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Method Fest Independent Film Festival Sets Line-Up of Activities and Events for 5th Anniversary Edit

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As the Method Fest Independent Film Festival continues to grow each year, so do the outstanding performances and powerful story-driven indie films.

This year, Downtown Burbank will be the home for the 5th Annual Method Fest Film Festival, taking place April 11 through 18, 2003 at the Media City Center Mall. The festival focuses on the core ingredients of any great film: great directing, great writing and most importantly, great acting.

Since its inception in 1999, the festival has attracted tremendous acting talent including breakout performances by young stars like Rachel Leigh Cook, Jena Malone, Matthew Lillard, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Tilley, and new perspectives from established actors like Billy Dee Williams, Kiefer Sutherland, James Earl Jones, Tippi Hedren, William DeVane, Vanessa Redgrave, Rod Steiger, and Faye Dunaway.

This year, breakout performances by Elizabeth Shue, Dennis Hopper, Joseph Fiennes, Sam Shepard, James Spader, Jeff Daniels and many more highlight Method Fest films.

Breakout performances in Method Fest films include:

The cast of Sam & Joe brilliantly portrays a tragic tale of how a relationship is broken through alcohol, substance, physical and verbal abuse. Stars include Petra Wright (My Daughters Tears & XX/XY, Glisando), Michael T.Ringer and Jeffrey Donovan. Sam & Joe was directed by Jason Ruscio and produced by Jeffrey Zarno, Evan Astrowsky & Amy Greenspan.

Outstanding performances by Joseph Fiennes, Sam Shepard, Elizabeth Shue, and Dennis Hopper are displayed in Leo. In Leo, two wounded characters facing life on their own find their magical relationship gives them the strength to heal and the power to hope. Leo was directed by Mehdi Norowzian.

Molly Castelloe (Morning Glory) gives an admirable performance in Wishing Woman. The film is about a young woman in Manhattan who quits a series of meaningless day jobs in order to explore unknown facets of her identity. Wishing Woman was directed by Thomas Roth.

The fabulous cast of Julie Walking Home, including Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings), William Fichtner (Malcolm X, Quiz Show, Contact ) and Lothaire Bluteau, tenderly portrays the ties that bind a family together while provoking questions about the nature of love. Julie Walking Home was directed by Agneiszka Holland (Angry Harvest, Olivier, Olivier, The Secret Garden).

Mathieu Lagarigue's, Nelly Amado's and Annie Pauleau-Gathier's characters intensely expose the challenge of those afflicted with Involuntary Compulsive Disorders, commonly referred to as tics in the thriller, The Ticcers (Les Tiqueurs). They live an almost normal life - they have jobs, wives, boyfriends, they go shopping, dream, and experience hardship.

During several weeks together in the same house, a strange psychiatrist leads them to discover a new way of envisioning their disorder. The Ticcers (Les Tiqueurs) is directed by Philippe Locquet, and produced by Didier Creste and Joel Leyendecker.

In the action thriller, I Witness, Jeff Daniels, James Spader, Portia DeRossi and Clifton Collins, Jr. genuinely reveal the suspenseful storyline - after 27 bodies are discovered in a collapsed tunnel in Tijuana, a man tries to unravel the mystery before becoming the next victim.

Other excellent performances by actors include James Wilder, Joanne "Baron," David Keith (Officer and a Gentleman), William Atherton, Arye Gross (Minority Report), Rene Auberjonois, Mick Fleetwood, Karl Bury (The Majestic), Branden Morgan (U-Boat), Ron Gilbert (The Usual Suspects, The Godfather), Light Wilder (Made-Up), Jeanette Arnette, Barry Corbin, Talia Shire, John Savage (The Deer Hunter, Message in a Bottle, Thin Red Line) and famed director Agnieszka Holland. Also, Wendy English (producer and star) is strong in Searching For Wooden Watermelons.

For a full list of films and events please visit www.methodfest.com

The Method Fest Independent Film Festival looks back with pride at the recognition of its alumni films and actors. For example, last year's festival lead to the theatrical release of several films including To End All Wars, The Good War (released in Italy), "I Love Budapest," The Young Unknowns, Katie Jelski's feature, coming out soon theatrically; My Sweet Killer, and Flickering Lights, (written and directed by Academy Award Winner Anders Thomas Jensen) with theatrical run beginning this week by www.methodfest.com. For ticket information call (800) 965-4827 or visit www.ticketweb.com

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