Film notes: Romero flick part of benefit

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A special screening of George A. Romero's "Martin" June 22 at the Hollywood Theater will benefit Scares That Care, a nonprofit that provides money, toys and other help to sick children and also operates a program for women fighting breast cancer.

When the 1978 film about a modern-day vampire was released, Newsweek called it the "best balance of wit and horror since Hitchcock." Mr. Romero turns up as a priest amid the mix of social satire and gore.

John Amplas, who plays the title character, will celebrate his birthday that weekend by appearing, with other guests to be announced, at the Dormont event organized by Horror Realm.

Doors will open at 6 p.m., and Mr. Amplas will be available for autographs starting at 6:30 p.m. (There will be a charge for his signature, but proceeds are being donated to Scares That Care.)

At 7:45 p.m., winners of a silent auction and raffle will be announced, with the movie at 8 p.m. followed by a question-and-answer session with Mr. Amplas and other guests at 9:40 p.m.

Tickets are $10, available at the door or in advance, or $25 (sold only in advance), which offers admission and a copy of a limited-edition poster by Terry Callen of Screaming Brain Studio. It will be autographed at no additional charge.

See for tickets to the event at the theater at 1449 Potomac Ave.

Free staged reading

Nikki Young, a filmmaker and August Wilson Fellow, tonight will present a staged reading of her feature screenplay along with a preview trailer of "Things Not Seen," a work in progress.

She will be joined by Pittsburgh actors along with WQED Multimedia and KDKA Radio host and producer Chris Moore at the event at 8 tonight at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

It's free, open to the public and PG-13 in nature.

"Things Not Seen" is about a woman who seems to have it all: two adorable children and successful businessman-husband along with a thriving dance company. When her spouse starts to disappear at odd hours, her seemingly perfect life starts to unravel.

Ms. Young was selected in December to participate in the center's Fellowship program supporting African-American artists in Western Pennsylvania. Her film examines the school and prison systems and asks what level of injustice someone might tolerate to protect self-interest.

See for more information.

Film freebies in Pine

A half-dozen movies, all rated PG, will be shown for free this summer in Pine Park across from the Pine Municipal Building, 230 Pearce Mill Road.

The program will open with "The Little Rascals" on June 12 and continue with: "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax," June 26; "Space Jam," July 10; "Jumanji," July 24: "The Muppets," Aug. 7; and "Free Willy," Aug. 21. They will start at dusk, which usually is almost 9 p.m.

Moviegoers have to supply their own chairs or blankets and children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. In the event of rain, movies will be postponed until the following Wednesday.

Free romcom movie

"Out of Tune," a romantic comedy filmed in the Mon Valley and elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania including the Strip District's Altar Bar, will be screened for free at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Grand Theatre, 207 S. Second Ave., in Elizabeth.

Director Brian Lemley calls it a story of love, friendship and music and what happens when the three collide. He says, "Everyone, including the actors, worked on a volunteer basis. No one made a cent from the film, including all the wonderful local unsigned music artists featured in the film."

It's about three people -- Bennett, Chloe and Pacey -- who have been together since second grade.

Bennett is a slacker who dreams of his band, Shotgun Facelift, hitting it big, while thinking of no one but himself. Chloe is ready to grow up and take the next step with Bennett, while Pacey is a breed unto himself. A chance encounter between Chloe and Bennett takes their relationship to new places, triggering questions about the future.

48 HFP approaching

It's almost time to run, gun and be done with a movie written, shot, edited, scored and delivered in 48 hours.

Registration is open for the 48 Hour Film Project, unfolding in Pittsburgh July 12-14 with Kahmeela Adams and Nina Gibbs back as producers.

Teams will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis, and once registration is complete, teams will be added to a waiting list. Early-bird registration, by June 17, is $140. The fee bumps to $160 after that, with $175 if teams register after July 2.

Competitors will meet at Chatham University's Eddy Theater on July 12 and receive a genre, character, prop and line of dialogue. They must submit their completed films by 7:30 p.m. July 14.

Submitted films will premiere at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont on July 20 from 1 to 8 p.m. Judges will chose winners of 17 honors and the top films will be presented July 28. Go to for more information.

'Perks,' Batman nominees

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" has been nominated for three Teen Choice 2013 awards. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Down -- Part 2" leads all contenders with seven nominations.

The awards are a broad umbrella for honors in movies, television, music, sports, fashion, comedy and the Web. Winners will be announced live during a Fox special Aug. 11 from 8 to 10 p.m.

"Perks," set and filmed in Pittsburgh, is in the running for movie drama, dramatic actor (Logan Lerman) and actress (Emma Watson). "The Dark Knight Rises" is in contention for best action movie and stars Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway are competing for movie actor or actress, action.

Once they register, teens can vote once each day per category at Hosts, performers, presenters and additional nominees are still to come.

Calendar call

• The release of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" has been moved up two days to Aug. 21.

• Paramount Pictures has announced a limited Christmas Day release for Jason Reitman's "Labor Day." It's based on a Joyce Maynard novel and stars Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, James Van Der Beek and others.

The novel tells the story of an alienated 13-year-old boy, his lonely mother and the stranger who comes into their lives one Labor Day weekend.

• The 38th Cleveland International Film Festival will be held March 19-30 at Tower City Cinemas.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog:


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