LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 11, 2013) - Cement Suitcase won the Audience Award in the Competition Features category at the 16th Dances With Films Festival. The award was accepted by writer/director J. Rick Castañeda and producers Doug Spice, Stacey Wilson, and Sonia Pineda, presented by festival founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent. The film's World Premiere screened alongside 15 competition features at the Mann's Chinese Theatre Complex. The awards ceremony was held on June 9th, 2013 at Level 3.
The feel-good comedy is the feature debut of writer-director J. Rick Castañeda, and stars veteran improv comic Dwayne Bartholomew, TV personality Kristina Guerrero (E! News), and Australian TV host turned actor Nathan Sapsford (MTV Australia) and TV actor Shawn Parsons (Parks and Recreation, Torchwood). The film tells the story of Franklin (Bartholomew), the best wine salesman in the Yakima Valley, who discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him and accidentally befriends the "other man." "More than anything, this is a film about letting go," said Castañeda. "Writing the film was a way of giving myself the courage to actually take chances myself."
The film was shot in Washington's wine country, in the director's hometown of Granger. Castañeda is an accomplished writer and director, with award-winning short films, commercials, and new media, including the popular comedy web series Coma, Period. Cement Suitcase was produced by Psychic Bunny, a production company based in Los Angeles, co-founded by filmmakers Castañeda and Spice, along with fellow USC alums Asa Shumskas Tait and Jesse Vigil, who both served as Executive Producers.
"This is such an honor, among the many other highly inventive and vividly independent films at the festival," said producer Spice. "The audience we had at Dances With Films was just spectacular," added Castañeda. "I've seen the film hundreds of times throughout the post production process, but hearing the laughter and applause made it feel like the very first time. It sounded like we had a lot of wine lovers in the crowd."
ABOUT PSYCHIC BUNNY
In 2005, four college buddies set out on an Odyssean quest to create the world's finest production company. They combined their talents in writing, film production, editing, interactive design, motion graphics, visual effects, and sorcery to create a hybrid production studio capable of creating a variety of projects. The company recently launched a new feature film & TV initiative, led by their 2013 feature film, Cement Suitcase.