Jonna’s Body, Please Hold Honored by Long Beach Film Festival; Project Set to Screen in South Africa and Rhode Island
Los Angeles, CA, August 07, 2007 –(PR.com)– The cancerous dark comedy “Jonna’s Body, please hold” has been honored by the Action On Film Festival’s Official Alan J. Bailey Award of Excellence. The film screened on Sunday, July 29th at the Long Beach Entertainment and Convention Center to rave reviews by the audience. Action On Film Festival (http://www.aoffest.com/)
In addition, “Jonna’s Body, please hold” will be screened at the prestigious Everglades International Film Festival (EIFF) and the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIFF). The EIFF festival will run at The Everglades Country Resort, Dargle in South Africa between September 24th and September 29th, 2007. The film has also been selected for inclusion in the 11th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) to be held August 7th-12th, 2007.
Enter the hilarious inner world of Jonna’s body, where a sassy receptionist fields calls from a parade of quirky body parts. Sergeant Coif battling to contain the hair troops, Uta & Ula begging to be released from their brassiere imprisonment. When two nasty killers attempt to take over her body, the entire cast of characters must fight for Jonna’s life. The movie’s stunning visuals and hilarious characters take us on a wild and sometimes bizarre ride into the realm of health, illness, joy and the beauty of life.
“What I really hated about having cancer was watching my identity narrow down to just being sick, having to go through treatment, and sitting around hoping to get well. “Cancer is not me,” I wanted to yell. “Cancer is just something that happened to me,” said Jonna Tamases. “There’s so much more to life than the sadness, seriousness, and frustration that we associate with C-c-c-c-cancer,” she continued. “I wanted to make a show that expresses the fullness of life: the laughter, joy, silliness and power as well as the struggle.”
In addition to Jonna Tamases playing multiple starring roles, the cast includes award-winning Australian actress Imelda Corcoran (Two Hands), Michael Edwin (Pope Dreams), and James Shanklin (Evan Almighty). Jonna’s Body, please hold marks award-winning commercial director Adam Bluming first film project. Producer Melanie Lutz creates projects that bridge the worlds of art and commerce, meaning and media, all presented through an ever expanding inward lens of humanity and exhibition.
Jonna’s Body, please hold started out as a one-woman stage play, in which actress Jonna Tamases played all the parts, using only her body and voice to express the characters (no lighting, costumes or props). Co-producer, Melanie Lutz, came on board in 1998, and through workshop performances the play gathered momentum, culminating in a seven week run at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles, overwhelming audience response, rave reviews, award nominations and invitations to perform around the country. In order to bring the work to a wider audience, biotechnology giant Amgen was approached about funding the movie version. In 2007, under the pilotage of director Adam Bluming and with an incredible team of production design, costume, cinematography, sound and visual effects artists production was completed and Jonna’s Body, please hold was transformed from a one-woman play into a movie.
“From my first viewing of Jonna’s Chaplin-esque monologues on her experiences with cancer, I was moved. I knew. Here was a brave, courageous, incredibly funny young woman, who had survived the most challenging questions we will all face in our lifetime… How will I choose to live my life knowing I have a disease that can kill me? How do I get through? What support do I need? And. Should I live. How do I move on? She stood in the bare spotlight and shared her story,” said producer Melanie Lutz. “Her story needed to be shared.”
In the inner world of ‘Jonna’s Body, life’s daily chaos is corralled by Pearl, Jonna’s sassy receptionist, as she fields calls from a parade of off-beat body parts with never-ending needs.
As we journey through Jonna’s Body, we meet characters like Sgt. Coif, leading a battalion of unruly troops; Upper Back, frantically knotted and uptight; ’Uta’ and ‘Ula,’ straining to be free from their brassiere imprisonment; and Jonna herself, a young woman trekking through life, heedless of the groans and grievances from the body she has come to take for granted.
This innocent mayhem dives into darkness when Jonna’s Body is invaded by two ‘outsiders’, killers with no regard for Jonna’s body, Jonna’s receptionist or even Jonna’s life. Suddenly, the body parts we’ve come to know through their hilarious conversations with Pearl must unite to battle the villains, and Jonna must rely on these neglected allies and somehow muster the strength to join them.
“I’d been looking for a script for a long time and hadn’t found anything that spoke to me in the way Jonna’s Body did, from page one,” said director Adam Bluming. “As a lover of dark comedies, the entire film seamlessly unfolded in my mind. It’s tone spoke so clearly to me, its characters so in sync with my brand of humor, and its message so important–yes, laughter is the best medicine,” Bluming continued. “But more importantly, even the smallest hair on our head can move mountains and push us to be our best–when everything else inside of us tells us that we can’t.”
For more information about the film Jonna’s Body, please hold and a listing of helpful resources for cancer patients please visit www.jonnasbodymovie.com.
More about Jonna Tamases:
After a stint in Clown College, Jonna Tamases toured the U.S. as a Ringling Bros. Circus clown. Now based in Los Angeles, Jonna writes for and stars in ACME Comedy Theatre’s main sketch company and she has been seen in an assortment of plays, television shows, movies and commercials.
Jonna Tamases is a 3-time cancer survivor (Hodgkin’s Disease, Large-Cell Lymphoma, Breast Cancer). 2003 marked the world premiere of the one-woman show “Jonna’s Body, please hold” at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles. The show is a comedic chronicle of Jonna’s personal journey. The critics raved and the show was nominated for two Ovation Awards, including Best World Premiere Play and Best Lead Actress. Since then, Jonna has wowed audiences around the country with her performance. With the help of director Adam Bluming, her producing partner Melanie Lutz, and funding from Amgen, she has turned the project into a short feature.