Reposted from the Examiner.com Website.
On Saturday, June 2 after interviewing Acting legend and Oscar Winner Kevin Spacey, along with Dana Brunetti, President of Trigger Street Productions and Benjamin Leavitt, writer/director and US winner of the Jameson First Shot for his short film, “The Ventriloquist” at the Bowery Hotel, I had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Spacey on the graced green carpet and shared in what was an incredible premiere in Highline Stages New York’s trendy meatpacking district.
This amazing trio of talent which involved Spacey, Brunetti and Leavitt posed on the green carpet together and gracefully answered questions by the media.
Meanwhile, Inside the Highline Stages the premiere was sponsored by the amazing Jameson Corporation, [Jameson First Shot], which supplied the amazing tasting of free Irish Whiskey served up beautifully with various snacks and bags of candy. It was a highly spirited evening full of fantastic energy and lots of fun, beautiful servers, pleasant staff, and over 200 VIP invited guest and of course the surprising screening of all three outstanding winning films.
The evening started with Sean McManus, Co-President of Film Independent hosting the premiere where Spacey showed his amazing acting abilities in all three of the winning entries in the Jameson First Shot film contest.
It was an amazing experience for me to witness this [all in one night] the two-time Academy Award-winning actor, Kevin Spacey delivering such a great performance as a dentist, a stamp collector and a ventriloquist – three fantastic roles in short films written and directed by unknown filmmakers, as part of the Trigger Street Productions Presents Jameson First Shot competition.
The three winning short films; listed below all been released and are available to view now on: youtube.com/jamesonwhiskey
The films premiered in the following order.
- The Russian film ‘Envelope’ written and directed by Aleksey Nuzhniy
Visit Jameson First Shot YouTube channel to view the film : http://youtu.be/7tFcQOJvSCc
- The South African film ‘Spirit Of A Denture’ written and directed by Alan Shelley
Visit Jameson First Shot YouTube channel to view this film: http://youtu.be/fn9pYtUoM20
- The US film ‘The Ventriloquist’ written and directed by Benjamin Leavitt
Visit Jameson First Shot YouTube channel to view this film: http://www.youtube.com/jamesonwhiskey
After the screening of all three winning films, McManus held a panel with Spacey, Leavitt and Trigger Street Productions President Dana Brunetti. Leavitt, was totally thankful for all the support and encouragement that both Brunetti and Spacey have giving him for the wonderful opportunity. For Spacey, the competition is part of a larger philosophy. He frequently mentions that he calls “sending the elevator back down,” which was what Jack Lemmon [His Mentor] did for him when he was first starting out. By helping new talent, Spacey is passing on the guidance and support that enabled him in his own career, as Lemmon did for him. His early supporters, Spacey says, gave him permission to believe that he could make a living as an actor. “It’s what we’re supposed to do,” he told everyone.
Brunetti briefly mentioned that the philosophy isn’t a sound byte, it’s a a reflection of his own trajectory in the film business. For Brunetti, eleven years ago he attended the Academy Awards as Spacey’s guest, having recently gotten his start in the industry as the actor’s assistant. Then two years ago, when Brunetti was nominated for Best Picture for producing “The Social Network” he attended the Oscars again, Spacey came as his guest. At the panel Spacey brought Kenny, the puppet who played Mr. Higgins in the film, ‘The Ventriloquist,’ onto the stage and explained how he made Kenny talk in his mentor’s, Jack Lemmon’s voice.
Spacey ended the premiere by saying, paying it forward seems be a way of life. “The truth is,” he says, “more people should do it. It changes people’s lives. Why would you choose to spend your time sitting around in a kidney pool in Beverly Hills collecting residual checks? That sounds boring.”
Any budding directors who think they have what it takes to be the next winner from the USA can register their interest now at jamesonfirstshot.com to make sure they get all the updates on next year’s competition.
For more information on the competition, as well as behind-the-scenes images and additional on-set content please visitwww.jamesonfirstshot.com/press.
I’m the NY and National Art and Film Industry Writer for the Examiner!
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