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"My Tale of Two Cities" screens for "Neighbors" in California

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It might sound crazy to try to lure folks to Wine Country with Iron City Beer, Isaly's Chipped Ham, and a movie about Pittsburgh, but "My Tale of Two Cities" got some serious festival buzz to the point that the Sonoma Index Tribune wrote: "Although it is the Sonoma Valley Film Festival, Pittsburgh garnered a lot of attention this weekend. Filmmaker Carl Kurlander's documentary, "My Tale of Two Cities," looks at the metamorphosis Pittsburgh underwent from the city he remembered as a boy to the city he returned to 30 years later..." For more information, please go to our "Discuss" section...

"My Tale of Two Cities" deals with both a city and one of its native son's in mid-life crisis as it chronicles Carl Kurlander's decision to leave his life as a Hollywood screenwriter ("St. Elmo's Fire") and television writer/producer ("Saved By The Bell") behind and move back to his hometown of Pittsburgh which was, like so many cities these days, trying to reinvent itself for a new age. This often funny and sometimes brutally honest film seemed to strike a resonant chord with current and former Pittsburghers as well as many non-Pittsburghers who were in attendance for the film's two festival screenings. Many of those in attendance commented after the premiere that they were particularly moved by how Kurlander's own personal struggle with whether he made the right decision moving back to Pittsburgh, mirrored many of their own concerns regarding a sense of home, place, and community in today's world.

KurlanderQ&A.jpg Following both screenings of the film, Kurlander and members of his production staff conducted a Q&A session in which Carl addressed questions regarding the genesis of the documentary and his own feelings concerning Pittsburgh's future. A poignant moment during the Q&A came when a young girl asked Carl whether he thought his film would 'help' in the today's fragmented and disconnected world.

Following up on the theme of brining Pittsburghers together; Steeltown Entertainment Project hosted a Pittsburgh themed reunion party at local Sonoma establishment, Steiner's Tavern following the April 11th screening. This party afforded current Pittsburghers, expatriates, and anyone else who attended the chance to experience, the food, sounds, and stories of the 'Burgh.'

Party 4.jpg Those who attended the party enjoyed Pittsburgh themed food and drink such as Isley's chipped ham, Heinz condiments, sweets from Betsy Ann Chocolate, Eat 'n Park Smiley Cookies, baked goods from Jenny Lee Bakery, snacks from local vendors Popcorn-n-That, Pittsburgh pretzels, and Iron City and IC Light beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Company. The party had a decidedly hometown atmosphere as guests got to enjoy watching the Pittsburgh Penguins second playoff game, and also enjoyed the opportunity to share stories and reminisce about the hometown they all care so much about.

Michael Keaton Crosby Jersey.jpgThe climax of the Pittsburgh themed weekend in Sonoma came on Saturday night as the film festival paid tribute to actor/director and former Pittsburgh native, Michael Keaton. During the tribute, clips were played from some of Keaton's most memorable films including "Beetlejuice," "Batman," and "Jackie Brown." Keaton who began his career in Pittsburgh on the set of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" was presented with a clip reel of his work from that show was also given a "This Is Your Life" style tribute by David Newell, who played the show's speedy deliveryman character, Mr. McFeely. The night was capped off with Keaton being presented with a Pittsburgh themed gift basket and a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey jersey by VisitPittsburgh representative Tinsy Lipchak.

In all, the Pittsburgh invasion of wine country during last week was an unabashed success, providing an opportunity for those who take pride in their Pittsburgh roots to enjoy great food, great drink, and the company of their old and new 'neighbors.'


To learn more about the film, "My Tale of Two Cities" click here.

To read an article from the Sonoma News chronicling the Pittsburgh themed events surrounding the Sonoma Film Festival click here.

The following are links to related stories promoting "My Tale of Two Cities" and the events surrounding the 2008 Sonoma Film Festival:

Wine Country Tastes Pittsburgh

Break a Leg
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872594-326.stm (Scroll down)

Hollywood invades Sonoma

Rockin' and Rollin' at the Sonoma Valley Film Festival

Michael Keaton to be honored at Sonoma Valley Film Festival

Pittsburgh Diaspora at Sonoma Valley Film Festival

Sonoma Film Festival to Honor Keaton and Premiere Kurlander's 'Two Cities'

"Wine Country" to Become "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood"

Pittsburgh's Film Diaspora

Islay's in Sonoma

Olympus Advisory member Carl Kurlander 's film, "My Tale of Two Cities," has been invited to screen at the Sonoma Valley Film Festival in April!


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