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Steven Culp in "The Sisters"

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(June 13, 2006)
The DVD of "The Sisters" has been released.

(May 5, 2006, Eugene Register-Guard, by Lewis Taylor)
Eugene stands in for NYC

"The Sisters" may be set in New York's Upper East Side and Charleston, S.C., but the shooting locations are in Lane County.

Produced by local businesswoman Carolyn Chambers, the film was shot at the Chambers Media Center in Eugene in spring 2004.

The $5.5 million drama also features scenes shot at Villard Hall at the University of Oregon, Sacred Heart Medical Center and a stretch of downtown Eugene.

The film was marred by a stage employees strike that complicated the final days of shooting. Replacement workers were brought in after 65 crew members walked out.

Chambers has said she hopes to help put Eugene on the map as a viable shooting and production location. She is in negotiations on other projects that could end up shooting in Oregon.

(May 5, 2006, Eugene Register-Guard, by Carina Chocano)
Sisterhood isn't Powerful

A family drama filmed in Eugene crashes on practically every level.

A pompous, overwrought and itchingly claustrophobic psychodrama, "The Sisters" was adapted by writer Richard Alfieri from his own play, which itself was "suggested," whatever that mean, by Anton Chekhov's play almost the same name.

The movie transposes four morose siblings from early 20th century Podunk Russia to a contemporary Manhattan college campus (because of, you know, the parallels). But instead of having them long for Moscow, the writer sets them pining for Charleston, S.C.

OK, it sounds weird. But you'd long for Charleston too, even one shrouded in great billowing clouds of fake flashback fog, if you spent all your time in New York holed up in a teachers' lounge verbally abusing friends and family under a creepy oil portrait of your dead father.

Arthur Allan Seidelman directs a star-stuffed cast that includes Maria Bello, Mary Stuart Masterson and Erika Christensen as the sisters: psychotic Marsha (yes, Marsha), repressed Olga and lulu Irene. Alessandro Nivola is their lily-livered brother, Andrew.

The eerily codependent siblings are flanked at all hours by Rip Torn, as their doddering family friend, Dr. Chebrin, and Chris O'Donnell and a disconcertingly angry and unkempt Eric McCormack as former friend turned dueling suitors. (They both love the coed, Irene, in the mute, mooning manner of bygone lovers.)

Steven Culp plays Marsha's despised psychology professor husband, who for reasons unclear never even attempts to medicate her.

Into this psychosexual morass wander Tony Goldwyn as "father's" former assistant, Vincent, come to temporarily lift Marsha out of her misery; and Elizabeth Banks as the no-class hussy Andrew plans to marry over his sisters' constant, cruel and really very tiresome objections.

The limits and conventions that might have kept three educated young women trapped in a garrison town in 1901 don't exactly translate to the contemporary setting. The faculty lounge isn't the same thing as a turn-of-the-century drawing room, where unmarried upper-class girls of diminished fortunes went to die.

Likewise, Andrew's "disadvantageous" marriage (she's a former salesgirl with a Brooklyn accent who once took an extension course) hardly warrants the buckets of vitriol Marsha dumps on her at every opportunity. And the notion of a young college student in New York dutifully playing the baby sister to her two harpy sisters is a bit of a stretch.

None of it plays, so the movie plunges deep into the sisters' psyches and dredges up a whale of daddy issue. (Guess what it is.)

Now, thanks to bad parenting, college professor Olga is a closeted lesbian who refuse to come out or even express her feelings, Marsha is a promiscuous basket case and Irene is a meth addict. Fortunately for her, the ravages of the drug are limited to a single, dramatic collapse.

Bello displays an impressive ability to spew torrents of bile, but nothing can save the actors from the painfully mannered dialogue and implausible relationships. Here's Olga, for instance, responding in a single breath when her youngest sister confides that she things her finance loves her more that she loves him:

"Darling, discretion is called for even in intimate relationships. Don't make honesty an excuse for unburdening yourself of unwanted thoughts and emotions. That's what your sister does, and she's a mess.

"What's the truth, anyway? Sometimes it's just the verbalization of surface insecurities and fears, but once spoken the words define our reality."

She has a point, I guess. The reality that the words spoken in "The Sisters" define not to mention the sudden slow-motion close-ups, hazy edges, flashbacks reverb and soapy soundtrack will only be recognizable to dedicated fans of the Lifetime network.

(April 5, 2006)
A special pre-release screening of "The Sisters" on Tuesday, April 11 at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

"The Sisters" opens in theatres on Friday, April 14. Hollywood's Master Storytellers will be joined by director Arthur Allan Seidelman, Emmy Award-nominated writer Richard Alfieri, producer Matthew Rhodes plus cast member which include Steven Culp.

