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Year: 2005
USA: Strand Releasing
Cast: Pamela Holden Stewart, Wayne Lamont Sims, Margaret Burkwit, Darien Sills-Evans, Chris Burmeister
Director: John G Young
Country: USA
USA: 80 mins
USA Release Date: 15 July 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
US Distributor


A snowy New York countryside is the setting for John G Young's THE RECEPTION. Like the snow-covered terrain that isolates and encapsulates Young's characters, equally entrancing deceptions blanket their lives. In the end, a much-needed thaw: initial motivations steeped in convenience give way to the possibility of greater fulfillment through chance and vulnerability.

Jeannette (Pamela Holden Stewart), a French woman, and Martin (Wayne Lamont Sims), a gay black artist, lead what initially seem to be idyllic lives, far away from the complexities of modern life. There is obviously great love and affection between the two, who essentially live as husband and wife. Jeannette is the life of the party, burying her sorrows and regrets in alcohol and daily confrontations. Martin, the most frequent casualty of her outbursts, is by contrast quiet and introspective, spending his time painting in his private studio and cleaning up after his partner's destructive habits. Two people mired in loneliness driven together by the same perceived predators, men and an abiding fear of simply living, they play out their nightly saga of despair with gaiety and quiet fortitude.

When Jeannette's estranged daughter, Sierra (Margaret Burkwit), returns with Andrew (Darien Sills-Evans), her new husband, to collect an inheritance she has been promised, their fragile existence is uprooted. Sierra's relationship with her mother is strained, at best, and her plans are to get the money and quickly be on her way. Things will not, however, be that simple. After Jeannette decides to throw the couple an impromptu wedding reception, a long awaited thaw begins and lies, motives, flaws, and deceptions melt away to reveal that nothing, and no one, is as it seems. As the reception nears, Andrew and Martin become entangled and many painful truths are exposed.

THE RECEPTION is a story about love and fear, about race and sexuality, about truth and compromise, and about having the courage to take a stand.

Filmed on location in Roxbury, New York, THE RECEPTION was shot over 8 days on a budget of around $5000.

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