Veteran director John D. Hancock, a Kansas City native, will return to his roots on January 30, 2014 to premiere his newest feature film, SWAN SONG, in a special screening presented by CinemaKC and co-sponsored by the Kansas City Film Critics CIrcle.
A pre-film mixer will begin at 6PM followed by the film screening at 7PM and a consequent Q&A from director Hancock, who will be in attendance, as well as the possibility of other surprise guests. This is a PHENOMENAL opportunity for filmmakers and enthusiasts alike to hear stories and learn tips of the trade from a respected and seasoned professional.
Hancock, who began as a successful actor, was born in Kansas City in 1939. A Harvard graduate, Hancock transitioned from a robust career directing and performing on stage, and in 1970 transitioned to film with a short “Sticky My Fingers… Fleet My Feet,” which was nominated for a Short-Subject Live-Action Academy Award and was released nationally with the Woody Allen feature “Bananas.”
As a feature film director, Hancock is perhaps best known for the 1973 film “Bang the Drum Slowly”, starring a very new Robert De Niro and Michael Moriarty. The film’s supporting actor, Vincent Gardenia, was nominated for an Academy Award. Hancock’s other early film credits were “Let’s Scare Jessica to Death,” “Baby Blue Marine,” and the controversial “Jaws 2”, in which he was removed from the production. A Kansas City documentarian is currently in the process of telling the story of that harried experience.
Hancock’s newest offering, SWAN SONG is the story of Julie, a 13-year-old girl who comes to La Porte County, Indiana to live with her grandmother, Karen. Karen, a former star of stage and screen, wants desperately to connect with her granddaughter in a meaningful way and share her history. But the two of them—each stubborn in her own way—butt heads at every turn. Soon, Karen makes a remarkable discovery: Julie’s powerful, unique singing voice. Will the sudden discovery of Julie’s talent be enough to bring the two together and allow Karen to pass on her legacy?
From a script by John’s wife, Dorothy, John created the project drawing from a wide range of local talent for acting, locations, production and promotional efforts. Via an Indiegogo campaign and other sources, Hancock was able to raise a modest but workable budget.
In creating the film, Hancock made a point to have it be an endeavor by the community at large throughout cities in Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Lead actor Grace Tarnow portrays Julie in her first feature film appearance ever. Tarnow was chosen from hundreds of pre-teens who auditioned and director Hancock was so impressed he cast her just minutes after her callback.
Hancock hopes SWAN SONG will strike a chord with local audiences and greatly enjoys the interactive experience of presenting a new work to new eyes – especially those of his hometown. Says Hancock, “I’m really looking forward to sharing our film with the people of Kansas City.”
SCREENLAND CROWN CENTER
THURSDAY, JANUARY 30, 2014
ADMISSION: $10 DONATION SUPPORTS CINEMAKC
STEVEN FULLER 816-500-9498