(April 5, 2006, Videography.com)
Hollywoods Master Storytellers Screens "The Sisters"

Join Hollywood's Master Storytellers for a special pre-release screening of "The Sisters" on Tuesday, April 11 at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. "The Sisters" opens in theatres on Friday, April 14. We will be joined by director Arthur Allan Seidelman ("A Christmas Carol" with Kelsey Grammer), Emmy Award-nominated writer Richard Alfieri, producer Matthew Rhodes ("An Unfinished Life" with Jennifer Lopez), plus TBA cast members which may include Steven Culp (Rex on "Desperate Housewives"), Erika Christensen ("Flightplan") and Alessandro Nivola.

Come watch the movie and listen to the writer, producer, director and actors talk about how the story was created, the movie was made, the stars were chosen and how the industry works. It's inspirational, motivational and a great time.

LIVE Q&A GUESTS:
Director Arthur Allan Seidelman
Writer Richard Alfieri
Producer Matthew Rhodes

Invited cast members include Steven Culp, Erika Christensen, and Elizabeth Banks and Alessandro Nivola.

With a cast featuring Mary Stuart Masterson, Erika Christensen and Maria Bello as the three sisters, with the support of Elizabeth Banks, Steven Culp, Eric McCormack, Chris O'Donnell and Rip Torn. Director Arthur Allan Seidelman cements his reputation bringing tremendous intensity to this screen adaptation of Richard Alfieri's award winning play.

This honest drama explores and explodes the myths surrounding family and friendship. Amidst the chaos of Manhattan, three sisters and their brother recall the simpler life the family left in their childhood home in Charleston as they peel away each other's deceptions with barbed wit and candor escalating to moments of shocking power. Their final realization is that there is no sanctuary from chaos and violence they reside within the heart.

For over three years, Hollywood's Master Storytellers has been a showcase for some of the most successful and celebrated artists in the motion picture industry. George Clooney, Oliver Stone, Pierce Brosnan, James Cameron and Drew Barrymore are just some of the talented artists who have graced our stage.

(March 25, 2006, beachconnection.net, by Lewis Taylor)
Oregon-Made Film Gains Credentials

(Eugene, Oregon) - A movie filmed in Eugene, Oregon last year has been screening at major festivals around the U.S. and gaining critical acclaim.

"The Sisters" was made in Oregon as well as at Chambers Communications Studios, and is based on Anton Chekhov's, "The Three Sisters." The film stars Maria Bello, Erika Christensen and Mary Stuart Masterson as the sisters. Elizabeth Banks, Steven Culp, Tony Goldwyn, Eric McCormack, Alessandro Nivola Chris O'Donnell and Rip Torn are also in the cast.

According to the Oregon Film & Video Office, "The Sisters" has screened and won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, Dixie Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Hollywood Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Deep Ellum Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival, River Run Film Festival, Cleveland Int'l Film Fest and the Boulder Int'l Film Fest.

"The Sisters" was executive produced by Carolyn Chambers. Arthur Seidelman directed and the screenplay was written by Richard Alfieri. It tells a story of siblings living in a college town struggling with the death of their fashion while trying to reconcile relationships in their own lives.

(March 24, 2006, Eugene Register-Guard, by Lewis Taylor)
Film Shot Here Nets Festival Accolades

"The Sisters," produced by Chambers, is due for release and may spur other projects.

It's been nearly two years since filming wrapped up on "The Sisters," the 5.5 million drama shot in Eugene, and although the movie has yet to be released in theatres, it's already generating buzz and picking up awards at film festivals across the country.

"I always believed in it, but I think maybe some of the awards and expectations (we had) have come a little bit faster than we expected," executive producer Carolyn Chambers said.

Due to be released in April, "The Sisters" has played at the Hollywood Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival. It won the Milagro Award t the Santa Fe Film Festival and was named Best Feature at the Sedona Film Festival, where it also won the Audience Choice Award. Arclight Films picked up the movie for worldwide distribution in February and plans to release it on April 14 in New York City. Eugene audiences should get a showing of their own in May, said Jim Callahan director of accounting services for Chambers Communication.

Directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman, "The Sisters" is inspired by the Anton Chekhov play "The Three Sisters." The film stars Mary Stuart Masterson, Erika Christensen and Maria Bello with the support of Elizabeth Banks, Steven Culp, Eric McCormack, Alessandro Nivola, Chris O'Donnell, Rip Torn and others. Two dozen local extras were used for the film, which was shot on the University of Oregon campus and at other locations in and around Eugene.

