The feeding frenzy has begun as Christmas movie fans binge 24/7 on originally produced seasonal fare from Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel, including Lifetime’s original Holiday Movie, Solstice.
The annual holiday tradition of originally produced cable movies began 25 years ago with the independently produced award-winning Christmastime drama.
Written, produced and directed by then fledgling filmmaker Jerry Vasilatos, Solstice, was broadcast into millions of households as Lifetime Television’s Original World Premiere Holiday Movie in 1994. Set in frigid, mid-winter Chicago, Solstice tells the story of Nick and Kristine (Michael Kelley & Mary McCloud) a disillusioned young couple dealing with a broken romance that regain a new sense of hope and optimism during a lonely Christmas Eve.
On November 27th, the 25th Anniversary Restoration of Solstice will be released on Amazon Prime with the Blu-ray following on December 15th.
The Limited Edition Blu-ray release, featuring 140 minutes of bonus content including newly produced behind the scenes programs, is available for pre-order along with the award-winning CD score, DVDs and film poster on Indiegogo at: www.solsticebluray.com. The Blu-ray will also be available at Twilight Time Movies, Screen Archives Entertainment and Amazon.com.
“It’s surreal and rewarding to discover we were ahead of the curve in 1994 presenting my film to Lifetime as an original network offering” Vasilatos says. “It’s one of the many reasons I decided to embark on restoring Solstice to introduce to a new generation of holiday movie lovers in the best format possible.”
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Behind the scenes
Solstice was restored for HD after a painstaking process scanning the original camera negative in 2K for digital cleanup, new color grading and remastering.
With the sound mix recreated from the original reel to reel elements and a brand new orchestral score added, the 25th Anniversary Edition has garnered awards and nominations this year including Best Drama and Best Score at the Las Vegas Action on Film Megafest, Hollywood Dreams International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Awards and Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.
“The film is about second chances and redemption” Vasilatos continues. “The personal seasonal introspections in the film are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago, and the irony of second chances presenting the film again for it’s 25th anniversary to such an outpouring of audience appreciation is the greatest gift.”
Along with composer Bálint Sapszon’s award-winning musical score recorded by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra, Solstice looks and sounds better now than when it was originally released to reflect the director’s fully realized vision for audiences that remember it, and for new audiences discovering it for the first time.
Send your TV updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, firstname.lastname@example.org.