CHICAGO (JGL) – An independent film, “With Child,” critically acclaimed during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, will headline the 2015 SOHO International Film Festival New York City at the Village East Cinema Auditorium on May 16, Saturday, from 4:20 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.
“With Child” will be a feature film that will have Leslie Lewis in her first starring role after creating and starring in a one-woman show, “Miracle in Rwanda,” based on the life story of Immaculee Ilibagiza, who survived the Rwanda genocide in 1994. “Miracle in Rwanda,” was viewed by over 10,000 theatergoers in six continents.
Leslie Lewis’ jubilant mom, Filipino American civic leader Loida Nicolas Lewis, broke the news about the popularity of her daughter’s film in a three-way phone call with this reporter and her other friend Marlon L. Pecson, who are both based in Chicago, Illinois.
“Tickets have been sold out for the first screening,” Lewis said, “Another screening is being lined up.”
Directed by Titus Heckel, the “With Child” tells the story of a blue-collar construction worker, Auden Price (portrayed by Kerry van der Griend) and his journey after his wife’s death. Despite protests from his sister-in-law, Auden chooses to raise his four-month old daughter alone. He encounters challenges as a single dad looking for work, and then soon finds himself spun around by the romantic advances of his eccentric new employer, Petra Dell (played by Leslie Lewis).
THREE YEARS IN THE MAKING
“Three years ago, Titus Heckel wrote With Child with my friend Kerry van der Griend in mind to play the lead. Kerry suggested me for the role of Petra, and when I read the script, I thought it would be a good fit for my first film as lead producer. It has been an utter joy to work with this team, and I love the message of the film: What we choose now affects our past,” says Lewis, the elder daughter of Fil-Am civic leader and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis. She is a native of Sorsogon City in the Philippines.
A Harvard graduate like her father, Leslie Lewis also has an MFA (master of fine arts) degree in acting from UCLA School of Theater Film and Television.
Leslie Lewis, one of the two daughters and heirs of the late Reginald Lewis, the richest African American in the eighties, is also passionate about fitness, being a certified yoga instructor and co-author of the “Athlete Mindset Workbook.”
Along with her mother, she has hosted a $10,000-a-plate cocktail party fundraiser for President Barack Obama in their Upper East Side penthouse in Manhattan, New York city last Monday, May 4.
“There is a thin line between comedy and tragedy, and I am fascinated with the odd appropriateness of comedy in the light of sadness and vice versa. My film straddles this line,” says director Titus Heckel, who is also co-producer with Lewis. Heckel’s wide-ranging education, which includes a degree in physics and a Master’s degree in theology, gives him a unique perspective on the stories he tells.
BUSAN 2014 FILMFEST ENTRY
“With Child” is Heckel’s first feature film, which began its festival run at the largest Asian Film Festival in Busan 2014.
Its trailer can be watched by visiting its official website: www.WithChildMovie.com.
Tickets to the May 16 North American Premiere screening of With Child at the SOHO International Film Festival can be purchased thru: http://childbridge.eventbrite.com.
Parties who may support the Indiegogo Campaign can visit the website: http://bit.ly/withchild.
SOHO Film Fest expects to draw audiences to New York City, known for its artistic community and cultural sophistication, helping boost the profile, the sense of pride, and the economy of the local community and the city itself.
The Film Fest accepts full-length features, short films and documentaries from professionals and amateurs. It holds screenings, panels and host social events and other networking opportunities for everyone involved. Leading figures from all disciplines of the film industry including distributors and media will be in attendance.
The festival will feature appearances by and post-screening Q&A with the cast and crew.
SOHO Film Fest’s Executive Director and Head of Programming is Sibyl Santiago, daughter of Filipino veteran actress and director Lorli Villanueva, and a recipient of The Outstanding Filipino Americans in NY, Arts & Culture Award at Carnegie Hall.