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Surreal, satiric, lightly erotic, and surprisingly spiritual, A Cigar at the Beach is a modern tale starring the male psyche, as a married man escapes the demands of domestic life through fantasy. High-octane bikinis! A Gypsy Siren! Adventure on the high seas—until The Wave washes everything clean.

Surreal, satiric, lightly erotic, and surprisingly spiritual, A Cigar at the Beach is a modern tale starring the male psyche, as a married man escapes the demands of domestic life through fantasy. High-octane bikinis! A Gypsy Siren! Adventure on the high seas—until The Wave washes everything clean.

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The Story

On a family trip to Florida to visit his sick father, The Smoker (Billy Gillespie) leaves his napping, pregnant wife (Stephanie Nash) and his iPod-addicted step-son (Charlie Schmidt) in the motel room for a cigar at the beach. As a storm approaches, The Smoker pulls up a chair to the water’s edge, smokes his cigar, and begins to pretend. At once, two high-octane Bikini-clad Asian tourists (Cathy Shim, Rumi Bunya) catch him off-guard and on-camera as they play and pose for the drugstore Kodaks they carry. As they begin to undress, The Smoker conjures up a more mature romance, The Woman in White (Svetlana Efremova) for an exotic and erotic encounter. As they begin to make love, The Smoker gets the call from a distant Freighter and is instantly playing poker in the ship’s belly with four Mariners from distant lands (Martin Clark, William Joseph Hill, Jermaine Jackson, Radu Vlad). The insight that their obsession with women echoes his own and has rendered them all quite mad drives The Smoker from the game. He quickly retreats into a fleeting fantasy of his own family and then he sees—The Wave. Huge, swelling, mystifying, the wave grips The Smoker in a wish for release. The Smoker walks into the towering wave which crashes over him. The sea becomes calm. The Smoker’s chair is empty.

 

Year: 2006, Length: 15min., Format: 35mm, Origin: USA, CA

Producer: Daniel Dubiecki, Director/Writer: Stephen Keep Mills, Cinematographer: Michael Alba, Editor: Tamera Martin, Composer: Milen Kirov, Art Director: Ron Pereira, Costumer: Jessica Torok, Sound Designer: Gerald Albright, Cast: Billy Gillespie, Svetlana Efremova, Cathy Shim, Rumi Bunya, Martin Clark, William Joseph Hill, Jermaine Jackson, Radu Vlad, Stephanie Nash, Charlie Schmidt

 

Tagline

“We are on film!”

 

 

Production History

The screenplay is adapted from Writer-Director Stephen Keep Mills’ award-winning stage play (same title). The LA Press called it:  “A gem. Mills’ script is succulent and vivid with imagery and deposits silent, delicate jewels with the audience.” (Drama-Logue). “Mills takes us on a funny and wistful saunter through the male psyche. He succeeds as a writer with beguiling, wry wit and ultimate gentleness.” (Los Angeles Theatres Magazine)

 

 

Mills wrote this piece over the span of two late nights twenty-five years ago in Delray Beach, Florida, when he took his family there to visit his aging father who was suffering from depression. Ping-ponging between the needs of his pregnant wife, his step-son, and his dad, Mills took a close look at his own roles of husband, son, father, and the issue of mortality. Out of a yellow note-pad full of scribbles, erasures, and diagrams, A Cigar at the Beach was born.

 

 

Its first life was as a “curtain raiser” at The Flight Theatre on LA’s Theatre Row where it premiered in 1994. Though the reviews were raves, Mills was not satisfied: “One of the main characters was missing,” he says, “the storm. The story has very cinematic needs, from the self-talking, almost voyeuristic nature of the narration to the visual expanse of the sky, the beach, the water. Its presence on stage was partial, representational. Now, it feels complete.”

 

 

A Cigar at the Beach was completed in January, 2006. It was shot over a span of 11 days in Ormond Beach, CA (30 miles north of Los Angeles) and in Delray Beach, FL, using 35mm Kodak film and Arriflex cameras. All casting was the result of postings on Now Casting and LA Casting websites, the contract is SAG Limited Exhibition.

 

 

 

 

Filmmaker’s statement

Here's my version of the mid-life male with a surprise spiritual component lurking beneath the apparent eroticism of the fantasies. None of the fantasies are strong enough to complete or to satisfy, driving The Smoker (protagonist) off the mainland and onto the high seas in search of distant horizons. What he finds aboard, however, is his own reflection, enacted by four Mariners who voice The Smoker's own compulsions from a madness he will soon acquire if he doesn't jump ship, which he does. And what catches him? What answers his quest for fulfillment? The great Mother Sea which comes to snatch him up and purify him and rinse him clean and restore him. The old life recedes and loses its grip, while a new birth comes upon him unawares and takes hold.

