Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PollyGrind set for possibly last celebration with Albert Pyun’s The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper

 PollyGrind officially brings its fifth annual film festival to a close on October 30 with the world premiere of Albert Pyun’s The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper, the handing out of awards and a best of screening block, featuring music videos, shorts and a replay of Stuart Simpson’s Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla at the Galaxy Luxury+ Theatres in Green Valley.

In the past few weeks, PollyGrind was banned from its original venue, briefly canceled, resurrected, had its press release on all the chaos go viral (more than 42,000 views and over a million headline impressions), played to a packed house of 176 for the world premiere of Heidi, had its first DVD released and was featured in The National Enquirer.

“It’s been a hell of a year and an even crazier October,” founder and director Chad Clinton Freeman said with a laugh. “It’s only fitting that we have our grand finale, which is being called Victory Night on the night before Halloween, which many of course refer to as Hell Night.”

The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper is an experimental one-take found footage project shot in March 2014. It’s the first film Pyun (The Sword and the Sorcerer, Cyborg, Nemesis, Captain America) has completed since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in late 2013.

A total PollyGrind inspired feature, The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper stars past PollyGrind girl Tommie Vegas (Thrill Kill Jill) and PollyGrinder Shane Ryan (My Name is A by Anonymous) and was shot by PollyGrinder Michael Su (My Demon Within). Pyun screened three films at PollyGrind in 2012, including Road to Hell, which won the audience choice award. He also took home the first ever Filmmaker of a Different Breed Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Albert is the kind of filmmaker I’ve always respected and admired,” Freeman said. “He always finds a way when there isn’t one. He’s been an inspiration for me and I feel like in the past few years PollyGrind has helped inspire him. I always talk about the creative environment and the ripples of inspiration this festival offers and I think this film is the epitome of that.”

The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper is scheduled to take home 11 awards Thursday, including the top honor Biggest Baddest Mother of the PollyGrind, best actor (Ryan), best actress (Vegas) and best director (Pyun). Ryan, Vegas and Pyun are all scheduled to be in attendance along with cast and crew members Brittany Bochart, Cynthia Curnan (Road To Hell), Su, Glenn Cochrane (FakeShemp.net), Tony Riparetti (Mean Guns, Brainsmasher), Michael Tushaus (The Adventures of Loop & Rhett), Kelly Schwarze (Territory 8) and Amanda Martinez (Cyborg Nemesis).

Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla is slated to pick up half a dozen awards, including best dark comedy and best overall performance for Glenn Maynard, who will be in attendance.

Daniel Ray’s Heidi will not be screening, but it will be picking up some awards too, including best Nevada film, audience favorite, actress on the rise (Joei Fulco) and The Willy B. PollyGrind’s nod to the NFL Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant award, named after festival’s biggest hater, The Willy B is being given to Heidi as it was the very last entry judged by Freeman. It was screened at 5 a.m. on the day official announcements were made.

Award winners The Gradations of Purgatory (Douglas Farra), If Only Tonight I Could Sleep (Douglas Farra), Shoot 4 The Sky (Jake Stark),  Black Mask (Alex Colonna), Cassandra (Guy-Roger Duvert), and Manscapping (Mike Lenzin) are also scheduled to screen and take home awards.

The underground and indie world who’s who list of award winners for this year’s festival also include Tara Reid, William Grefe, Nathan Jones, Bill Moseley, Kane Hodder, Ted V. Mikels, Glen Coburn, Flavor Flav and Doms Gauge.

The audience is encouraged to come in Halloween costumes and will get $5 off admission at the door if they do. The four hour grindhouse celebration is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

An international film festival steeped in artistic freedom, PollyGrind celebrates individuality, diversity, creativity, and empowerment by showcasing the work of filmmakers with defiantly independent visions. Named one of 2014’s “50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker, PollyGrind has seen its official selections earn distribution deals from Lionsgate, Sundance, Showtime, IFC Midnight, Wild Eye Releasing, Whacked Movies and a slew of other reputable outlets.

Victory Night on Hell Night may very well be PollyGrind’s very final curtain call. Freeman announced the first day of this year’s event that the festival would take a hiatus next year and possibly never return.

“Which makes this Thursday so important to me,” Freeman said. “I’m still waiting on my refund from my original venue, so I had to borrow $1,500 to make these screenings happen. But nothing was going to stop PollyGrind this year. This is for indie film. It’s for artistic freedom. If for only one last night, I want the grinders to unite to show this town and the world, you can hurt us, you can beat us and kick us, you can ban us, you can take away our spark temporarily, you can try to destroy us, but you can not break our spirit to hustle, fight and grind.”

When the original screenings canceled on PollyGrind just a week before this year’s event, Pyun helped put Freeman in touch with the vice president of Galaxy Theatres.

After the main PollyGrind screenings Oct.16-18, Freeman stepped a way from the event for a few days. In that time, Pyun stepped up and took a lot of the Oct. 30 pressures on his shoulders. The chaos of it has led to much stress and many seizures.

“I needed a breather but didn't realize how much pressure he would feel in my absence,” Freeman said. “Well, I'm ready to get back in the game to take the world back on my shoulders for this one last 2014 PollyGrind event. For Albert, for me, for all those involved in The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper, for the fans, filmmakers, friends and community of PollyGrind. It’s been hell. So a celebration on Hell Night is in order. Let the Victory begin.”

For more information on PollyGrind, visit: http://www.PollyGrind.com or http://www.Facebook.com/PollyGrind

Watch and download the event’s new teaser here: http://vimeo.com/110115919

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