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USA Film Festival kicks off their 44th annual spring event with a punch

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USA Film Festival kicked off their 44th Annual Spring Festival on Tuesday night at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. It was capacity crowds for the screenings of FADING GIGOLO and PARTICLE FEVER and film enthusiasts were in high spirits to see old friends and eagerly looked forward to the movies.

The house for FADING GIGOLO was at capacity all the way down to the front row and the audience was quickly caught up in the on-screen hijinks between John Turturro and Woody Allen.

Turturro wrote and directed the film as well as starred as the principal lead as the hapless gigolo; Allen was his errant pimp that quickly became caught up in the excitement of procuring new clients.

The film also stars Sharon Stone, Sophia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and Liev Schreiber.

During the Q&A after the screening, Turturro animatedly engaged with the audience during the many questions posed and was forthcoming with the production process of the film. He acknowledged that he shared a barber with Allen and it was through "shop talk" that Allen found out about the film.

Turturro mentioned it was a full two year process from the initial talks to the writing and production of the film. In the meantime, he engaged with Allen by directing three one-act plays and mentioned that the engagement between the two characters on screen was exactly like they are in person.

It appears as though Turturro did a solid job with casting as some pivotal scenes only had one take including a powerful scene by Paradis near the end of the film in her first American film; she delivered a strong and solid performance in each scene she was featured in and hopefully she will see more screen time in other films on this side of the pond.

FADING GIGOLO has been released on a limited run in NYC and LA with widescreen release nationwide soon following.

The USA Film Festival continues through Sunday; details on upcoming screenings can be found on their website at www.USAFilmFestival.com.

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