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Saugatuck’s Waterfront Film Fest opens June 9

Anonymous • Jul 21, 2015 at 10:56 AM

“The Lie” concerns the misadventures of a married couple — two Gen-Xers muddling through the early days of unplanned parenthood. Lonnie, played by Joshua Leonard, tells his boss a horrendous lie to gain a few days off to clear his head. But the consequences quickly spin out of control after Clover, played by Jess Weixler, catches on to her husband’s misdeeds. The film is an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Independent film fixtures Leonard and Weixler will be two of the many actors, directors and writers in attendance at the Waterfront Film Festival. Leonard gained worldwide fame when he broke onto the independent film scene starring in the box office smash hit “The Blair Witch Project.” He also starred in Magnolia Pictures’ “Humpday,” which had its Midwest Premiere at Waterfront in 2009. Weixler starred in a number of Sundance favorites, including “Teeth,” and recently was named by New York Magazine as the “New Indie Queen.”

“A Bag of Hammers” is a comedy about the “bromance” between two misfit best friends seemingly incapable of growing up. Their lack of direction is tested by an abandoned child worn beyond his years. It stars Jason Ritter and Jake Sandvig. Director and co-writer Brian Crano will be in attendance.

“Hot Coffee” is a profile of the infamous McDonald’s “hot coffee case” — one everyone seems to know, but seem to know little about. The personal story of Stella Liebeck’s legal battle serves as a springboard for conversation on the greater issues of product liability, and how massive amounts of corporate money and hubris have shaped the U.S. legal system. The film is an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Director Susan Saladoff will be in attendance.

“Senna” is the story of the monumental life and tragic death of legendary Brazilian motor-racing champion Ayrton Senna. Sublime and spiritual — yet, on occasion, ruthless — Senna conquers and transcends Formula One to become a global superstar. In the midst of his prime, on what came to be known as the darkest weekend in the sport’s history, 300 million people watched live as Senna lost his life and the Brazilians lost a hero. The film is an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday June 9, with the Opening Night Celebration at Saugatuck’s Coghlin Park, at the intersection of Culver and Griffith streets. Admission is $10, and all proceeds go to benefit the nonprofit organization. Live music, featuring international hip-hop reggae artist Shaggy, goes until sundown when the film projector starts up for an outdoor showing of some of the year’s funniest comedic short films. Food and drinks, including a wide selection of drafts from the beer garden, will be available for purchase.

More than 70 features, documentaries and shorts will screen throughout the four-day festival.

For exclusive access to film and music throughout the weekend, a series of passes can be purchased now at www.waterfrontfilm.org. Individual film tickets will go on sale for $10 this weekend.

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