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Steve Vai Appears in Hank Garland Film PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 June 2008 10:51
crazy.jpgLOS ANGELES, June 2, CRAZY, an independent feature film inspired by the tragic life and groundbreaking music of legendary 1950s-era guitarist Hank Garland, is an official selection at the Hoboken International Film Festival (5/30-6/5) in Hoboken, New Jersey. CRAZY will be shown at 8:30PM on Tuesday, June 3 at Pier A in Hoboken. The "al fresco" screening is a free event.

CRAZY , directed by Rick Bieber, just won the Vanguard Award, the top honor at the Jacksonville International Film Festival in Jacksonville, Florida. Hank Garland lived the last four decades of his life in the Jacksonville area with his brother (and manager) Billy Garland and Billy's wife Amy, who both attended the opening night screening of CRAZY. The film also recently won the Jury Award for Best Feature at the Charleston International Film Festival. For Charleston, SC's Post and Courier, film critic Bill Thompson wrote, "CRAZY has a bedrock feel of authenticity ... a lively, emotionally resonant movie - with wonderful music - that is an uncommonly seamless meld of character study and period recreation." Earlier this spring, at the L.A. area's 10th Annual Method Fest in Calabasas, CA, CRAZY won the Daily News Award for Best Screenplay for a script co-written by Bieber, Jason Ehlers and Brent Boyd.

Bieber was introduced to the project - and to the late Hank Garland - by Ray Scherr, who served as Executive Producer for CRAZY along with guitar hero Steve Vai (who performs a cameo as Hank Williams) under the Favored Nations Films mantle. Scherr had known the Garland family for over a decade, and believed Hank's true story had great potential for a compelling drama. Hank consulted on the screenplay and was involved with the project until he passed away in December '04, shortly before principal photography began.

Waylon Payne, acclaimed for his debut film role as Jerry Lee Lewis in the Oscar-winning film Walk The Line, stars as Hank Garland. recently wrote of his performance, "The brash and brilliant musician is well played by charismatic actor Waylon Payne." In addition to acting, Payne is a country artist with deep musical roots. He was named for his godfather, Waylon Jennings, and is the son of GRAMMY-winning country singer Sammi Smith and Jody Payne, longtime guitarist for Willie Nelson.

Payne headlines CRAZY opposite Ali Larter (Heroes, Legally Blonde, Varsity Blues, etc), who plays Hank's beautiful but deeply troubled wife Evelyn Garland. Cast members also include: Scott Michael Campbell, who plays Garland's friend and fellow Nashville guitar ace Billy Byrd; Lane Garrison as Hank's brother and manager Billy Garland; singer Stacy Earl, who performs as country crooner Goldie Hill; Evans Forde as Nashville music legend Chet Atkins; and Ryan Cross, who plays jazz bassist Joe Benjamin.

CRAZY chronicles Hank Garland's rise to fame in Nashville, from playing on hits for icons including Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, the Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison through his brief but influential solo career as a visionary jazz artist. It also explores his tempestuous marriage as well as his repeated clashes with the "Nashville Mob" - who then controlled the country music establishment - over artist's rights, civil rights and other issues. The car crash and electroshock treatments that eventually ended Garland's performing career and derailed his life are starkly portrayed, and the enormity of what was lost is deeply felt.

CRAZY is also an official selection at upcoming 2008 festivals including: the New Jersey International Film Festival (5/30-6/15); Colorado's Breckenridge Festival of Film (6/5-8), Boston International Film Festival (6/6-14); International Film Festival of England (6/9-13, Tamworth, U.K.), Maui International Film Festival (6/11-15); Provincetown International Film Festival (6/18-22), Long Island International Film Expo (7/9-17), Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival (7/16-28) and the Scottsdale International Film Festival (10/3-7).

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Press Release
Source: PR Newswire

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