Wexler wraps ‘Roundabout American’ comedy feature

Mariele de Rocca Serra and Edouard Giard in “Roundabout American”

WRITER/DIRECTOR BORIS WEXLER of Escape Films has wrapped postproduction on the feature comedy Roundabout American starring French actor Edouard Giard as a young French chef who opens an escort service out of a Chicago pizza joint.

Julian Grant, whose music drama Fall Away Wexler produced last year, produced Roundabout American for less than $200,000. 

Wexler based the script in part on his own experience coming to Chicago from his native France.

“I wanted to explore the cultural differences between Europe and the US, and the successes and failures of contemporary America, while making a film that is lighthearted and entertaining,” he says. 

With Mariele de Rocca Serra, Patrick Zielinski, Torey Adkins, Mari-Jo Faracci, Howie Johnson, Rom Barkhordar, and  Michael Gellman.  Fred Miller was DP. 

They filmed for 23 days last summer at 30 locations throughout Chicagoland with 55 speaking roles and more than 150 extras.

Cinematographer Terry Jun, actress Mary Kay Cook and director Jerry Vasilatos (Photo credit: Alberto Trevino)SCREENWRITER COLIN COSTELLO wrapped production on “The Snore”, his black comedy/horror short. “It’s a script I never thought would see the light of day, just something I wrote on a whim five years ago,” he says.

“Then late last year, the meetup group, Chicagoland Filmmakers in Action, held a short screenplay contest late last year. I threw ‘The Snore’ in there.  And it won!”

The story is about a driven business woman who has a dream meeting in the morning but must deal with her husband’s outlandish snore.

Rey Villar’s Filmmakers in Action, Brandon Vejseli and Nitestar Productions produced; Nitestar’s Jerry Vasilatos (“The Dark Knight Project”) directed and edited.  Terry Jun was DP. Mary Kay Cook and Mike Finch star.

A “RE-TIRE-SPECTIVE” of filmmaker/retiring Columbia College professor Dan Dinello (also a “Colbert Report” staffer) takes place March 22 at Film Row Cinema.  It will feature a 45-minute compilation of Dinello’s films, edited by his son, Bryan Dinello, featuring excerpts of roughly half the 30 or so films – docs, music videos and sardonic shorts with early performances by Second City performers – that Dinello has made since joining the school in 1979.

CUTTERS EDITOR NADAV KURTZ’S short documentary Paraíso, about a trio of Mexican immigrant skyscraper window washers who “reveal their thoughts about work, mortality, and the people they observe inside the high-rises they clean,” debuts in the Tribeca Film Festival, with four screenings in the Help Wanted program, April 21-29. 

Kurtz also edited Malik Bader’s 2006 Tribeca feature mockumentary Street Thief.

ROCKFORD FILMMAKER TRAVIS LEGGE (Raymond Did It) is in preproduction on the horror short Words Like Knives.  Legge’s producing partner Kelsey Zukowski stars in her own script as a student whose life is overtaken by vicious rumors.  With Jeff Scaduto, Valerie MeachumMyke WilsonMelissa Revels, and Aley Kreinz.  Legge’s regular collaborator Tim Stotz is DP.

LBP STUNTS’ COPRODUCERS Emmanuel Manzanares and Shawn Bernal of Dennis Ruel’s L.A. martial arts comedy Unlucky Stars, says the production is “80%” through.  It’s a tribute to 80s Hong Kong action, particularly Sammo Hung’s Lucky Stars trilogy. 

Ruel stars with Ken Quitugua, Sari Sabella, Jose Montesinos, Roy Chen, Edward Kahana, and Giovannie Espiritu.

THE 41st ANNIVERSARY of the Community Film Workshop of Chicago media training programs will be celebrated with a benefit Real Film Party, April 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at 6200 S. Drexel Ave.  RSVP by April 9.