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‘Film Night at the Square’ returns Friday

Monthly event will focus on indie films; Lodi will host festival in August

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Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:05 am, Thu Jan 20, 2011.

Did you know they have red carpets in Lodi? There will be one Friday night at Hutchins Street Square — literally — during Film Night at the Square.

Film Night, the brainchild of Lodi residents Barry Ware and Jim Shoemaker, will feature the American debut of the Italian film “Dreams of Damanhur,” which is about an enormous complex of subterranean art-filled spaces, hand-dug inside a mountain. Hidden doors and secret passageways will be the norm.

Film Night at the Square debuted in October with the showing of “Bad Faith,” created by Lodi residents Scott and Kandy Duns and filmed partially in Lodi and Woodbridge.

After a two-month hiatus, Film Night at the Square will take place on the third Friday of each month. “Eyes of a Killer” will be February’s film, but Ware and Shoemaker, who operate Draylor Productions, haven’t determined the featured movies for the rest of the year.

If they book a particular film, they won’t be able to show it if a movie company purchases it, Ware said. That makes it hard to tell what will be shown in March and April.

“Dreams of Damanhur” and “Eyes of a Killer” will also be among 50 to 70 films to be shown Aug. 12-14 at Lodi’s first International Film Festival, also at Hutchins Street Square. As many as five films will be shown simultaneously in different rooms at Hutchins.

“We want to get rid of the song ‘Stuck in Lodi,’ and make it ‘You Want to be in Lodi,’” Ware said.

During the film festival, Ware said that he and Shoemaker want to showcase Lodi wines and expose the area’s restaurants and shops to out-of-towners coming to the film festival.

Ware said that he and Shoemaker chose “Dreams of Damanhur” for Friday’s presentation because it has never been shown in the United States before, and they were shooting for a controversial film.

The film’s creator, Keith Busha, visiting Lodi from his home in Washington state, will entertain questions from the audience after the movie.

Several events are planned for the three hours before the movie is shown at about 8:30 p.m. They include hors d’oeuvres, wine from Michael~David and possibly two other Lodi-area wineries, and a fashion show featuring models.

“Two rules: You can’t drink too much wine, and you can’t touch any of the girls,” Ware laughed.

There will also be three or four “shorts” ranging from two to 15 minutes long, and three “trailers” before the feature film.

One trailer — or a brief version of a movie — will be of February’s movie, called “Eyes of a Killer.” The others are portions of Ware’s own films, “Operation M.I.S.T.” and “Enigma.”

“Eyes of a Killer” involves a blind person regaining his sight after he receives the eyes of a man who was executed in an electric chair, Ware said.

“Enigma,” which hasn’t been completed yet, is set in Peru, but it was filmed in Bodega Bay and at a man-made cave behind a smog-check business on Pine Street near Highway 99.

“Enigma” is about six people on a charter sailboat who head six hours west from the Ecuador coast and get shipwrecked on what appeared to be an uninhabited island.

They get rescued on the island and end up in a small cave with government operatives creating synthetic rabies — called “enigma” — to use as chemical warfare.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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