The award-winning film “Face to Face” will screen on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and on January 10 at Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in North Hollywood. The Australian drama deals with the concept of restorative justice, in which a mediator is appointed to resolve conflicts and legal issues. Plaintiff and defendant confront each other in a controlled, guided situation (hence the film’s title “Face to Face”) in the hopes of attaining a just and satisfying conclusion to disputatious matters. The potential benefits of such an approach are obvious: Swift justice, rather than a costly protracted trial in the criminal court system: Good for the plaintiff, good for the defendant, good for the taxpaying public.
For Los Angeles audiences in particular, the ideas raised by this film will have a particular immediacy and urgency: The Los Angeles Superior Court has been ordered to “permanently” cut its budget between $55 million and $86 million by June of 2013. This trimming is expected to bring the court system to the brink of collapse, with a reduction in the number of functioning courthouses by 75%. Access to justice by citizens will be dangerously impaired, unless alternative measures are employed. That alternative is the growing use of qualified mediators to resolve a variety of legal matters formerly dealt with at great expense in the courts. These mediators may well be essential to the rescue of our local justice system.
A real-life expert mediator, Arianna Jeret, will be present at the North Hollywood screening of “Face to Face.” Following the film, she will answer audience questions on the topic of restorative justice as presented in the movie. The head of Arianna Jeret Mediation Services in Redondo Beach, she brings over 15 years of experience in conflict resolution and social work in her practice.
In “Face to Face,” a fired construction worker uses his hot rod to ram his former boss’ Jaguar, causing injury to the man. Rather than go to trial, a mediator is appointed. Gathered in a room are the worker, the boss, and family members, friends and co-workers. Adept probing by the mediator reveals that this is not merely a simple case of vehicular assault. The attack is revealed to be the culmination of a series of events in a toxic working environment in which workers are severely underpaid; sexual harassment and infidelities cause unrest; racism places an Arab-Australian worker under unjust suspicion; and in which Wayne, the defendant, is revealed to have been the target of a nasty campaign of psychological bullying, pushing him to a breaking point. It will take all the resources of the gifted mediator to sort out this mess. What, then, will ultimately be the fate of the defendant, Wayne?
Michael Rymer directs. He is best known in the States as the producer and director of dozens of episodes of the beloved recent television series “Battlestar Galactica” (during which time he resided in Pasadena). His many movies include “Queen of the Damned” and “In Too Deep.”
Rymer based his screenplay for “Face to Face” on the play by David Williamson. Williamson is best known to American audiences for his screenplays for “Gallipoli” and “The Year of Living Dangerously.” The original play from which the film was adapted was based on the notes of actual case files.
The film won festival awards in Hollywood, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach, Monaco, Amsterdam, Honolulu, Berkshire, Sedona and Mexico.
The cast includes Vince Colosimo (“Lantana”), Luke Ford (“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” ‘Animal Kingdom”), Matthew Newton (“Farscape”), Sigrid Thornton (“The Man From Snowy River,” the western series “Paradise,” and one of Australia’s biggest stars), Christopher Connelly (“Queen of the Damned,” not to be confused with the late American actor of the same name), Ra Chapman (winner, best actress at Newport Beach Film Festival for “Face to Face”), Lauren Clair (“Me and My Monsters” for BBC), Laura Gordon (“Saw V”), Robert Rabiah (“Chopper”), Richard Sutherland (“The Man From Snowy River”) and Josh Saks (who appeared in Culver City in “An Ideal Husband”). All additionally have major Australian film and TV credits.
“Face to Face” is the next in a series of special screenings of prize-winning motion pictures by Film Festival Flix, which each month presents a feature selected from the finest in international cinema, with the intent of giving the average filmgoer an experience as close as possible to that of a V.I.P. attending an international film festival in a foreign capital. At each of the two local screenings, there will be a Red Carpet beginning approximately one half-hour before the 7:30 p.m. screening, followed by a live Q&A with a guest speaker. Arianna Jeret appears in North Hollywood on January 10. The January 9 speaker in Pasadena is To Be Announced.
The Pasadena screening will be preceded at 6:00 p.m. by a reception at nearby Monopole Wine Bar, with appetizers available. There will be a post-screening reception in North Hollywood at the nearby Big Wangs Restaurant.
At each venue, a $14.00 ticket affords entrée to the entire evening’s Festival experience.
Film Festival Flix and Arianna Jeret Mediation Services present “Face to Face.,” benefiting the Center for Conflict Resolution in Reseda. A film by Michael Rymer. Distributed by MouseTrap Films LLC.
Screening at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101. On Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Screening is followed by Q&A with a guest speaker to be announced. Pre-screening reception at 6:00 p.m. at Monopole Wine Bar (21 2. El Molino Ave., about one block from the theatre). Red Carpet at 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $14.00. Available at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 box office (626-844-6500) or online at www.filmfestivalflix.com
Screening at Laemmle’s NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601.On Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Screening is followed by Q & A with Arianna Jeret of Arianna Jeret Mediation Services. Post-show reception at Big Wangs Restaurant (5300 Lankershim Blvd., just down the street). Red Carpet at 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $14.00. Available at the Laemmle NoHo 7 box office (310-478-3836) or www.filmfestivalflix.com
“Grabs the audience’s attention at the outset and never lets up.”—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
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