Nebraska filmmakers shown off in showcase

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August 16th, 2011

Omaha, NE – Seven Nebraska filmmakers are the center of attention in the second annual Local Filmmakers Showcase.

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Local actor Scott Kurz plays Henry, a self-sacrificing nurse taking care of his wife in the film In Silence and Tears. (Photo credit to In Silence and Tears)

Jurors combed through dozens of entries in search of the top film talent in Nebraska. What emerged is a pool of seven filmmakers with seven varying works. The subjects range from the story a female professional wrestling world champion in Irma. An exploration in linguistic meaning is the subject of the film Tongue is Scissor. Another film looks at the romantic relationships of 30-somethings in One Too Many.

For one of the filmmakers, her final product is exceptionally personal. Director, Megan Plouzek, may have been the force behind the camera, but her family’s story is front and center in her first film, My Dad’s Illness.

Plouzek, while an intern at NET and a video production student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said she knew she wanted to document her father’s struggle with mental illness, which is undiagnosed.

“It’s just so stressful, you never know what’s going to happen, it’s a like a wild roller coaster ride,” said Plouzek.

“At times it’s good, but you’re always kind of waiting for him to slip. And every holiday he was usually sick. Any time we had a big family gathering he wasn’t doing well. This last Thanksgiving we had to go visit him in the hospital and we all brought him food. It’s just constantly dealing with him not being well, and if he is well, it’s wondering when the next episode is going to happen.”

Plouzek said those suffering from mental illness are often not treated the same as those with other illnesses. The raw candidness of the film, she hopes, will open dialogue about mental illness.

Another film featured in the showcase was co-directed by a Nebraska wife and husband duo, Molly and Aaron Zavitz. In Silence and Tears tells the fictional story of a self-sacrificing husband, struggling to take care of his wife.

Watch the trailer for In Silence and Tears

This black-and-white film follows Henry, a nurse, who progressively struggles to maintain his own mental health while keeping his family together.

“Ultimately at its heart, it’s a love story,” said Director Molly Zavitz. “It’s a portrayal of a couple and what they’re going through, just anybody, I think, can relate to the themes of struggle when there’s something going on beyond your control with someone you love, and how you cope with that in everyday life.”

Aaron Zavitz said in Iowa, audience members felt the impact of the film, long after they left the theater.
“We did have a lot of people come up to us the day after and say ‘We’re still thinking about your film.’ That’s a great compliment to have,” said Zavitz.

The 2011 Local Filmmakers Showcase will begin this Friday, August 19th, with a special opening night premiere and post party with the filmmakers. The showcase will run through Thursday, August 25th at Film Streams at Ruth Sokolof Theater.

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