Although "The Sister" is set in New York's Upper East Side and Charleston, S.C., cameo appearances are made by Villard Hall at the University of Oregon, Sacred Heart Medial Center and stretch of downtown Eugene.

Chambers said she hoped to help put Eugene on the map as a viable shooting and production location. She is in negotiations on two other projects that could end up shooting in Oregon.

"I didn't want to shoot it if we didn't do it in Eugene," Chambers said.

Chambers first teamed up with Seidelman on the Broadway production, "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks" and later on the big screen production "Puerto Vallarta." That film, which stars Scott Glen and Harvey Keitel, is also due out this spring.

Chambers said the most difficult challenge in producing "The Sisters" was overcoming a labor strike that marred the final days of shooting. The strike ensued when Chambers Communications refused to sign a union contract with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Replacement workers were brought in after 65 crew members walked out.

Depending on how "The Sisters" fares at the box office and on DVD, the movie could prop up Oregon's burgeoning film industry," says Susan Haley, marketing manager for the Oregon Film & Video Office.

"It's always great when you have a high impact successful film shoot in your state," Haley said. "The double bonus on something like "The Sisters" is that it's produced locally (which) not only tells the audience that it's a great place to shoot the film but it tells people that it's a great (place to produce a film)."

The last major movie to be shot in Eugene was "Stealing Time," by UO graduate Michael Garrity. Prior to that, the 1995 movie "Without Limits" was filmed here. The 1978 comedy "Animal House" is still a calling card for the region.

"Films have an economic impact and there's also a residual tourism impact," Haley said. "When a film is successful when there are many people seeing it, it generates interest in visiting the area where the film was made."

(March 21, 2006, Variety.com)
Film "The Sisters" to be released in L.A., Gotham on April 14

Arclight Films has picked up worldwide rights to helmer Arthur Allan Seidelman's "The Sisters," a contemporary retelling of Chekhov's story starring Maria Bello, Elizabeth Banks and Mary Stuart Masterson. Film will be released in L.A. and Gotham on April 14.

Story, drawn from Chekhov classic "The Three Sisters," revolves around the ups and downs of three sisters trying to survive their dysfunctional family. Richard Alfieri penned the screenplay.

Erika Christensen, Steven Culp, Tony Goldwyn, Eric McCormack, Alessandro Nivola and Rip Torn also star. Persistent Entertainment's Judd Payne and Matthew Rhodes produced the film, with Chambers Communications' Carolyn S. Chambers exec producing. Arclight will present the pic to international buyers at the European Market during the Berlin Film Festival.

FYI: For those who don't know it, "Gotham" is a synonym for New York City.

(March 13, 2006)
"The Sisters" DVD will be released on Jun 13, 2006.

(February 13, 2006)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the 12th Annual Sedona Film Festival

"The Sisters" will screen at the Sedona Film Festival that takes place from February 23 until 26, 2006.


Screenings:

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 7:40 p.m.
Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 6 p.m.


2006 Audience Choice:
Best Feature: "The Sisters"

2006 Special Recognition Awards:
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Culp, "The Sisters"

Outstanding Producer: Carolyn Chambers, "The Sisters"
Best Supporting Actress: Elizabeth Banks, "The Sisters"


Opening Night: "The Sisters" with Director Arthur Allan Seidelman and Cast

"The Sisters" is the grand opening film of the 2006 Sedona Film Festival. The movie is an intelligent, fast paced and language-rich adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play, featuring a stellar cast (including Maria Bello, Mary Stuart Masterson, Elizabeth Banks, Erick McCormack, Chris O'Donnell, Steven Culp, Tony Goldwyn, Rip Torn and Erika Christensen) and the brilliant direction of Arthur Allan Seidelman. "Rarely will you find so much talent packed into one film," says Schweiss.

(November 15, 2005)
At the Deep Ellum Film Festival "The Sisters" wins:

Best Feature: "The Sisters"
Best Feature Drama: "The Sisters"

(November 8, 2005)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the Deep Ellum Film Festival

"The Sisters" will screen at the Deep Ellum Film Festival that takes place from November 17 until 23, 2005.

(November 5, 2005)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the St. Louis Film Festival

"The Sisters" will screen at the St. Louis Film Festival that takes place from November 10 until 18, 2005.

(October 25, 2005, efilmcritic.com, by Laura Kyle)
Review "The Sisters"

SCREENED AT THE 2005 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL: The Sisters is the kind of film, that just four sentences in, you know it's based on a play. Every member of the ensemble cast spews the most garish, self-realized dialogue; it's like a bunch of psychologists by day/poets by night got together and argued incessantly with each other. But I suppose that's what's so refreshing about it.

