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Local actors wanted for Buffalo casting call: BHS grad's film begins production next month

By Billie Owens

Batavia High School Class of 2007 graduate James Lullo is living in L.A. these days, developing his entertainment and marketing career, via his company Beauty View Ranch.

He's producing a short film that begins production in late September and is seeking young local acting talent of any experience, specifically children.

The graduate of SUNY Brockport (Class of 2011) contacted The Batavian about a planned Buffalo casting call, date/time to be announced, for "Goldenrod." The plot was not revealed.

The production of the short film is a family affair in that his mother, Cecelia Lullo, is the Costume Designer, and his sister, Michal Lullo, currently a junior at Ithaca College, works as a Production Assistant. His cousin, Jonathon Lullo, has been "an invaluable consultant to the project," as he works in Hollywood at a development studio.

In addition, his brother, Joseph Lullo, also lives in Los Angeles and is on the crew as Transportation Supervisor. His father's insurance company, Marathon, is exploring the financing and insurance carrier sides of film production, and hopes to have a slate of products available this fall for locals as well as visiting productions.

Two other Brockport alums are also working on the film, Paul Overacker and Keenan Miller, and a fourth Brockport grad has graciously donated some film equipment, Kelvon Agee. Overacker has worked on the "Dr. Phil" show "foreeeeever," and Agee is a multi-Emmy winning cinematographer on the show "Deadliest Catch," among many others.

"There's a whole host of Batavians, WNYers, and local college graduates making big things happen in Hollywood," James Lullo says. "Another family with strong Batavia ties are the Beers. Tim Beers Jr. has been an invaluable asset to me here in Hollywood, and helped me gain some of my strongest experience to date."

Former BHS Basketball star Michael Chmielewicz has been spotted out there, too, working in the film industry!

So, if you're interested in acting in "Goldenrod," which is directed by Marjorie DeHey, here's more information about who they are looking for:

  • Currently not a Screen Actors Guild production, but SAG members are encouraged to submit;
  • Real family members and siblings are encouraged to submit;
  • Black female lead, age 9 to 13 (playing age 9);
  • Caucasian female lead, age 9 to 13 (playing age 9);
  • Caucasian female lead, age 30;
  • Caucasion male lead, age 30;
  • Black supporting actor, age 30, male or female;
  • Caucasian female supporting actor, age 13 to 17.

Send headshot, reel, résumé to:


GCC hosts WNY FAME showcasing film, music video, photography, screenwriting and acting

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

This week offers a cultural opportunity to support local artists, and in this case also local filmmakers, screenwriters and actors.

From 5:30 till 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 18, 19 and 20 the College is hosting the fourth annual Western New York Film, Art and Music Event (FAME), organized by Beaver Alley Studios Inc. and cosponsored by the CineMagic, a GCC student organization. The event will be held in the central Forum of the Batavia Campus.

Over the three nights, the FAME Festival will be showing an array of different films including documentaries on the first night. On Friday evening, awards will be given in a variety of different categories including:

  • Film --- Best No-Budget Film (under $15,000), Best Director, Best WNY Film, Best Short Script and more;
  • Music Video-- Best Cinematography, FAME Audience Choice, Most Unique Concept Song/ Video;
  • Photography-- Landscape, People, Events, Nature, Best Body of Work.

Admission to each night is completely FREE. Mature content is scheduled for screening after 9 p.m., but the bulk of the work to be viewed is intended for all-age audiences. Nearly 50 screenplays, photo films and music videos were entered into the contest.

For additional more information on the festival, click here.

Beaver Alley Studios Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded by Rhonda Parker, a 2015 GCC graduate (inset photo right) who earned degrees in Communications and Media Arts and as well as Paralegal Studies.

Parker established Beaver Alley Studios Inc. to facilitate the production, promotion, distribution, exhibition and celebration of independent art in all forms, especially art from a female perspective. The organization offers services such as screenwriting and script consultation, cinematography, editing, film reviews, film school, and packages for events, commercial use, music videos and short films.

A resident of Albion, Parker is an active filmmaker and produced several full length movies, including her first, "Friends Don't Let Friends - Date Friends" in 2014. She has also written and produced the feature films "Lonely Bananas," "Message in a Bottle," a number of short films, and early in her film career she appeared as a "Walmart mom" in a television commercial.

For more event details, contact Beaver Alley Studios Inc. President Rhonda Parker at (585) 798-2815 or via email or Genesee Community College Assistant Professor of English and Film Shawn Adamson at (585) 343-0055, ext.6156, or via email at

Scene Study and Stage Combat Workshop at EnGarde Batavia

By Tom Clark

EnGarde to Encore, the performance part of Engarde Batavia, is running a combination scene study and stage combat workshop starting on February 4th at their Harvester Avenue fencing studio. The workshop will meet from 1 to 3 PM on six Saturdays, ending on March 10th with a showcase of scenes from 6-8 PM. The workshop will utilize the works of Shakespeare and other Renaissance playwrights, commedia dell’ arte or similarscenarios, and original material to build skills in scene analysis and stage combat. Tragedies, Comedies, and Musicals will be included.

Event Date and Time

An evening with the Batavia Players

By Philip Anselmo

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited behind the scenes for the Batavia Players' dress rehearsal of Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, which premieres tonight (see showtime info below).

As the cast members flitted this way and that, in and out of their dressing rooms, up and off the stage, I had just enough time to sit with Patrick Burk, the show's director, and a couple members of the cast. We chatted right up on the set — which Patrick later informed me is made up of no less than 400 props donated by several of the players themselves.

Who: The Batavia Players: Valeria Antonetty, Shawnie Euren, Lynda Hodgins, Rachel Oshlag, Nikole Marone, Peggy Marone, Joan Meyer, Patti Michalak and Jake Bortle. Patrick Burk directs.

What: Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean by Ed Graczyk.

Where: Stuart Steiner Theater, Genesee Community College, Batavia.

When: May 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30pm.

Tickets: Available at Roxy's Music Store, 228 W. Main St., and Go Art!, 201 E. Main St. $10 for adults, $8 for senior.

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