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Saint John of Las Vegas’ kicks off CineVegas Film Festival

Festival features six days of world premieres, short films and documentaries

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Steve Buscemi as John in Saint John of Las Vegas, the film that will open the 11th Annual CineVegas Film Festival on June 10.

Updated Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | 6:19 p.m.

CineVegas Lineup

Richard Vallejos as Richard in Etienne, which will have its world premiere at the 2009 CineVegas in the Palms. Launch slideshow »

About CineVegas

  • What: 11th Annual CineVegas Film Festival
  • When: June 10 – 15, 2009
  • Where: Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres in Las Vegas
  • Phone: 888-8VEGAS8
  • Web site www.cinevegas.com

Back for its 11th year, the annual CineVegas Film Festival announced its opening night selection today along with eight other films that will have their world premieres at the festival held June 10 – 15 at the Palms Casino Resort and Brenden Theatres.

The festival will kick off on June 10 with the world premiere of Saint John of Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Directed and written by Hue Rhodes, the appropriately titled film features a Vegas setting and an impressive cast including Steve Buscemi, Sarah Silverman, Peter Dinklage, Romany Malco and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

Buscemi stars as the titular John, an ex-gambler turned fraud investigator who returns to Las Vegas with a co-worker to investigate a claim by a wheelchair-bound stripper hoping to recover $200,000 in lost lap dance payments. It’d be hard to find a more fitting film to open CineVegas’ 2009 festival.

“The independent film industry is going through a transitional period right now as innovative filmmakers must find new ways to get movies made and seen, which is why CineVegas is thrilled to open our 2009 Festival with Saint John of Las Vegas,” said Artistic Director Trevor Groth. “Not only is it a fantastic comedy with a phenomenal cast, including Steve Buscemi who is pound-for-pound the world's greatest actor, but it was made by a forward thinking company, IndieVest, whose revolutionary approach to film financing and distribution just might be laying the groundwork for future generations.”

Saint John’s red carpet premiere will launch six days of world premieres, short films, documentaries and locally-produced films at the Palms.

In CineVegas’ “Jackpot Premieres” category eight world premieres will screen as part of the festival’s narrative competition: Rania Ajami’s Asylum Seekers tells the story of six people near mental breakdown who try to check themselves into an insane asylum where there is only room for one; Daylight, from David Barker, is about a pregnant woman who has to fight for her life after she’s taken hostage; Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s Easier with Practice, which follows the true story of a long-distance relationship between a writer and a mysterious woman; Etienne!, a story of friendship between a man and a dwarf hampster; thriller Godspeed set in the half-light of Alaska summer night; Patrick Hoelck’s love story Mercy staring Scott Cann, Erika Christensen, Dylan McDermott and James Caan; Patriotville from director Talmage Cooley; and Asiel Norton’s film about surviving rural isolation during the Great Depression, Redland.

These eight are just a few of the that will screen during the 11th Annual CineVegas Film Festival, which will also feature the red carpet premiere of Where Da Girls At? a short film produced by local members of the Boys & Girls Club with the help of Vegas professionals working with the students at the CineVegas Clubhouse.

CineVegas 2009

Jackpot Premieres include:

  • Asylum Seekers (USA, 2008)

    Director: Rania Ajami

    Cast: Pepper Binkley, Bill Dawes, Judith Hawking, Daniel Irizarry, Stella Maeve, Camille O’Sullivan, Lee Wilkof

    Six people on the verge of a breakdown decide to check themselves into an insane asylum, only to discover there is just room for one.
  • Daylight (USA, 2009)

    Director: David Barker

    Cast: Alexandra Meierhans, Michael Godere, Aidan Redmond, Ivan Martin

    When pregnant newlywed Irene is violently taken hostage, she confronts the truth about her marriage - and finds a state of unexpected grace - in her fight to survive.
  • Easier with Practice (USA, 2009)

    Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

    Cast: Brian Geraghty, Kel O’Neill, Marguerite Moreau, Jeanette Brox, Jenna Gavigan

    While on a road trip to promote his unpublished novel, Davy Mitchell finds himself falling for a mysterious phone sex caller.
  • Etienne! (USA, 2009)

    Director: Jeff Mizushima

    Cast: Richard Vallejos, Megan Harvey, Caveh Zahedi, Rachel Stolte, Solon Bixler

    After Richard's best and only friend, a dwarf hamster named Etienne, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to take his pocket pet on a bicycle road trip up the California coast to show it the world before he must put it to sleep.
  • Godspeed (USA, 2009)

    Director: Robert Saitzyk

    Cast: Joseph McKelheer, Cory Knauf, Courtney Halverson, Ed Lauter, Jesse Ward, Hallock Beals

    An intense, dramatic thriller set in the lingering light of the Alaskan midnight sun.
  • Mercy (USA, 2008)

    Director: Patrick Hoelck

    Cast: Scott Caan, Wendy Glenn, Troy Garity, Erika Christensen, Alexie Gilmore and John Boyd, with Dylan McDermott and James Caan

    A successful but cynical young writer writes about love but does not really believe in it until he meets Mercy, who turns his world upside down.
  • Patriotville (USA, 2008)

    Director: Talmage Cooley

    Cast: Justin Long, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rob Corddry, Keir O’Donnell, Missi Pyle

    An idealistic museum manager and a beautiful troublemaker go to war with a corrupt mayor to stop a casino from being built on their town’s “historic” battlefield.
  • Redland (USA, 2008)

    Director: Asiel Norton

    Cast: Lucy Adden, Mark Aaron, Sean Thomas, Kathan Fors, Bernadette Murray, Toben Seymour

    As a family struggles to survive in rural isolation during the Great Depression, their daughter's secret affair begins a journey into the unknown.

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