'State Debate' to screen at Newport Beach Film Festival; Petoskey grad shot film on location in Northern Michigan
Pictured in a screenshot from "State Debate" on location in the hallway of St. Francis Xavier School in Petoskey are actors Jake Mendes and Jaclyn Ingoglia in the lead roles of Blake and Dakota. (Courtesy photo / April 22, 2013)
Rettstadt, a 2007 graduate of Petoskey High School and 2012 graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, wrote, produced and directed the film, with a cast and crew of more than 250 people. In addition to cast and crew from New York City, numerous Northern Michigan residents took part in the film as actors, dancers, extras and crew members.
"State Debate" is a 1950's-style, original short musical about high school debate that follows two students as they sing, dance and battle their way through the climactic final rounds of state competition. It is an homage to films such as "Singin' in The Rain" and "An American In Paris." In order to achieve the feel of a Golden Age musical, the movie was shot on 35mm film and the original soundtrack recorded by the New York University Symphony Orchestra.
This year, the Newport Beach Film Festival will showcase more than 350 films from 50 countries including a number of world, U.S. and West Coast premieres and will host more than 50,000 attendees during the eight-day event.
"The 14th annual Newport Beach Film Festival will have a strong music presence this year," says Gregg Schwenk, CEO, executive director, and founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival. "We are thrilled to present several films on the topic of music, and to infuse the genre into several of the festival's headline events."
Since its inception, the festival has presented many acclaimed films such as the U.S. premiere of "Crash" and other notable films including "(500) Days of Summer," "The Cove" and "Mad Hot Ballroom."
"State Debate" will screen at the Triangle Cinema in Costa Mesa. Following the screening, Rettstadt and producer Izak Rappaport will participate in an audience Q & A.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to showcase 'State Debate' and its beautiful Northern Michigan backdrop to audiences on the west coast and nationwide," said Rettstadt.
State Debate" is the recipient of a Panavision New Filmmaker Grant, the Russell Hexter Filmmaker Award, a 2012 Cine Golden Eagle and was awarded Best Original Score at the First Run Film Festival.
More information about the screening of "State Debate" at the Newport Beach Film Festival can be found at www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/2013/. The filmmaker encourages visits to the "State Debate" page on the festival website to increase the visibility ranking of the movie at the festival.
The original score of the movie with music written by Max Vernon, lyrics by Vernon and Rettstadt, and orchestrations by Andres Soto is now available for download on iTunes at itunes.apple.com/us/album/state-debate-ep/id628045256. The full movie website can be accessed at www.statedebatethemusical.com.
The executive producers of "State Debate" are Northern Michigan residents Jeanie and Murray Kilgour.