Shot in no more than three or four locations really, The Sisters is a soap opera that feels like something right out of a Jane Austen novel almost, placed in modern day New York, the formal, glittering parlance devolving into more of an uncomfortable, forced speech. But it doesn't take too long before a moviegoer is won over by how downright brilliant and comedic the script (adapted by original playwright Richard Alfieri) is and how intense the characters are…even if it's quite fantastic. Hey, if I can give logic bending action movies and space adventures a pass, I can certainly give a movie that revels in witty dialogue, one.

An exceptionally talented cast is nothing short of required for a movie such as this. You're going to need a pretty darned good salesman to buy into these characters and their often histrionic, elaborately verbal way of expressing themselves.

Maria Bello does her take on a slightly less icy 21st century Scarlett O'Hara, playing the supremely jaded, sassy Marcia. Bello is fearless, delivering an immensely entertaining performance. Her sisters are Olga (Mary Stuart Masterson), the eldest and most "serious" daughter, and Irene (Erika Christensen), the overprotected darling of the family, who's 22nd birthday initiates a gathering between family and friends…and their subsequent head butting. If these people were a car, it'd be crashed on the side of the highway, with all of us slowing down our vehicles to about 40 mph to gawk.

Much of Marcia's contention is derived from her brother Andrew (Alessandro Nivola), on the account that he's dating the lower class Nancy (Elizabeth Banks). She's not nearly as crafty with language as the scholarly family she may marry into someday. I don't know what I'd do if MY brother fell in love with a girl who didn't use at least three ginormous words for every third of a sentence. I definitely wouldn't go to the wedding! I mean, c'mon! (But, to Nancy's discredit, there are more damning implications as to her character than just that.)

Eric McCormack plays an old friend of Irene's boyfriend David (Chris O'Donnell), a grumpy, sarcastic commentator of every get-together, who has what must be more than a dozen hilarious, snarky one-liners. And it doesn't seem at all unusual that he speaks so formally, but that's probably just because I automatically thought of him as gay Will.

The Sisters really isn't about sisterhood so much; it's more of an illumination on the human psyche, as well as a fascinating examination of the power of secrets. The characters are at such an arm's length (in that they likely don't act like anyone you or I know) so it's difficult to get too attached to them, yet they are fully communicated – and not just in the spoken words.

The Sisters is a theatrical melodrama that confronts very real (though not too commonly explored) issues about family relations and it's almost giddy in its delight with the English language. And who doesn't like to listen to a good old verbal lashing now and then, anyways?

(October 22, 2005)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the Austin Film Festival

"The Sisters" will screen at the Austin Film Festival that takes place from October 20 until 27, 2005:


FRIDAY, OCT. 21
7:10pm The Sisters
VENUE: IMAX Theatre at the Bob Bullock, Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress


MONDAY, OCT. 24
7pm The Sisters
VENUE: Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills, 9828 Great Hills Trail

(October 17, 2005)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the 9th Annual Hollywood Film Festival

"The Sisters" will screen at the Hollywood Film Festival that takes place from October 18 until 24, 2005.


Screening:

October 22, 2005
ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood (6360 Sunset Blvd.)

(October 16, 2005)
At the Dixie Film Festival "The Sisters" wins Best Film.

Outstanding Actress in a film  Maria Bello
Outstanding Actor in a film  ERIC McCORMACK

(October 11, 2005)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the 2nd Annual Dixie Film Festival

"The Sisters" will screen at the Dixie Film Festival that takes place October 14 until 15, 2005


ATLANTA HOSTS SOUTHERN PREMIERE OF AWARD-WINNING FILM THE SISTERS

Directed by Emmy Award-Winning Director, Arthur Seidelman, "The Sisters," based on the Chekov play"The Three Sisters" and written by, Richard Alfieri tells the tale about siblings living in a college town who struggle with the death of their father and try to reconcile relationships in their own lives.

Amazingly written and heavy in clever dialogue this is a must-see before it makes it theatrical release in 2006.

Tickets and seating are limited for its private screening on Friday, October 14, 2005 at the CiNEFEST FiLM THEATRE in downtown Atlanta.

(April 23, 2005)
Official Selection: THE SISTERS at the Tribeca Film Festival


"The Sisters" has its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

For pictures of Steven at the premiere click here.

The cast of "The Sisters" posed for portait photos at the Tribeca Film Festival. To see the photos click here.

(March - April, 2004)
During the Filming of "The Sisters"

Steven posed for a photo with an intern in Eugene where they filmed the movie.


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