Talent testing tonight for TITAN

We predict with pseudo-scientifical accuracy that we will bear witness to a remarkable outpouring of original material in our immediate future either about or “inspired by” the late Roger Ebert. This flood feting the Urbana-raised film critic and essayist more or less begins this weekend with the world premiere of LIFE ITSELF, an Ebert documentary portrait directed by Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, STEVIE) and produced by Chicago’s Kartemquin Films (THE INTERRUPTERS), at the Sundance Film Festival this Sunday, January 19. Numerous other projects have been announced and teased in recent months, particularly in interviews with widow Chaz Ebert leading up to Sundance, and now it’s “show time” on the home turf as an industrious young producer jumps into the flow with a related venture.

Drafted during the final months of Ebert’s life as a break from his voluminous output on recent movies and, well, life itself, The Thinking Molecules of Titan is an unfinished science-fiction story about research faculty and students who attempt to interpret a pattern shift in a man-made signal transmitted from Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The New Yorker first published the fiction right after its author’s passing, after which Chaz Ebert introduced it on the revamped RogerEbert.com and launched a contest for readers to submit their own endings. Champaign based University of Illinois and Illini Film & Video alumnus Andrew Stengele, who works in the UIUC Mathematics department, saw an opportunity to retell the story with his own unique ending as a film, the famous journalist’s bread-and-butter topic for decades.

Stengele adapted THE THINKING MOLECULES OF TITAN with Patrick Wang, the independent filmmaker behind the lauded, three-hour domestic drama IN THE FAMILY (2011) that played Roger Ebert’s Film Festival last April just ahead of a belated DVD release. Currently in the pre-production phase, Stengele is pulling together his cast and crew for projected shoot dates in late February and early March; individuals interested in screen acting can click the jump below after Matt Wiley’s starkly intergalactic graphic for descriptors of the five speaking roles our young director needs to fill. First auditions will take place later tonight, Thursday, January 16, 7 to 9 p.m., at the UIUC National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana. If you have immediate questions about the casting call or other production needs, you can contact Stengele at andrew [at] thinkingmoleculesoftitan [dot] com.

~ Jason Pankoke




THE THINKING MOLECULES OF TITAN, a short film co-written by Patrick Wang (writer/director of IN THE FAMILY) and local filmmaker Andrew Stengele, based off of a short story by Roger Ebert, is looking to cast five roles.

These roles include:

– A middle-aged man
– A middle-aged woman
– Two men in their mid-20s
– A woman in her mid-20s

Auditions will take place on Thursday, January 16, at the NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 1205 W. Clark St., Urbana, IL, 61801) at 7 p.m. There will be a cold reading from the script.

Video auditions will be accepted, but in-person auditions are preferred. Any questions or conflicts should be directed to andrew [at] thinkingmoleculesoftitan [dot] com.

Casting call text is courtesy Andrew Stengele

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