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"Welcome Home" at the LaFemme Film Festival in Beverly Hills.
Oct 08, 2007
Last October, when Jennifer
attended LaFemme Film Festival, she saw other women going out on a limb, making
films, passion projects, on their own without studio financing – short films,
features and documentaries. She and her husband, John
had recently formed Two of a Kind Productions, a production company dedicated to
making inspirational films and television series. A dynamic pair - Buttell-Kersey, an
accomplished actress and writer, and Kersey, a seasoned construction
coordinator, prop maker and designer, hit the ground running, developing several
projects and making a short, 30 Minutes
of Perception, that premiered at the San Francisco Short Film
Festival. Impressed with LaFemme and
what it had to offer women filmmakers, Buttell-Kersey ruminated throwing her
own hat in the ring in 2007.
<>For the Kerseys, without funding other than
their own, making a feature film in less than a year’s time, was out of the
question. So, Buttell-Kersey decided to
turn a screenplay she was in the process of writing, Welcome Home, a paranormal thriller, into a short film, as a step
towards her goal of making it as a feature-length film. “When I learned that Billy
developed Sling Blade as a short
first to promote his feature, I didn’t see why I couldn’t do the same thing.”
But not everybody shared her enthusiasm. “Many people told me that I couldn’t do what Billy
did, because he knew a lot of people and that’s why it worked for him, but I
refused to back down from my dream.
There is a passion inside me that won’t back down – and as long as my
passion is my driving force, I won’t disappoint it.”
Buttell-Kersey found another source of
inspiration in filmmaker Craig
whom she met through their mutual publicist.
Serling’s film Jam, an
elongated version of his 2004 short of the same name, was among the few independent films to garner distribution in
less than a year after its completion. Anchor
Entertainment, a division of Starz Media, picked up the DVD/video rights and
television rights picked were picked up by Showtime.
Serling, a three-time Emmy nominated editor (Survivor, The Amazing Race) wanted to produce
a feature film about dynamic characters facing life-changing experiences. Like Thornton
before him, Serling decided to take a risk and make a short version of this
film in the hopes of attracting financiers and cast. For Serling, the gamble was a tremendous
success. The short played in several
film festivals, and attracted the interest of both cast and financiers.
Serling went on to put together an outstanding
cast including Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural,
Grey’s Anatomy), Gina Torres (24),
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without A Trace),
Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s),
William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects),
Amanda Foreman (Felicity), Amanda
Detmer (What About Brian), Alex Rocco
(The Wedding Planner), Dan Byrd (The Hills Have Eyes), David DeLuise (Stargate SG-1) and Tess Harper (CSI).
The feature Jam
garnered the award for “Best Feature” at the Santa Fe Film Festival and was
featured at both the Boston Film Festival and the Vail Film Festival in Denver,
Rather than letting the naysayers influence her, Buttell- Kersey is moving
ahead towards her goal. Welcome Home, shot this past spring, has
already received Best in Horror accolades at the Chicago International Film
Festival. LeFemme is the second film
festival that Welcome Home has been
accepted to and the first time it will show in Los Angeles. She’s finishing her feature length screenplay
to have ready for potential investors and to that end, the Kerseys are having
another screening in Beverly Hills
on October 26th.
Home, Starring Jennifer Buttell-Kersey and Aaron
Gaffey, Directed by Raul Contreras, Produced by Jennifer Buttell-Kersey and
Linda Burden Williams, Executive Producer John Kersey, Director of Photography
Rachel Wyn Dunn, Written by Jennifer Buttell-Kersey.
Welcome Home screens Friday, October 12 at 2pm, Fine Arts
Theater, 8556 Wilshire Blvd,
9021l and Friday October 26 at 7:30
pm, Wilshire Screening Room, 8670
Wilshire Blvd, Beverly
June 5, 2020