 

 

I've been told (from the formula-driven folks) that this is not a drama because there is no conflict and no action. Here's my answer: what is Hamlet doing in the "To be" speech? What is his action? He's alone, away from the drama of the castle, and so removed from all conflict, too. He is without action because he doesn't know what to do. At that moment, the conflict is so great OUTSIDE him that his INSIDE is paralyzed. My main character is in the same condition. He is subject to storms, the one gathering out across the water and the one welling up inside. So his action becomes to break the paralysis and find an action with which to address the conflict. I believe that drama exists in moments of stasis, those in-between times where we are fogged and uninformed. Mine is the drama of privacy.

 

 

There is, too, the “Odysseus” element. The hero is grounded or as unemployed Merchant Mariners put it: "on the beach". The modern domestic man, engaged as Kazantzakis’ Zorba would say in the "full catastrophe" of wife, children, house--must find a new goal. The Sirens are no longer an option. The horizon is for others to explore. Here in this moment and on this earth with these people—wife, son, father—what is the hero's response? Perhaps it's the Hero Imago itself which must be washed out by the monster wave.

 

Festivals

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS 2006

 

Delray Beach Film Festival

Syracuse Int.l Film and Video Festival

San Fernando Valley Int.l Film Festival

Yale Bulldog Short Film Festival

2006 Delta Int.l Film and Video Festival

NYC Downtown Short Film Festival

Myrtle Beach Film Festival

New Haven Underground Film Festival

End of the Pier Film Festival

Twin Rivers Media Festival

IndieProducer Screenplay and

Short Film Competition

Real to Reel Film and Video Fest

Naoussa Int.l Short Film and Video Festival

Rochester Int.l Film Festival

Bridgetown Film Festival

Trenton Film Festival

NYC Home Film Festival

Now Casting Film Festival

Eugene Film Festival

Boulder Ind. Film Festival

Mid Ulster Film Festival

deadCENTER Film Festival

Winnipeg Int.l Film Festival

Big Island Film Festival

Bridge Fest 2006

Atlanta Film Festival

Planet Ant Film and Video Festival

FILMSTOCK

Maui Film Festival

Durban Int.l Film Festival

ReelHeART Int.l Film Festival

Solstice Film Festival

Innibos Int.l Short Film Festival

Long Island Int.l Film Expo

DANCESWITHFILMS

ICG Film Showcase

Action On Film Festival

Crested Butte Reel Film Festival

Route 66 Film Festival

Woods Hole Film Festival

Indiefest

Flatland Film Festival

The Indie Gathering

DC Shorts Film Festival

Independent Film Forum

Topanga Film Festival

Portobello Film Festival

Tahoe/Reno Int.l Film Festival

Idaho Panhandle Int.l Film Festival

Montreal World Film Festival

Independents’ Film Festival

Los Angeles Int.l Short Film Festival

SoCal Independent Film Festival

Bartoszki Film Festival

Salento Int.l Film Festival

Baja California Film Festival

Big Bear Lake Int.l Film Festival

Charlotte Film Festival

Illinois Int.l Film Festival

FilmFest Eberswalde

Calgary Int.l Film Festival

Edmonton Int.l Film Festival

FAIF Film Festival

Tacoma Film Festival

Ojai Film Festival

PEC Independent Film Championship

New England Film and Video Festival

Hope and Dreams Film Festival

September Shorts Film Festival

Nevada City Film Festival

River City Film Festival

Secret City Film Festival

Golden Lion Film Festival

Hudson Valley Film & Video Festival

30th Sao Paulo Int.l Film Festival

Ellensburg Film Festival

Griffon Film Festival

Bend Film Festival

Poppy Jasper Film Festival

Syn Int.l Film Festival

Berks County Film Festival

Northampton Independent Film Festival

Asheville Film Festival

Euro Shorts 2006 Festival

Festival du Cinéma de Bruxelles

Avignon/New York Film Festival

Festival Internacional Filmets Badalona

Fest.de Cine Int.l de Barcelona

Non Stop Kurz Film Festival

Saracinema Film Festival

Santa Fe Film Festival

Panorama of Ind. Filmmakers T. U. C. TH.

Int.l Film Festival of Kerala

First Glance Film Festival Hollywood

Tirana Int.l Film Festival

Festival du Cinéma de Paris

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS 2007

 

