the “Fight or Flight: Election Watching Party” Nov. 2, 6 p.m.-Midnight, at Buddy, 1542 N. Milwaukee. The $10 recommended donation, $5 with ballot receipt, benefits the production of “Plan B.” “We can celebrate or mourn together ? no matter who the winner is,” Towfighnia said.

Reach Towfighnia at suree4@yahoo.com.

? by Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com