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A Method to their movies

Laura Sturza

Burbank and Glendale talent will be showcased in the work of eight of

the nearly 60 feature films and shorts picked from 340 international

entries to the fifth annual Method Fest.

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“It’s kind of neat for everybody who has been asking me ‘What do

you do?’ for it to be playing at a place where they can actually see

it,” said Burbank resident Wendy English, who wrote and stars in the

feature “Searching for Wooden Watermelons.”

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The festival, which honors outstanding acting achievement, is

April 11 to 18 at the AMC Media Center 8 Theatres. It moves to

Burbank after four years in Pasadena, and city officials hope it will

continue to put Burbank on the map as a media mecca.

The winners were picked by a panel of six including an actor, an

acting teacher, a filmmaker and the festival’s organizer, Don

Franken.

“We only show films that are fresh and new and haven’t played many

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other festivals,” Franken said. “They had to be completed in 2002,

had to have breakout acting performances, and be story driven.”

He defines a breakout performance as one by an up-and-coming actor

in a performance that puts him or her on the map, or career- defining

performance by an established actor.

“Watermelons” director and Burbank resident Bryan Goldsworthy and

English met three years ago at NBC where they worked on “Access

Hollywood.” Goldsworthy grew up in La Crescenta and shot some of the

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interiors at a La Crescenta home.

Their film focuses on three generations of Southern women in a

story about finding the courage to face down fear in pursuit of a

dream, English said.

The actress hopes premiering the film at the festival will help

attract recognition that will result in its sale for distribution.

Her enthusiasm for being included in Method Fest is matched by

that of Glendale resident Dale Fabrigar, who directed the 26-minute

short film “First Time,” which was shot on Super 16 film. The film

was written by fellow Glendale resident Glenn Magas, and stars

Glendale resident Victoria Collier.

Because Fabrigar grew up in what he describes as “a real

conservative family,” his family was not pleased when one of film’s

two characters was a call girl.

“But in the end, my folks were pleased with the film that we made

and the response that it’s getting,” Fabrigar said.

“First Time” tells the story of two strangers from different

backgrounds who reveal themselves to each other, “but the film is

really about acceptance and understanding,” Fabrigar said.

“It’s pretty great to be able to hop over there to the Media

Center -- where there is so much of the industry so close by,”

Fabrigar said. "[It’s so close that] we can invite most of our

friends.”

Information about the festival is available at www.method-

fest.com or by calling (310) 535-9230.


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