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Independent filmmakers introduce 'The Dunderheads' in Suwanee

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Special Photo "The Misadventures of the Dunderheads" will be shown at Suwanee's Movie Tavern on 7 p.m. Monday.

Georgia has become one of the fastest-growing states in the country for filmmaking, with the movie industry putting approximately $1.3 million into the local economy this year. With films of all types being a hot commodity, the city of Suwanee was not to be left out.

Suwanee and the Movie Tavern joined up last fall to present six independent films to the public. On Monday, the latest in the series will be screened. "The Misadventures of the Dunderheads" will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Movie Tavern, and tickets are $6. They can be purchased at the theater on online at www.movietavern.com. The ticket includes a light snack and an opportunity to engage in discussion with the filmmakers. Movie Tavern is located at 2855 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

"Dunderheads" is the only one of the six independent films which is not a documentary.

"This movie won Best Feature Film at The Big Apple Film Festival at Tribeca Center," said Toni Shrewsbury, Suwanee's special project coordinator. "The comedy in 'Dunderheads' is dark, kind of Fargo-esque."

The film was directed by D.G. Brock, who has worked with legendary film producer Roger Corman and has been a Disney screenwriter. Producer Bruce Stubblefield's sound credits include three Academy Award winners. Both Brock and Stubblefield are native Southerners.

The movie also features veteran actors Olympia Dukakis and Haley Joel Osment. Film-goers will follow an eccentric family which includes a grandmother and two teens who get into funny but poignant situations as they travel to unplanned places.

The Suwanee film series began when Shrewsbury was researching events and found South Arts, a nonprofit group in Atlanta funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. They were offering the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers to southern cities. Suwanee was accepted as part of the tour.

"This is our first year of participation in the circuit," Shrewsbury said, "And we have drawn a respectable number of film buffs for each screening. Our partnership with the Movie Tavern has made hosting the film circuit possible."

Suwanee has already committed to being a host city for the next circuit of films which will begin in the fall of 2013.

One crowd favorite documentary in the series was "Age of Champions," a film about senior Olympians. The film followed several senior athletes, including a 100-year-old tennis player, and promoted the idea that we can triumph over the limitations of age while giving audiences some laugh out loud moments.

Another favorite was "Drivers Wanted." This film gave a behind the scenes tour of the world of a taxi garage in New York City. Suwanee audiences had a chance to discuss the movie after the screening with filmmaker Josh Weinstein who was energetic and engaging.

"Most independent films are shown in venues inside the perimeter," Shrewsbury said. "We wanted to offer the same quality entertainment right here in our own backyard and expose folks to films they might not otherwise see."

For more information about the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, visit www.southarts.org. For more information about Suwanee, visit www.suwanee.com.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.