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Restored in 2018 for its 25th Anniversary with a new orchestral score, Lifetime Television’s first original holiday movie, Solstice, produced and directed by Jerry Vasilatos, will be screened as an official selection at the Action on Film / Hollywood Dreamz Film Festival at the Brendan Palms Casino Theater in Las Vegas on August 1st, 2019.
The award winning screenplay for Vasilatos’s next feature film project, Shelter Me, is also a finalist in the same festival and writer’s competition ending August 3rd.
Nominated for Best Feature, Best Score, and Best Feature Dialogue, Solstice tells the story of Nick Allman, a disillusioned young man who has lost touch with the true spirit of the holidays. Set in Chicago on Christmas Eve, it follows his day from morning till midnight as he encounters a variety of characters who help renew his belief in a season where everyone’s expectations run high.
The film and its new orchestral score are available on DVD and CD at solsticemovie.com, while the director seeks new distribution for the film on broadcast and streaming platforms.
“Solstice is a film that I wanted to showcase for new audiences during its anniversary cycle to help bring attention to my new project, Shelter Me, which already has some first money commitments as we put financing together to shoot in Chicago,” says Vasilatos.
Helping to bring his vision to life are Chicago Media Angels, Cinespace Studios, and co-producers Sam George of Luna Mojo and Kristi Dunn Kucera.
Shelter Me is the story of Jeanie Carpenter, a domestic abuse survivor who becomes ensnared in a homicide investigation threatening both herself and a young child she has befriended after seeking refuge in a Washington D.C. homeless shelter. It competes in the Writer’s Contest at Megafest.
“The narrative tapestry of Shelter Me deals with a multitude of social issues ranging from domestic abuse and homelessness, to illiteracy, alcoholism and human trafficking,” says Vasilatos. “It also features a racial and gender diverse cast of characters whose stories will resonate with a wide range of audiences. The lead character’s resolve to end the cycle of abuse in her life sets the stage for a dramatic, suspenseful and inspirational journey.”
Shelter Me, was written by Sara Coover Caldwell and Jerry Vasilatos. It was a nominated finalist in last year’s Script Summit Screenplay Contest and 2018 winner in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Screenwriting Contest.
It’s Vasilatos’ goal as co-writer, producer and director to produce Shelter Me through his company Nitestar Productions in Chicago utilizing the resources of local crew and talent while creating more jobs for the indie film community. The film is currently in development raising funds for attachments while also seeking venture capital and angel investment financing.
Send your award-winning updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, firstname.lastname@example.org.