By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 5, 2011 at 11:34AM
Hope springs eternal. Each time an underdog character actor pushes into surprise Oscar contention, it brings back the hope that anything is possible. Especially when a micro-indie boasts an Oscar-nominee, publicists send movie scribes pitches like this one (pasted below), for a live-action short starring Sally Kirkland, who famously landed a nomination for Anna by taking out her own ads. One note to publicists: "surefire" is the one word you should never use in a pitch.
Sally Kirkland leading the Campaign- African Chelsea’ Emerges as “Sure Fire” 2012 Oscar Nominee Contender
LOS ANGELES - Oct 4, 2011 - Seducing critics with a mesmerizing story and powerful performances, Oscar nomination buzz for filmmakers Brent Roske's drama African Chelsea is heating up. The “Gripping and provocative masterpiece,” (IndieSource Magazine) is gaining more ground with the help of co-star Sally Kirkland. African Chelsea, fresh off a successful showing in Cannes, is now eligible for a 2012 Oscar nomination in the Live Action Short category.
Known for winning over critics for her performance in the 1987 film Anna, which landed her a Golden Globe and Best Actress Nomination, Kirkland is no stranger to generating interest in a film. Following in the footsteps of Melissa Leo, who famously packed a punch with her Oscar campaign and win for The Fighter last year, Kirkland has her sights set on her second Oscar nomination.
On her mission to get the word out, Kirkland recently appeared on The Hollywood Reporter website and shared, "I had a wonderful time acting in 'African Chelsea,’ it's a great film. The look of it - the style - is really something special. I'd love 'African Chelsea' to get nominated this year. I think Brent is one to be watched."
Film Threat Magazine raves, "Gorgeous with a jazz-like quality...A top shelf film.” Written, Directed, and Photographed by Emmy nominated Brent Roske, the film follows the story of an exotic dancer (Corinne Becker) who’s trying to survive in Hollywood, but is haunted by the ghost of her domineering mother (Kirkland). It co-stars Tosa Ogbaghado, and Jilon Van Over.
Reviewers are rallying behind the drama, like KFWB/CBS Radio who declared, "'African Chelsea' is a sure fire Oscar nominee." And RawFemme.com says, "The live action short is eligible for the Academy Awards, an honor it so rightfully deserves. This film is nothing short of a masterpiece."
African Chelsea star Corinne Becker agrees saying, “Brent is known as a commercial director, but I think his narrative work is really where he shines. And getting the opportunity to act with Sally Kirkland was truly a dream come true."
Thrilled with the reception of the film, writer/director Brent Roske shared, "I wanted to make 'African Chelsea' feel both immediate and intimate. It's really an empathetic story - people forget that everyone has a cross to bear, weather its your health, upbringing, family - everyone has something that makes them a little broken - and Corinne's [Becker] performance really embodies this. We shot most of it night exteriors in Hollywood along with flashback scenes of tense emotional struggles with her mother, played by the amazing Sally Kirkland. I hope the viewer enjoys watching the film as much we did making it."
The film was shot with a special lens called “lens baby-symphony” that literally bends so you can decide what part of the frame is in focus.
Brent Roske is an Emmy nominated director and received a Commemorative Emmy for producing. For 9 years Roske was a Creative Director at NBC Universal, creating and directing hundreds of campaigns for brands such as Coke, uni-ball, and the Olympics to name a few and tv specials including ‘Hard Rock Café presents’, Al Roker’s ‘Together For Care’ and ‘Eco-Hollywood’. Other projects include ‘Lonestar Trixie’ with Richard Dreyfuss, ‘Playground Girls’ which screened at MOCA during the national tour of Basquiat, ‘African Chelsea’ co-starring Sally Kirkland, the trailer for the best-seller ‘Cold Hit’ starring author Stephen J. Cannell, ‘Last Day Foundation’ with Ken Davitian and Jon Lovitz and a documentary short for UNESCO and Lucasfilm starring producer Frank Marshall. Roske has won 42 Telly Awards, 2 Reggies and an Environmental Media Marketing Award.
With campaigning just beginning to heat up for the 84th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce nominations for the 2012 Oscars on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:30 a.m. PT, from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Filmmaker Brent Roske and Actress Sally Kirkland are available for interviews