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Vasilatos says by the time he was finished cutting the film, an entire summer had passed. "I was positive I could have the thing ready for Christmas of '93, I had no idea of the new hoops I was going to have to jump through regarding the post-production process of gaining music clearances, dealing with laboratory schedules, and finding a suitable composer to help add to the story's emotional core. I think I learned more about the logistics of film-making during this project than I ever learned from four years of school." By Thanksgiving of '93, Vasilatos had a pretty good idea it wasn't going to be ready for the upcoming holiday season. "I think the of the only things that gave me my final shot of energy despite the disappointment associated with missing a Christmas deadline, was screening it for independent producer's rep David Sikich of Iltis Sikich Associates. At that point, I was hoping that he might offer some advice regarding what to do with it when it was done. As a filmmaker, true terror is showing something you've labored on for so long to someone who knows the business, hoping your efforts will be measured as worth something, especially considering the fact that it's your first project. Dave watched the scratchy work-print on an editing table with sound made horrible by its transmission through some really awful sounding speakers. When he broke the silence that followed that screening and said that he liked it and wanted to help market it upon its completion, I felt some vindication in my persistence to see the thing through from it's inception and not ever compromise the earliest visions of what I wanted it to be."

Vasilatos finished post-production on "Solstice" in early 1994. From there the sound was mixed by Chuck Rapp of Zenith Audio Services, and final prints were struck for a Christmas of '94 target release. Sikich was able to network Vasilatos with Shel Beugen of Video Media Distribution in Chicago, who lined up a deal with Lifetime Television for a Christmas '94 national cable broadcast premiere.

The Message of "Solstice"

I'm very proud of "Solstice", because I think the story has something in it for everyone" Jerry says. "Nick is a guy who's down on a lot of things, and who's lost a lot of faith in a time when everyone's expectations seem to run so high. He's unhappy at his job because it's not what he went to school for, he's lonely from having just broken up with his girlfriend, he's avoiding going home because he feels his family is dysfunctional... these are things everyone goes through at one time or another during the holidays, but it's not just that. He sees things going on around him, people ignoring the homeless, workers being laid off, and most ironically, reads of a local church which has had its Christ Child statue stolen by some kids. Although his own life is in disorder, he sees others around him not in tune with what the holidays should be about, and this is what sparks his Christmas Eve journey and eventual rediscovery of what Christmas should be about. We're so busy feeling sorry for ourselves sometimes, that we don't recognize the positive that can come out of a seemingly bad situation, and that's the human spirit. In Nick's case, he has given to and received from others without even realizing it, and in finally realizing this while hearing Father Jacobse's sermon at the end he gains some of his faith back, some of his hope. I think the message of the film is that no matter how bleak we sometimes perceive things to be, we should never give up hope or faith, because in our hearts they're what give us the strength to forge ahead."

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Silver Award - 1994

Bronze Award - 1995

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