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Hey CinemaKC fans! What’s your favorite not-for-profit organization up to this month? Why, making sure that “CinemaKC” broadcasts every Saturday night at 9:30pm on KSMO-TV 62! The July series features Kansas City filmmakers Tony Ladesich, Don Maxwell and Patrick Rea.

The July 9th episode spotlights Ladesich’s trailer of “Cowtown Ballroom,” and short films “Be It Ever So Humble” and “Ready to Pop.” Filmmaker Ladesich was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. He has worked professionally in the Midwest for over 10 years as a Director, Cinematographer, Editor, and Writer.

Ladesich earned his degree in American Studies and cultural theory from University of Missouri Kansas City. His emphasis was film and media. As a filmmaker, Ladesich received his start on the award-wining documentary program “Kansas City Crossroads” for NBC 41. Ladesich has been awarded 2 EMMY Awards for his work.

The first for his film “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place,” and the second for his work on “Crossroads.” Ladesich’s work is driven by story and a desire to expose the human condition. Ladesich and a filmmaking partner, Joe Heyen, finished their first feature film in 2008/9 with the release of “Cowtown Ballroom… Sweet Jesus.” The film screened in theaters for 16 weeks before a popular Festival run.

Ladesich is working on a new feature length documentary, as well as several short films projects including a narrative adaptation of the famous murder ballad “The Wind and Rain,” called “The Dark Sister.” Ladesich is also currently directing spot work and served as the Director of Photography for the television series CinemaKCTV.

Ladesich learned early in his career that there are two ways to tell a story. You can go a mile wide and an inch deep, which covers a hell of a lot of ground but doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what a story means. Or you can go inch wide and a mile deep. When you go a mile deep, you tell a story that will profoundly resonate with your audience… a story that digs down and finds a deeper purpose. “Those are the stories that I strive to tell,” says Ladesich.

“Cowtown Ballroom … Sweet Jesus” is a feature length documentary about the infamous rock club “Cowtown Ballroom.” The documentary chronicles the life of the club as well as serving as a history of the early 70’s youth culture. Ladesich was a producer and writer on the film as well as the director of photography and editor. (trailer)

The Emmy-award winning “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place” is Ladesich’s love letter to the Kansas City jazz scene. The film tells the tale of one long gone hipsters visit with a ghost that haunts the barrooms and memories of Kansas City.

Ladesich co-directed with Michelle Davidson “Ready to Pop.” This is a story about one woman’s frustrations with her husband and her hungers, both literally and figuratively. Ladesich also shot and edited this film.

Maxwell’s “Command and Control” and trailer from “Civil War Stories” will be featured on the July 16th show. Maxwell got started in professional filmmaking in the late 70’s at Kansas City based Calvin Communications. The skills gained there enabled him to make independently produced short films. One of these, “Prairie Storm,” (1996) the dramatic representation of a Flint Hills’ thunderstorm, has won domestic and international awards and is currently in the traveling national exhibit “America Now and Here.”

Maxwell has directed one feature film, “Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories,” starring Campbell Scott, released in 2006, and available on Netflix. The film takes place in the early 1890’s in a hotel outside of San Francisco. In the film, Bierce has been cornered by his conniving employer, William Randolph Hearst, and an up and coming woman author, Gertrude Atherton. In an attempt to give them the slip Bierce reads from his just published collection of short stories.

“Civil War Stories” was mostly produced in the Kansas City area and features the work of many of the areas best artists and craftsmen. One of the stories, “One Kind of Officer,” was filmed on a set created inside an airplane hanger at the former Richards Gabauer airbase. The trailer for this film is part of the July 16th program.

The film “Command and Control” is a remade version of “One Kind of Officer” and was completed this year. A side by side comparison of the two films offers a look at the endless approaches possible in the treatment any film subject.

Patrick Rea’s award-winning “Mrs. Brummet’s Garden” is featured in the July 23rd episode. Rea started SenoReality Pictures with Ryan S. Jones, while attending film school at the University of Kansas in 2001. Since then, Rea has directed over 20 short films that have screened at festivals such as Palm Beach International Film Festival, Shriekfest LA, The New York City Horror Film Festival, A Night of Horror Film Festival, Fright Night Film Festival, Dragon Con Film Festival, Eerie Horror Film Festival and Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors.

These shorts have also screened on FangoriaTV, Horror Channel.com and DreadCentral.com. SenoReality’s first feature film “The Empty Acre” was completed in 2006 and premiered at the Kansas International Film Festival. The film received positive reviews from critics and was released on DVD from Cinema Epoch in 2007. That same year, a collection of shorts directed by Rea were released on an anthology DVD titled “Heartland Horrors” from Elite Entertainment.

CinemaKC is the first TV show in Kansas City to spotlight local filmmakers, producers, directors and actors. A team of volunteers produced the show. We appreciate all your support.

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