IOW: Dawn of the DRUNK Debs

With gut-check Tuesday (i.e. Election Day) finally in the books for 2012, we cross our fingers the American people can work together to build a stronger nation and better tomorrow. We also hope they will remember politics, for good or ill, influences our lives each and every day. It is not prudent to delve into the details on a forum like C-U Blogfidential other than to say we can’t ignore the power of the vote or public service.

Apparently, neither can these independent filmmakers choosing to speak through their lens:

Tanoos Fleschner Pictures of Los Angeles just released the trailer above for THE DRUNK, filmed last year in Terre Haute, Indiana, the hometown of co-stars William Tanoos and Paul Fleschner who also co-produced, co-wrote, and co-directed this history-based drama. The story follows what happens when the drunkard grandson of revolutionary Socialist labor leader Eugene V. Debs decides to run for Indiana governor against a prosecuting attorney with a big grudge against his legacy. Tanoos plays the underdog Joe Debs, a fictional character created for the movie, opposite Fleschner as Joe’s friend Larry Donegan, while Tom Sizemore (BLACK HAWK DOWN) portrays the vindictive attorney Bruce Frye and former pro wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura (DEMOLITION MAN) appears as outgoing Governor Littleton. Tanoos Fleschner recently finished post-production on THE DRUNK prior to expected festival play and the search for distribution; in contrast with the recently released studio farce THE CAMPAIGN starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, this film promises a more weighty tone as evidenced in the surprisingly stark teaser.

Peeking at the production’s IMDb profile, one might spot the names of several crew members hailing from Champaign-Urbana who are vital to our own budding film scene. Individuals we recognize include co-producer and unit production manager Brett Hays, key hair stylist Rebecca Bedinger, still photographer and production coordinator Myles Beeson, and still photographer and location assistant Chris Lukeman. Chicago-based cinematographer Peter Biagi, who photographed the comedic indie LEADING LADIES in the C-U a few years ago, and St. Louis-based assistant director (AD) Anthony E. Cabral, who also worked on LADIES as well as the Decatur-shot experimental thriller FINDING VIRGINIA, filled comparable roles on this film.

~ Jason Pankoke

p.s. Your humble editor is happy to see the name of film student Dylan James Druktenis appear in the credits list. He is the son of Scary Monsters Magazine publisher Dennis Druktenis; read more about that significance right here.

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