Take a look at our movie over the holidays

LiesIToldMyLittleSister-DVD-CoverBFF-2DI just thought I’d remind you that our movie, Lies I Told My Little Sister, is available for streaming over the holidays and well worth putting your feet up and taking a break for.

It's a female-driven family drama/comedy with a unique blend of heart and humor.

Amazon customers say in their reviews:

“Overall a great find & fantastic movie. Wonderful performances by Lucy Walters & cast with a touching, thought provoking, story line I think many will be able to relate to for a variety of reasons.”

“I recently rented Lies I Told My Little Sister to watch at home and I loved it! The family’s story of finding hope after loss was heartwarming and I very much enjoyed the main character’s journey. “

“I loved this movie. it was smart, sexy, warm, and poignant…a great movie to curl up with.”

“This is one of those lovely little gems of a film that manages to bridge the gender gap. It's story and fine acting touches the heart, stirs up memories and throws in relatable moments. Many of us have been down a similar path. Although not a classic "tearjerker"' do have a box of tissues handy... just in case.”

(Only available in the US at the moment, sorry.)






Our movie hits the streets (and screens)

LiesIToldMyLittleSister-DVD-CoverBFF-2DLies I Told My Little Sister, the feature film written by my wife judywhite and nephew Jonathan Weisbrod, has recently been released in the USA. Hooray!! It stars Lucy Walters, currently making waves in the hit TV drama series Power, and rocker turned actress Ellen Foley, Meat Loaf’s duet partner from the Bat Out of Hell album. It also features US soap star Alicia Minshew of All My Children and Donovan Patton of the pioneering children’s US TV series Blues Clues. Oh, and me…! Not starring, exactly, but still…

Telling the story of a globe trotting photographer and the little sister she used to persecute with outrageous lies, as the whole family adjusts to the death of the oldest third sister they all head off on a family vacation – packing, as it says on the DVD cover, all the childhood baggage.

The resulting fun, fury and frustration, fuelled by vodka and love, makes a tender and warm-hearted movie revealing the elastic boundaries, and the unbreakable connections, of family love. Shot on Cape Cod, in New Jersey and at The Phoenix Store just a few miles from our front door in Pennsylvania, the film won awards at more than twenty festivals across the country last year with all the main players and the film itself being nominated or winning awards.

Horticulture? Well, apart from some lovely blue hydrangeas… not much. Although your humble blogger has a small part playing Ellen Foley’s love interest – and who could ask for more in their first movie part?!

This is a really enjoyable drama/comedy about a family full of engaging characters and how they react to their past and to the death of the oldest sister. It’s funny as well as poignant. The director and crew are almost all recent graduates of New York University film school as they embark on their careers after making some award-winning short films while at college.

It was fascinating to participate, even in a small way, and I came away full of admiration for the craft of acting; seeing these fine actors at work made me realize how good they are.

You can watch the trailer below, or watch the first two minutes of the movie here (just click the tab).

Chosen by Geena Davis as a special selection for Walmart, Lies I Told My Little Sister is available for streaming now at Walmart, amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play and other services. DVDs are available in about 3000 Walmart stores. Negotiations continue about a European release.

Go on... Give it a try… I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

 Next time, back to plants...

Big Flower in Arkansas

Guest blog by judywhite

Georgia O'Keeffe's Jimson Weed.I was in Bentonville, Arkansas recently, my first time in that state, and the first time in the town where Walmart got its start. It today dominates the landscape, culture and mindset. The drama-comedy film I wrote, "Lies I Told My Little Sister," had been chosen an Official Selection of Geena Davis' inaugural film festival, Bentonville Film Festival (BFF)  and I was invited for the events.

What I did not expect – until I read up on Bentonville before going – was that a world-class museum opened there on 11/11/11. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was made possible by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam, and it is truly a spectacular building surrounded by spectacular grounds, all free to the public. I was there for the opening party and a lot of BFF panels on women & diversity (the festival's theme), and saw Robert De Niro and Rosie O'Donnell and of course Geena, among other A-list celebs, but managed to miss the museum art itself until I went back later specifically.

I went to see a big flower. In a painting that has always been one of my favorites. The amazing, huge work of iconic art called "Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1" is a 48in x 40in oil on canvas painted in 1932 by my favorite artist, Georgia O'Keeffe. It was purchased by the museum last November, possibly to help put it on the map, because it brought the highest price ever paid for a work of art by a female artist - $44.4 million at Sotheby's for a Datura stramonium.

Deservedly, the Jimson Weed has its own room, on a huge green wall emblazoned with a quote: “I said to myself, I’ll paint what I see, what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it.” –Georgia O’Keeffe “About Myself,” 1939

Walmart's Bentonville is a surreal setting for a high-class film festival, and a surprising setting for the Jimson Weed. The museum's other acquisitions make for a simple curation arranged by year, usually with only one example of each American artist's work. There are actually three other pieces by O'Keeffe here, all minor, dwarfed literally and figuratively by the white flower on the wall opposite them. And during a film festival dedicated to championing women, despite the presence of such stars as De Niro and Courtney Cox and Nick Cannon and Bruce Dern, it was only the great Georgia O'Keeffe, now the most sought-after female artist in the world, who truly took my breath away.
Georgia O'Keeffe's Jimson Weed display. Image

European premiere of our movie on Friday!

European premiere of Lies I Told My Little Sister in Northamptonshire on 23 JanuaryI've occasionally mentioned family activities other than horticultural ones - and the next exciting event is the European premiere of our movie in Northamptonshire on Friday!

