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Campus community gets preview of film shot at WMU

May 10, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Two free screenings Thursday, May 13, of the independent film "Cherry" will give the Western Michigan University campus community a chance to preview a film that was shot in 2008 on the WMU and Kalamazoo College campuses and is garnering national media attention.

WMU's Little Theatre on Oakland Drive will be the site of showings at 7 and 9:30 p.m., as writer and director Jeffrey Fine and his brother, co-producer Matthew Fine, bring their feature film to WMU to thank the campus community for its work on the movie.

The showings--and two similar showings the following evening at Kalamazoo College--are free. Faculty, staff and students who worked on the film are receiving e-mail invitations, but anyone may attend.

Because of limited seating, those who wish to attend the WMU screenings must pick up admission tickets prior to the showings. Tickets will be available at the Miller Auditorium box office from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, May 11-13. A maximum of four tickets may be picked up by one person. If any tickets remain, they will be offered at the door on the evening of the screenings.

Following each screening, the filmmakers will make brief comments and take questions and comments from the audience.

"Cherry," a coming-of-age story about a college freshman in his first semester at an ivy-league university, premiered in March at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin. It stars up-and- coming young actors Kyle Gallner, who has also appeared in "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Veronica Mars," and Britt Robertson, star of TV's "Life Unexpected."

Watch the trailer

The film has been well received by critics who saw its premier. The New York Times said "Cherry" is "...reminiscent of wry, poignant sleepers like 'Juno,' 'Lars and the Real Girl' and 'Little Miss Sunshine.'"

The Austin American Statesman critic wrote, "Highly recommend (is) the smart, tough dramedy 'Cherry' at SXSW. One of the best I've seen yet!"

The bulk of filming for "Cherry" occurred during October and November 2008. Attracted to the state by the tax incentives offered to filmmakers, the Fine brothers, along with co-producer Sam Kitt and executive producer Paul Kurta, used the two campuses as the setting for the movie.

Originally interested in filming on WMU's engineering campus, the production crew ended up using a number of additional University settings, including Vandercook Hall, the Richmond Center for Visual Arts and Gabel Natatorium. In addition, a full complement of movie production staff took up residence in an unoccupied wing of Eldridge-Fox Halls for 10 weeks while they planned and shot the film.

Dozens of faculty, staff and students from WMU and K College were involved in roles that ranged from interns and consultants to extras. The filmmakers made a commitment during shooting to bring the film to both campuses to let those involved be among the first to see the result.

"The most important thing is that the schools know how much we appreciated the partnership and the screenings on campus are best for this goal," says Matthew Fine. "We would love to invite everyone who was part of our extended 'Cherry' family."

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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