Emerging Talents -- Filmmaker Christian Sesma and Actress Samantha Lockwood! 


Christian Sesma is my BFF! The Palm Springs native is slowly but surely making a name for himself as a filmmaker with an eye for quality movies. I met this talented young man during one of my appearances at my favorite radio station in the valley MIX 100.5, and I immediately warmed up to this funny but inquisitive force of nature!

So who is he? Well, according to his IMDB page:

Christian Sesma is thoroughly committed to becoming a mainstream franchise filmmaker with brand recognition; as the next generation of young, Latino filmmakers.


Sesma's biggest film to date is "Shoot the Hero" starring Jason Mewes aka Jay from "Clerks." Sesma directed his own script and he also acted as one of the film's producers. (Update: Sesma's new film, "I'm Not Like That No More" starring Paul Rodriguez is making its world premiere at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, check the film's official site right here)

With the film's brilliant banter, it's easy to dismiss "Shoot the Hero" as Tarantino-lite, but look deeper and you'll see a ballsy movie that mixes various genres to come up with something truly original.

I will interview Sesma soon! I promise, but for now, check out the film's official site right here and support "Shoot the Hero."

Mewes did a great job in removing his shades of Jay to play Nate, the film's hero. Check out the film's trailer right here and see for yourself! But my favorite is Samantha Lockwood, she plays Mewes' fiancee, Kate. After watching the film, I asked Sesma who's that girl in the movie -- she's charming and memorable, and has great timing!

So ladies and gentlemen, meet Samantha Lockwood!



It's only a matter of time before Lockwood becomes a major Hollywood star. She's pretty, a good actress, and has lots of charm! According to her IMDB bio:

Her first acting breaks came in 2004 when she was cast as Johnny Knoxville's girlfriend in the feature film - "Lords of Dogtown" and as Dakota in "CSI: New York". In 2007 she produced and starred in a short film "That Guy" directed by Peter Winther and starring "Twilight's" Peter Facinelli. Her first big role in a feature came in 2007 in "Return of the Outlaws" a western has been released through Lionsgate.


Check out her funny short film "That Guy" with Facinelli right here.

I have nothing but best wishes for both Sesma and Lockwood. I think I have an eye for greatness, and I could certainly spot talent with these two creative folks!

My home station, KMIR6, featured both Sesma and Lockwood at our KMIR6 Today with Gino Lamont. Here's the interview :happy



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Emerging Talent -- Meet Roy Kirkland and His "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" 


Roy Kirkland befriended me through YouTube, and immediately informed me of their film "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee." I do get a bunch of requests to watch and review films from indie filmmakers, and I do devote time to give them love in my own little way. Film is my passion, and I'm passionate towards people who live and breathe movies.

Kirkland is one of those people whose passion is palpable. So I watched "A Cross is Burning in Willacoochee" and I just couldn't stop the film until the very end.

It's a documentary that features filmmakers Kirkland and Doug Sebastian, a gay couple who suffered repeated acts of violence one summer in 1993. When the couple decides to move to Willacoochee, a small town in Georgia, trouble begins.

First, it's the seemingly innocent knocking down of their mailbox, then, a 7-foot cross burning in their front yard, to death threats culminating in the mysterious burning of the Kirkland family home. The documentary shows how the couple's pleas to local authorities for help are met with deaf ears.

"A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" is a thought-provoking film. It's a powerful piece of filmmaking that highlights some ugly truths about rural America we rarely hear about.

What impresses me the most is that neither Kirkland nor Sebastian seek out to be political activists. They experienced something horrible and now they're looking for answers.

What's sad is, almost 17 years later, the couple are still in search for the elusive answers.

"A Cross Burning in Willacoochee" recently won best documentary at the 2009 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

Check out the film's website right here. And here's the trailer of "A Cross Burning in Willacoochee."



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New Emerging Talent -- Meet J.C. Calciano and his "Is It Just Me?" 


I met Mr. J.C. Calciano during the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival, where his film, "Is It Just Me?" had its world premiere. "Is It Just Me?" was put under the banners of the John Schlesinger Award and World Cinema Now -- celebrating diversity in humanistic storytelling. Not bad for a first-time filmmaker!

While Calciano is making his feature debut, he's hardly a newbie in the business. He earned an associate producer credit for 1996's "Mission Impossible," as well as running the new media division of Melanie Griffith's One World Networks, and being the former head of production for Tom Cruise's C/W Productions at Paramount Pictures. (Check his IMDB page right here, and an in-depth interview with him right here)

I'm so glad that Calciano shared his film with me. Inundated with watching blockbuster films, seeing "Is It Just Me?" was a treat. The film tells the story of Blaine (Nicholas Downs) and his quest to find Mr. Right. He’s a clever, witty, but miserable young man who believes that suffering nourishes his creativity.

But all of that is about to change when Blaine stumbles upon Xander (David Loren) in an online chat-room. It seems like a match made in heaven until Blaine realizes that he’s been chatting with Xander using the online profile of his go-go dancer roommate (keyword: hot) played by Adam Huss.

“Is It Just Me?” is a fine and funny romantic comedy with a great big heart! It’s a smart love story about finding our one true love and the lengths we have to go through to succeed.

Writer/director Calciano proved that he’s adept in balancing the romance and the comedy, which is a hard thing to do! The cast is game, and I enjoyed their vibrant repartees.

So I’m glad I checked out “Is It Just Me?,” it brightened my day!

For more on the film, check its official website right here. "Is It Just Me?" is headed to the Newport Beach Film Festival April 22 - 29. It recently won the best feature award at the Detroit indie film festival! But the best part? Mr. J.C. will be forever featured in our Emerging Talent section right here :happy

And here’s the film’s trailer:



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R.I.P. -- Corey Haim 


Actor Corey Haim is dead at 38. EW.com is saying his death is due to accidental drug overdose. The perennial screen partner of Corey Feldman, the actor was found unresponsive in an Oakwood apartment and pronounced dead at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center at 2:15 a.m. According to KTLA, his mother was in the apartment at the time.

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"Remember Me" Movie Review! How Many Kisses Does Robert Pattinson Get? 


Confession Time – I was never a fan of Robert Pattinson. I am basing that assessment on the actor’s most famous role to date, the lovelorn vampire Edward in the “Twilight” films. I thought he delivered wooden performances in both movies.


But after watching Pattinson in the new film “Remember Me,” I can now honestly say, I’m intrigued by this actor. He carried the movie from its shaky start to its heart wrenching conclusion. Read More...

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