This week, May 11, When I Find the Ocean by independent filmmaker Tonya Holly will be shown in more than 90 theaters in 31 states including Alabama as an official selection of the Dalton Pictures and Entertainment Co. (DPEC) Independent Film Series. DPEC selects six films to screen for one week each over the span of the six week series at select Carmike Cinemas. The purpose of the series is to call the nation's attention to quality independent films. Ocean is a family film so grab the kids and make a day of it this weekend.
Tonya Holly, a native of Florence, Alabama, is the founder and CEO of Cypress Moon Productions located in the Shoals. Holly's film When I Find the Ocean premiered at the George Lindsey Film Festival in 2006 as a part of a gala celebration. I had the pleasure of attending the star-studded weekend at the beautiful Shoals Marriott Hotel and Spa. The gala culminated with an awards banquet, the screening of the film, and a concert by Little Richard. The special guest for the 2008 festival was Billy Bob Thornton. The 2008 documentary film The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice about the life of rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson was also screened at the Lindsey Film Fest.
Numerous films by Alabama filmmakers whose works have been screened at the Lindsey Film Festival have gone on to show at festivals across the US and Europe. Among these are Songs Outside the Box by Max Shores, Eugene Walter: The Last of the Bohemians by Robert Clem, and Dangerous Highway, a documentary about the life of blue-eyed soul singer Eddie Hinton by my old friend Deryle Perryman. Watch Swampland for a review of Clem's documentary on Eugene Walter.
Speaking of Alabamians who are in the spotlight this month. Be sure to read on Swampland about author Rick Bragg who recently was awarded the Harper Lee Award for A Distinguished Alabama Writer.
---Penne J. Laubenthal