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Southern Circuit Tour offers entertaining cringe-comedy in "Donald Cried"

Future screenings of more films also included

September 28, 2016

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     Mining laughs and sympathy out of awkward social interactions and uneasy embarrassing moments can be a difficult feat to successfully pull off, which makes director-writer-star Kris Avedisian’s Donald Cried an ambitious film to begin with. 

    Donald Cried features Peter (Jesse Wakeman), a Manhattan banker returning home to the working-class suburbs of Rhode Island after his grandmother passes away. After losing his wallet, he seeks out help from the emotionally stunted Donald (Avedisian), his best friend from high school, whom he fell out of touch with years ago.

    “Kris started writing this blueprint of what Donald was, this epiphany in a bottle story,” Wakeman said. “You kind of think that Donald is crazy, you think he’s a bad guy, then it kind of turns."

    Wakeman, Avedisian and their writing-creative partner, Kyle Espeleta, have been working together since 2003, creating various shorts and experimenting with multiple genres before creating Donald Cried.

    Originally a short itself, Avedisian, Wakeman and Espeleta decided to adapt Donald Cried into a feature film, writing and building upon the story for the next two years.

    “We always kept going to the fact that we know the characters were interesting and actually developed as real people. We talked about John Hughes movies, Planes, Trains, Automobiles, the classic- buddy structure with a bit more drama,” Wakeman said. 

    Donald Cried originally premiered at the 2016 SWSW Film Festival to positive reviews and is now part of South Arts’ Southern Circuit, a tour that deliver screenings of independent films to various venues across the South. The Southern Circuit Tour bring a mix of thoughtful documentaries, off-kilter comedies, and compelling dramatic narratives to multiple communities and college campuses.

    Abbey Hoekzema, a Georgia Southern film professor who specializes in documentary film, spearheaded the effort to bring films from the Southern Circuit Tour to Statesboro. With the support from the rest of the communication artsdepartment, a CLEC grant was given to fund a majority of the program.

    “The Southern Circuit features independent cinema which typically means films that a majority of audiences won’t find at their local theatre or know it exists on streaming services,” Hoekzema said. “The tour benefits the wider Statesboro Community, providing films that wouldn’t be at the local movie theatre, and some of the films are about the South, so it’s an opportunity to see your culture reflected back on screen.”

    Georgia Southern students and Statesboro residents alike will be able to howl in laughter and wince in second-hand embarrassment at the unfolding events of Donald Cried on October 11, at 7 p.m. in Georgia Southern University’s Sanford Hall, Room 1002. 

    Along with Donald Cried, five other independent films will arrive at Statesboro as part of the tour. Agents of Change – a documentary examining the tense, uphill battle people of color faced on college campuses during the late 1960s – was already showcased on September 13.

    Nuts!, an animated documentary about a Kansas doctor who claimed he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men, will be featured on November 9.

    Shake ‘em on Down, a documentary about Mississippi musician and the blues, will screen on February 14.

    Some Beasts, a film utilizing predominately non-actors in the cast, will screen on March 28

    Hunky Dory, a feature about a musician who is forced to look after his 11-year-old son full-time when his ex-girlfriend disappears, will screen on April 25.



 [K1]Should this be “Communication Arts”?


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