Loads of news on the Bunker Hill front lately. Here’s an interview (mp3 link) with co-writer/director Kevin Willmott by Community Bridge Radio.
THE SANTA FE FILM CENTER
PRESENTS KEVIN WILLMOTT’S PROVOCATIVE NEW FEATURE FILM
BEGINNING SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 2008
WES STUDI TO INTRODUCE THE FILM ON OPENING NIGHT
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – The Santa Fe Film Festival will host a week-long theatrical run of independent filmmaker Kevin Wilmott’s new, politically-charged feature Bunker Hill, beginning August 9, 2008. Actor Wes Studi (Avatar, Last of the Mohicans) will introduce the film on opening night, and Willmott will take questions from the audience.
The film stars Emmy and Peabody Award winner James McDaniel (NYPD Blue, Sunshine State); Saeed Jaffrey the legendary actor from India who has starred in more than 150 films including Gandhi, Passage to India, My Beautiful Launderette and The Man Who Would Be King; and Laura Kirk, star and co-writer of the acclaimed feature film Lisa Picard is Famous, which premiered at The Cannes Film Festival.
What would happen if 9/11 happened again? Bunker Hill is the story of a former Wall Street executive who leaves prison and heads for the small town of Bunker Hill, Kansas, where his ex-wife and their children have started a new life. Soon after he arrives, an apparent massive terrorist attack against America darkens the town. Cut off from the world, the town’s militant past is reawakened and forces coalesce to protect citizens from an unseen enemy. The town’s fear leads to the creation of a posse of gunmen, resulting in torture, illegal searches and eventually, murder. Civil liberties and justice itself hang in the balance as the town must decide whether to embrace freedom or fear.
The film was recently screened in Washington, DC at an event hosted by the ACLU.
“The America we live in today is very different from the America we lived in on September 11, 2001,” said Johnny Barnes, executive director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area. “Democracy and freedom must not become casualties in the War on Terror. This great film reminds us of that.”
“When writing fiction, you always hope that you’re on to something that reflects what is actually going on in the world,” says Willmott. “Bunker Hill tells a pretty wild story that is amazingly close to what has really happened to us since 9/11, right up to the current presidential election campaign.”
Following the Washington screening, a number of political and film weblogs reacted. Below are quotes from a few online reports:
“A new indie film by African-American director Kevin Willmott (CSA: Confederate States of America) called Bunker Hill hasn’t even been released yet, but it’s already sparking political debate.”
Ann Brown, The A-List Magazine (http://thealistmagazine.wordpress.com/ )
“Mixing contemporary, and highly resonant, political issues with the dramatic force of film genres such as the western and the post-apocalyptic thriller, Bunker Hill challenges viewers to think about how we might react if the country was faced with another terrorist attack.”
Chuck Tryon, The Chutry Experiment ( www.Chutry.Wordherders.net )
“I know what I like, and Bunker Hill deserves great praise as a courageous and realistic film. Bunker Hill is a highly relevant, timely and meaningful motion picture for the times we live in, and I highly recommend it.”
— David Henderson, Clear Voices In A Cluttered World (DavidHenderson.com)
“Most viewers of this film will inevitably be left to wonder if a chain of events like this one portrayed here is possible in modern America … I applaud Kevin Willmott for encouraging citizens to use his work of art as a vehicle for discussion.”
— Pam Pohly, EverydayCitizen.com
Also appearing in the film are: Broadway, television and film star Kevin Geer (American Gangster); Blake Robbins, from the HBO series Oz; Scott Allegrucci, (Chicago Hope, The Feud), singer / songwriter Kelley Hunt; Ranjit Arab; and Christopher Wheatley. Kelley Hunt co-wrote the film’s musical score with Nathan Towns and performs the original song “Mountain To Move.” The soundtrack also includes music by Pat Metheny.
After returning to Kansas from NYU Film School, Kevin Willmott began writing, first for the stage, and then for television and film. His film CSA: Confederate States Of America premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Presented by Spike Lee and IFC Films, the movie generated critical acclaim during its theatrical runs in the US and Europe. Willmott’s screenplays have been commissioned by Oliver Stone, 20th Century Fox and others. He co-wrote the NBC mini-series The 70’s with Mitch Brian. Ninth Street, a feature film starring Martin Sheen and Isaac Hayes, co-starred and was written, produced and co-directed by Willmott. He is currently in post production on a new feature, The Only Good Indian, written by Thomas L. Carmody and starring Wes Studi (Avatar, Last of the Mohicans).
Willmott directed Bunker Hill from a script he wrote with Greg Hurd. Matt Jacobson (CSA, Bukowski: Born Into This) is the Director of Photography. Willmott also produced the film, along with Matt Cullen, Greg Hurd and Scott Richardson. Thomas L. Carmody is the Executive Producer.
The Santa Fe Film Center, a division of The Santa Fe Film Festival, is occupying the theater wing of the former Cinemacafe and offers year-round film programming at the 125-seat theater. The Film Center at Cinemacafe opened in May, 2005 and is located at 1616 St. Michael’s Drive, in the St. Michael’s Village West Shopping Center. The Film Center serves as an exhibition hall, as a networking hub for film professionals and as the focal point for the festival’s educational programs. Tickets are $8 for general admission, $7 for seniors and students and $6 for Santa Fe Film Festival members.
For more information about Bunker Hill: