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Local filmmakers enter work in Reno Film Festival

Paul Raymore
Courtesy photoMembers of the cast and crew of "five beans in a cup" work on a scene during filming. The film was entered in the Reno Film Festival's GAMMA Indiefest film competition, and was chosen as a finalist. It will premier Thursday at the Nevada Museum of Art.
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This Thursday, local filmmakers Eric Matlock and Rudy Calizo will screen their film “five beans in a cup” at the Reno Film Festival’s GAMMA IndieFest film competition. As a finalist in the Independent Film Competition track, “five beans in a cup” will be competing against some of the hottest new independent films.

The feature-length film was shot in various locations throughout the Sierra and in Reno over the last three years. It is the product of Calizo and Matlock’s Reno-based May 34th Films – a company that was founded in 1997 after several acting students got together to learn more about filmmaking.

“We all started out as a group of actors, and our class ended and we said ‘Hey, we want to keep going,'” Matlock said. “So, before we knew it we were out shooting ‘Hangman,’ which was our 15-minute short film which was shot almost entirely in the Truckee area.”

Since that time, May 34th Films has produced two more: 1999’s feature-length “The Perfect Combination” and their current project, “five beans in a cup”.

With a sizable cast of 35 actors, a production crew of 13 and a budget of only $10,000 or so, their most recent film came together because everyone involved was motivated to make it work.

Filming in the Sierra proved to have its advantages and its disadvantages at times. “The story has a lot of exteriors, and we needed a lot of nice landscapes and pasture and rolling mountains … and this area is a perfect place to shoot that type of stuff. It’s just beautiful out here,” Matlock said.

However, freezing temperatures, early snowstorms and uncooperative cows all made filming difficult at times.

Regardless of the hardships, Calizo and Matlock are happy with the final product, and they are confident that their latest film has what it takes to do well at the Reno Film Festival. “This is the first project where we’ve felt confident enough to say ‘we want to take this as far as we can take it’… We had enough background to know we could pull it off. There were a lot of challenges, a lot of lessons were learned, but this project turned out pretty good in the end,” Matlock said.

The film follows everyman-character Jay Mitchell on what starts out as a normal business trip. When Mitchell nearly gets into an accident, his boring business trip becomes an epic journey, filled with strange local people and situations he has never faced before.

“five beans in a cup” will premier Thursday at the GAMMA IndieFest screenings from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Nevada Museum of Art. Winners of the IndieFest competition will be shown in an encore presentation on either Saturday or Sunday, Nov. 8 or 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the same location.

“We want everyone to come out and support this premier because there’s actually going to be a competition involved, and if we’re voted in by the audience, that counts toward the overall vote (in the IndieFest),” Matlock said. “We’re looking for everyone to come out and support local independent film making, which needs all the support it can get.”


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