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Movie filmed on WMU campus makes local premiere

Oct. 7, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Familiar campus sites and city landmarks will star when the independent film "Cherry," filmed primarily on the Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College campuses, has its commercial theatrical premiere Friday, Oct. 8, at Celebration Cinema Crossroads in Portage.

Publicity still from Cherry film."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."

Since its Texas premiere the movie has been shown at a variety of film festivals around the nation in such locations as Boston, the Hamptons, Maui and Seattle as well as in Michigan at the Lakeshore Film Festival in Saugatuck and at the Traverse City Film Festival. After a week's showing in Kalamazoo, it will head to Grand Rapids, Lansing and then on to the Boston area.

Writer and director Jeffrey Fine and his brother, co-producer Matthew Fine, brought their film to Kalamazoo last May for two sold out showings on the WMU and K-College campuses, specifically for members of the community involved in the filming. They promised then to return to Kalamazoo for a commercial showing that could accommodate larger audiences.

The film has been well received by critics who have seen it at festivals. After its premiere at SXSW in Austin, 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 and Gabel Natatorium. Campus scenes from K-College and street scenes around Academy and Rose streets as well as Michigan Avenue also are part of the setting.

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.

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

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