Lies I Told My Little Sister is a family drama-comedy, written by my wife judy, which won many awards at North American festivals last year including Three Best Film honours, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay.

After the death of her oldest sister, a globe-trotting photographer is spurred by guilt onto a family trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with the younger sister she used to torment. Amid recriminations, revelations, a very strange shopkeeper and an old romance, they square off against the patterns of childhood.

Starring Lucy Walters, known for her breakout role in Steve McQueen's BAFTA-nominated Shame opposite Michael Fassbender. Also starring rocker/Broadway star Ellen Foley, who was Meat Loaf's duet partner on Bat Out of Hell, fifth best-selling album of all time. Foley, once girlfriend to Mick Jones of The Clash, was inspiration for their iconic song, "Should I Stay or Should I Go." I shoiuld also mention that I myself have a small cameo!

Now Lies I Told My Little Sister comes to our home town in England for its European premiere and judy will be there to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards. It will screen at the Stahl Theatre in Oundle at 7.45pm on Friday 23 January. Click here for more information and to order tickets online, or ring  01832 274734. The bar opens at 7.00pm. Hope to see you there!

Lies I Told My Little Sister - World Premiere!

Lies I Told My Litte Sister: Lucy Walters (front) plus Graham Rice and Ellen Foley. ©Lies I Told My Little Sister (all rights reserved)
A few days ago we returned from Tampa, FL following the World Premiere of the movie Lies I Told My Little Sister – written by my wife judy! – at the Gasparilla Film Festival. And what a treat it all was.

The 200 seat theatre sold out. The film was awarded “Best Of The Fest” and a second screening scheduled for the following day. There were lively Q&As featuring judy, director William J. Stribling, producer Jonathan Weisbrod, cinematographer Alex Gallitano and actress Michelle Petterson. There were the red carpet interviews with the press and with Fox News (see below, click to enlarge) and there were, of course, parties.

It was such a thrill to see the film on the big screen for the first time – and it looked wonderful.

The film is a comedy drama set during a family vacation on Cape Cod. As judy describes it: “A family trip, packing all the childhood baggage... After the death of her oldest sister, a globe-trotting nature photographer(Lucy Walters) is guilted onto a family vacation to Cape Cod - along with the younger sister she used to torment (Michelle Petterson). Amid recriminations, revelations, a very strange shopkeeper and an old romance, they square off against the patterns of childhood.

It also stars Donovan Patton (Blues Clues), Alicia Minshew (All My Children) and Ellen Foley (Night Court, Bat Out Of Hell).

In the picture (above, click to enlarge) star Lucy Walters leaves a scene on the beach where I (yes, me!, in one of my two scenes in the film - gulp) chat up Ellen Foley (she of the Bat Out Of Hell album) who plays one of the leading roles.

Next up is the Through Women’s Eyes festival in Florida (5 April)
Order tickets here (selling out fast)

And then the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida (8 April)
Order tickets here (selling out fast)

Follow the movie on Twitter or follow me on Twitter for news of upcoming screenings.
Follow Lies I Told My Little Sister on Twitter
Follow Graham Rice on Twitter

You can find out more about Lies I Told My Little Sister on the film's Facebook page (please “like” the page)
Lies I Told My Little Sister on Facebook

The movie’s website is here:
Lies I Told My Little Sister

Here's a guest blog post by judy for a big indie movie blog
Indiewire guest blog

And here's a newspaper feature about the Through Women's Eyes festival that features judy.
Herald Tribune feature

Finally, here's a snap of them being interviewed on the red carpet by Fox TV.
(l-r): interviewer, judy, Michelle Petterson (leading actress), William J. Stribling (director), Jonathan Weisbrod (producer).

Lies I Told My Litte Sister on the Red Carpet at the Gasparilla Film Festival. © All Rights Reserved

In the family: Lies I Told My Little Sister

Once in a while, I tell you about interesting things that my family is doing - especially if there's on online component. So here's some news: my wife, judywhite, who's a noted garden writer and photographer, is in the midst of something truly awe-inspiring. She decided to break out of the horticultural mode, to write her first screenplay – and it's being turned into a feature film called Lies I Told My Little Sister! Filming starts in three weeks.

The film is a drama-comedy set on Cape Cod, about family dynamics and sibling rivalry, and it’s been fascinating to watch all the behind-the-scenes details that go into the making of a motion picture. It’s being produced and directed by an amazing team straight out of the acclaimed film department at NYU (New York University), who earlier this year swept the New Visions & Voices Film Festival in NYC with their first project, a short film, garnering Best Picture, Best Director, Best Producer, Best Editing. Lies I Told My Little Sister will be their first feature film.

Wonderful actors have been cast, including breakout actress Lucy Walters from the 2011 BAFTA-nominated film Shame and former rocker Ellen Foley – known for her silver sledgehammer of a voice on such iconic songs as Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Read an interview with Lucy that IndieLondon did after they found she’d been cast in Lies.

The primary funding for the film is in place, but there's a way that anyone interested can get involved and help out. For the next 32 days, you can go to IndieGoGo  to make a donation, small or large, that will go toward some incidental costs, and you can be a part of the film! There are lots of perks being offered, such as your name in the onscreen credits, signed screenplays, props from the movie, DVD of the final film, even a part as walk-on extra.

It just goes to prove that you can reinvent yourself at any point, if you just take risks and try. Bravo to my wonderful writer of a wife!

And check out my previous post about my daughter's online business His Emporium.