SVA Film & Animation

SVA Theatre Screening: Distance

Jimmy and Bibi feat



DoveNew York, NY – September 30, 2016 – The Lover Company and Producer, DGA Director, Salvatore Oppedisano, in association with the School of Visual Arts, New York, BFA Fine Arts, are presenting a Free and Special Screening and Re-release Reception of DISTANCE and De Düva (The Dove) at the SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd Street NYC, reception starts at 6PM on Friday, September 30th.

DISTANCE a lost, and not seen for almost forty years, independent, award-winning, critically acclaimed film starring Oscar nominee, James Woods in his first leading role can be seen in a ‘Special’ screening along with the 1968 Oscar nominated short, De Düva (The Dove) winner of 28th international film awards.

Horn and Greta_01On the heels of their success with the De Düva, featuring Madeline Kahn in her first film role, Anthony Lover and George Coe began work on the psychological drama, DISTANCE, based on writer Jay Castle’s unpublished manuscript “Two Soldier’s”. Wanting to retain creative control of their project, in true independent fashion, Lover and Coe wiped out their savings when they couldn’t secure private financing and filmed DISTANCE on a shoestring budget on location in the South. Then Governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, wanting to bring filming to his state, reserved a large section of Stewart Army base, then slated for demolition, for the young filmmakers. Filming took six-weeks to complete.

Preview screenings of DISTANCE had Baby Boomers enthusiastic and surprisingly, a resonating hit with Millennial’s born decades after the film was created.

“Distance’ has power and directness…a fine group of actors…revelatory direction… excellent scripting… unique filmic grace…a moving film.” – Gene Moskowitz, Variety

De Duva_38DISTANCE is a psychological, insightful and moving first feature film, which brings Lover’s insightful camera to two couples on an Army base in Georgia in the mid-1950’s. A beautiful German woman (Eija Pokkinen) is desperately trying to save her crumbling marriage to a black Master Sergeant (Paul Benjamin). He finds himself in mid-life trapped in a marriage with a woman he has nothing in common with – she does not share his love of books and art and seems only attracted to his sensuality. His sense of responsibility will not allow him to leave a woman he no longer loves. He finds himself trapped by his inability to deal with his feelings of pride, rage and frustration. The second couple’s story, is a bittersweet love affair between a young private (James Woods) and a beautiful older career woman (Bibi Besch). Events turn tragic when the Master Sergeant takes the young private into his personal life, and his deteriorating marriage.

“Distance’ is one of the year’s surprises and it’s a gem!” – Jeffrey Lyons, CBS

Because “The subject matter was still more than dicey for the time,” Lover and Coe found many major studios and many theater owners refusing to show DISTANCE, privately citing its interracial relationship; Lover and Coe set on the impossible course for self-distribution.

“Brims with genuine feelings, and it observes the behavior of desperate but decent people with persuasive intelligence…uniformly vibrant cast…eminently worth seeing.“

– Frank Rich, NY Post

DISTANCE went on to play the festival circuit, The Festival du Cinema de Deauville, The Chicago Film Festival, Virgin Island International Film Festival, winning awards including “Best First Feature Film” and received ‘Must See’ reviews from prominent national and international film critics. Roger Ebert selected DISTANCE as one of the best independently produced movies and introduced its premiere at the Sixth Annual Dallas USA Film Festival.

“A remarkable achievement. There are scenes that are absolutely masterful. This is a very good film.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

DISTANCE premiered at the 68th St. Playhouse and then had a limited run on the art house circuit. It also received critical acclaim in England, France and Germany.

Recently found and rescued from the disastrous aftermath of a flood that destroyed Anthony Lover’s Liberty Studios; DISTANCE has been lovingly saved and restored from the only existing analog master by Salvatore Oppedisano.

Oppedisano believes while still controversial to some people, DISTANCE is an important film not only for its inspiration to young independent filmmakers, but also as a period representation of racism in America’s South, and the US Army in the1950’s.

“Distance’ is a truly remarkable film of a depth and intensity that one would ordinarily expect nowadays only from one of the European Masters… Rich in drama and detail, Distance is the best American movie to have come along in some while.”
– Martin Mitchell/After Dark Magazine

Students should select “SVA Film Student” when registering and SVA Faculty select “SVA Faculty.”
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Filed Under: Screenings