Short Film Festival of India

Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market

Muskegon Film Festival

Kun.Kortfilm

Byron Bay Film Festival

Boulder Int.l Film Festival

Big Damn Film Festival

Carolina Film & Video Festival

All-American Film Festival

Chaos Fair Film Festival

Int.l Fest of Cinema & Technology

George Lindsey UNA Film Festival

Foursite Film Festival

Peoria Film Festival

Fargo Film Festival

Westchester Film Festival

ÉCU Film Festival 2007

Tiburon Int.l Film Festival

Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

Bare Bones Film Festival

Sunscreen Film Festival

Cyprus Int.l Film FestivalLake Havasu Film Festival

Top Ten Films in America Festival

Flint Film Festival

Vienna Independent Shorts

Indie Film Jam

Little Rock Film Festival

Return of the Living Shorts

Short Film Corner-Festival de Cannes

III ASTERFEST

Folly Felder Film Festival

IndieGrits at the Donen

The Accolade

Swansea Bay Film Festival

Milwaukee Short Film Festival

CAMBOFEST

Cine Gear Expo

Staten Island Film Festival

Fear No Film Festival

Shanghai Int.l Film Festival

International Pleiades Festival

Tabor Film Festival

Johnstown Film and Wine FestivalÁtalo en Corto

Busho 2007

Hermosa Shorts Film Festival

San Francisco Short Film Festival

Central Florida Film Festival

Morbegno Film Festival

Everglades Int.l Film Festival SA

Southern Winds Film Festival

Wildwood By The Sea Film Festival

Vladivostok Int.l Film Festival

Int.l Short Film Festival Detmold

Cinefest Sudbury Int.l Film Fest

Montana Independent Film Festival

Oxnard Int.l Film Festival

New Orleans Film Festival

INDIE FEST USA

Vine Shorts Fest

DaKINO Int.l Film Festival

Int.l Film Festival England

Philadelphia Doc & Fiction Fest

Festival de Cine de Granada

Awards
Cast + Crew

CREDITS

A Cigar at the Beach

 

 

 

 

(END CREDITS)

 

 

Cast

 

 

The Smoker

BILLY GILLESPIE

 

 

Ariel

CATHY SHIM

 

 

Faye

RUMI BUNYA

 

 

The Woman in White

SVETLANA EFREMOVA

 

 

First Mariner

MARTIN CLARK

 

 

Second Mariner

WILLIAM JOSEPH HILL

 

 

Third Mariner

JERMAINE JACKSON

 

 

Fourth Mariner

RADU VLAD

 

 

Wife

STEPHANIE NASH

 

 

Jason

CHARLIE SCHMIDT

 

 

 

 

Director of Photography

MICHAEL ALBA

 

 

Editor

TAMERA MARTIN

 

 

Music composed and performed by

MILEN KIROV

 

 

Costumes

JESSICA TOROK

 

 

Art Direction

RON PEREIRA

 

 

First Assistant Director

PATRICK CUNNINGHAM

 

 

Second Assistant Director

NINO ALDI

 

 

Assistant Editor & Key Sound Design

GERALD ALBRIGHT

 

 

Sound Design

NATHAN KAMPF

 

 

ADR

SHREE CHANDRASAKARAN

 

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA CREW

 

 

Production Coordinator

AVTAR KHALSA

 

 

Gaffers

NORM BERENS

STEVE HUGHES

 

 

Key Grip

JOE THOMPSON

 

 

Best Boy Grip

JESSE PENCE

 

 

Grips

ANDREW DANIEL

JOHN WHITESELL

 

 

First Assistant Camera

BILL ROBERTS

 

 

 

 

Second Assistant Camera

WINONA WACKER

 

 

Script Supervisor

NANCY BRINDLEY

 

 

Sound

DANIEL GUERRA

 

 

Boom Operator

MAURICIO HERRADOR

 

 

Make-up/Hair

SUSAN JONES

 

 

Still Photographers

MAE DEAN

RICH BRIGLIA

HEATHER BRIGLIA

 

 

 

 

FLORIDA CREW

 

 

Production Coordinator

AUBRIE CAMPBELL

 

 

Key Grip

KERNEL HARRIS

 

 

Best Boy Grip

PAUL MERIDITH

BRYCE REID

 

 

First Assistant Camera

BRIAN IIG

 

 

Script Supervisor

EMILY RICHBURG

 

 

Sound

ROB FREEMAN

 

 

Boom Operator

MICHAEL MCNANEE

 

 

 

 

Make-up/Hair

SHIRI FAVIR

 

 

Still Photographer

DENISE FELICE

 

 

 

 

Post Production Services

ALPHA DOGS INC.

 

 

Compositing

IDENTITY STUDIOS

 

 

Location Manager

ED SALVEN

 

 

Producers

JASON KENNEDY | JOSH VORESS | TAMERA MARTIN | JAMES HAMMOND

 

 

Executive Producers

DANIEL DUBIECKI | STEPHEN KEEP MILLS

 

 

Legal

MICHAEL BARANOV | ANDREW WEISSMAN

 

 

 

 

Special Thanks

VIDEO SYMPHONY  SAG INDIE  STATE COASTAL CONSERVANCY  FILM INDEPENDENT  CHAPMAN/LEONARD  WILL GEER’S THEATRICUM BOTANICUM  PALM BEACH COUNTY FILM AND TELEVISION COMMISSION  WRIGHT BY THE SEA  THE CAROLINA CIGAR CO.  OLD OAKS CIGAR CO. BEYOND THE BALLOON  GEORGE AND HELEN DUBIECKI

JIM PASTERNAK

 

 

 

 

Written and Directed by

STEPHEN KEEP MILLS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filmed on location at Ormond Beach, California and Delray Beach, Florida

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2006 Triskelion Entertainment, LLC

 

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