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Two Nominations for the 2003 IFP
Independent Spirit Awards

Los Angeles, CA; December 12, 2002 - Nominations for the 2003 IFP Independent Spirit Awards were announced yesterday. Among indie giants "Lovely and Amazing," "Far From Heaven," and "The Good Girl" were two surprising nominations for a micro-budget Asian American film called "Charlotte Sometimes."

Eric Byler (writer/director/producer) and Marc Ambrose (producer) were nominated for the JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (given to the best feature made for under $500,000), and Jacqueline Kim was nominated for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

Byler, who is half Chinese, wrote, directed, produced and edited the feature, which takes a boldly realistic approach to sex, loneliness, and race in examining four Asian Americans whose lives intersect in a Silver Lake duplex. The Hawaii native received congratulatory phone calls at his hotel room in Honolulu, where "Charlotte Sometimes" screens tonight as the Closing Night Film of Cinema Paradise.

"It's sort of odd and really wonderful that I happened to be in Hawaii when this came out," Byler said. "There are so many people here who've supported me all my life. It's a great honor to be recognized, and really kind of a shock."


Last month at the Hawaii International Film Festival, the hometown director and his film became the toast of the Islands when renowned critic Roger Ebert published a glowing review in the Chicago Sun-Times, declaring "Charlotte Sometimes" best of the fest.

Even so, industry insiders were surprised to see "Charlotte Sometimes" among the nominated films. Greg Williams, CEO of Lot 47, Inc. called the two nominations, "a well-deserved and wonderful achievement, and an exceedingly rare occurrence for a film that has yet to reach audiences beyond the festival circuit."

Talks with distributors have heated up since yesterday's announcements. The Sundance Channel selected "Charlotte Sometimes" for a festival called "New Voices for the New Year." The cable exhibition deal, brokered by the film's executive producer John Bard Manulis, CEO/producer of Visionbox Media Group, provides a window for theatrical distribution following the two festival airings.

Jacqueline Kim's feature credits include "Brokedown Palace," "Volcano," and "Disclosure." "Charlotte Sometimes" also stars Michael Idemoto, Eugenia Yuan, and Matt Westmore. "Charlotte Sometimes" is a Visionbox Pictures production, executive produced by John Bard Manulis ("Tortilla Soup", "The Basketball Diaries") and Michael Kastenbaum, with Chris Miller, Brooke Dammkoehler, and Lara Lyon serving as co-producers. The musical voice of the film is rising African-American singer-songwriter Cody Chesnutt ("The Headphone Masterpieces"), currently on "Rolling Stone's" and Nick Harcourt's Top 10 Newcomers list.

Byler is currently in talks to direct the feature film "American Knees," also an Asian American love story, set to go into production this spring. Producers Lisa Onodera ("Picture Bride," "The Debut") and Paige Orloff, with financial backing from Starz/Encore, commissioned Byler to adapt the Shawn Wong novel earlier this year. Byler is represented by Brant Rose of The Brant Rose Agency and David Guc of Vanguard Management.

Visionbox Pictures is a production company and creative incubator that produces and acquires feature films and episodic series driven by provocative concepts and distinctive creative voices. It is the production division of Visionbox Media Group, a leading production, post-production and solutions company using digital technology to produce and distribute films and television content less expensively and with greater creative freedom.





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