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Dandelion Cleveland Fest opener


DANDELION opens the 28th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) on Thursday, March 18, 2004. The film, written and directed by Mark Milgard, stars Mare Winningham and Arliss Howard and was produced by Molly Mayeux. A favorite at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, DANDELION tells the beautiful and touching story of Mason Mullich, whose family leads a life of quiet desperation. His father, Luke, a grain factory worker, tries to better his lot by running for city council, while his mother, Layla, holds the family together with heartbreaking determination. But Mason is somehow different - so stolid and unfazed, sensitive to deeper rhythms. When he meets Danny, the new girl in town, Mason's focus settles for a moment. But when an accident befalls the family and complications set in with Danny, a tragic series of events unfolds.

More than a coming-of-age movie, DANDELION exudes an old-fashioned poetic realism. Shot with an anamorphic lens, the big sky and gentle rolling hills of wheat are characters in themselves. The performances are all top-notch, creating characters so believable that one can hardly distinguish that this is a film. DANDELION is an auspicious debut by director Mark Milgard, destined to put him on the cinematic map.
Mark Milgard co-founded the independent label Lakeshore Records, which has released artists such as Queens of the Stone Age and Granddaddy. In 2000, Mark turned his attention to writing and directing his feature debut.
Mark Milgard (writer and director), Molly Mayeux (producer), Robb Williamson (screenwriter), Mare Winningham (actress) and others from DANDELION will be at the Opening Night Gala.

Tickets to the Opening Night Gala, sponsored by Dollar Bank, are $125 per person ($100 for CFS members). The Gala includes the film at 7:00 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, followed by a fabulous DANDELION party at 9:00 p.m. at MK Ferguson Plaza. Tickets are available by filling a shopping cart at our website, phoning the ticket line (1-866-865-FILM), buying directly from the CIFF store in the lobby of Tower City Cinemas (opening on March 5th), or mailing in or faxing the Preview Guide order form.

The Closing Night Film (Sunday, March 28th), sponsored by NEWS CHANNEL 5, is BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS. Drugged-up royals! Celebrity gossip! Beautiful people drinking themselves into oblivion and waking up in strange situations! Today's headlines in the National Enquirer? No, England in the jazz-age 1930s. An all-star cast sparkles in actor/director Stephen Fry's adaptation of the classic Evelyn Waugh satire "Vile Bodies," a deconstruction of the British glitterati, set in the rosily remembered era Between the Wars, where public fascination with the likes of Ben(jamin Britten) and Jen(ny Lady Randolph Churchill) commonly overrode common sense. Would-be writer Adam Fenwick-Symes, alias Sue de Nimes, has his roman-a-clef manuscript taken away from him, a novelistic expose (entitled "Bright Young Things") of the London top people. His marriage to money-hungry Nina is delayed while attempting to prove that he can be a provider. Meanwhile his new job for the "The Daily Excess," which is owned by Lord Monomark (Dan Aykroyd) takes him (and Nina) to party after party to after-party and even 10 Downing Street, where a "late-night tryst" can mean ruin for the current Prime Minister. Watch for guest cameos by Simon Callow, Jim Broadbent, Stockard Channing, Sir John Mills, Richard E. Grant, Imelda Staunton and filmmaker Stephen Fry himself.

The Closing Night Reception will include a brief program with the announcement of the Central and Eastern European Competition Film Award Winner and the Service to the Field Award.

CIFF is proud to recognize THINKFilm at the Closing Night Reception with the Service to the Field Award. Founded in 2001, THINKFilm embodies the new face of independent film: bold, business-oriented and brimming with creativity. This young, dynamic company acquires and distributes the cream of the indie crop. Recent theatrical releases include “Spellbound”, Gus Van Sant’s “Gerry”, and The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys,” produced and starring Jodie Foster. For information on this impressive, young company, visit their website at


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