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USA: Cinema Libre Studio
Cast: Matthew Mabe, Woodwyn Koons, Alek Friedman, Alicia Harding, Gibby Cohen, Jennifer Brown, Alison Cimmet, Mike de Seve, Kate Duyn, Sandy Feder, Matthew Korahais, Krista Kujat, John Lake, T Sahara Meer, Trevor Murphy, Robert O'Gorman, Massiel Penafiel, Nathan Phillips, Wayne Price, Joe Schiappa, Damien Smith, Vivienne Swenson, Rev Terry Troia, Basil, Adrian Blue
Director: Mora Stephens
USA: 95 mins
USA Release Date: 20 October 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
America's current division into Red States and Blue States is given a romantic twist in the ironic Romeo and Juliet-esque CONVENTIONEERS. Set against the 2004 Republican National Convention, it explores the complicated, bitter love affair between a Republican delegate and a Democrat protesting the RNC.
CONVENTIONEERS follows David Massey (Matthew Mabe), a Republican delegate to the RNC who falls into an unlikely affair with a girl he knew in college - Lea Jones (Woodwyn Koons), a Liberal who has returned to the city to protest the Republican agenda. Both are political virgins, who have surrounded themselves with like-minded colleagues and have never really confronted the "enemy " in the flesh.
At the same time, Dylan Murtaugh (Alek Friedman) - a former protester who dropped out of the scene after becoming a father - is hired as a sign language interpreter for the President's speech at the convention. When he tells his activist friends about the job, they try to convince him to stage a protest during the President's speech instead.
The tension builds as Dylan reaches the convention floor itself, takes his place next to the President, while Massey and Lea try and find each other in the chaos outside. What follows will test their beliefs about politics, love and commitment, and will push buttons on both sides of the divide.
Shot entirely on location in New York, director Mora Stephens and producer Joel Viertel utilized the 2004 Republican National Convention by incorporating events of the RNC into the storyline of the film. The film blends actors with real events and real activists from both sides of the aisle.
Directed by Mora Stephens, CONVENTIONEERS recently won the 2006 INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD's John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature (Made for Under $500,000) as well as the 2006 GRAND JURY PRIZE for Best Narrative Feature at the Florida Film Festival. The film premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival and had its international premiere at the 2005 Pusan International Film Festival.
While it was once commonplace to have relationships across political boundaries, it has become nearly impossible because the United States is so divided now as a country. Today, more and more Americans are living in communities that are politically homogenous. They are less likely to live near someone with a different political point of view. When like-minded people cluster, they become more extreme in their thinking.