"Solstice" wins Best Drama & Best Score in 2019 Las Vegas Megafest International Film Festival
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
LAS VEGAS (August 5, 2019) - Restored in 2018 for its 25th Anniversary with a new orchestral score, Lifetime Television's first original holiday movie "Solstice", produced and directed by Jerry Vasilatos, won top honors as Best Drama and Best Score in the 2019 Hollywood Dreamz Film Festival, and Best Score at the Action on Film Festival. "Solstice" was screened along with over 250 other films at the Brendan Palms Casino Theater in Las Vegas during the two week Megafest The award winning screenplay for Vasilatos's next feature film project, "Shelter Me", was also a finalist in the Hollywood Dreamz Writer's Competition. Vasilatos and his composer, Bálint Sapszon were both in attendance to accept the awards for "Solstice".
"It's incredibly rewarding that after 25 years, the underlying themes of "Solstice" still stand the test of time and resonate with audiences" Vasilatos says. "Restoring the film in HD with the addition of Bálint Sapszon's magnificent new orchestral score accentuating the soulful performances of leads Mike Kelley and Mary McCloud, help make the film the timeless holiday story I always wanted it to be." The new score was performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra.
"Solstice" tells the story of Nick Allman, a disillusioned young man who has lost touch with the true spirit of the holidays. Set in Chicago on Christmas Eve, it follows his day from morning till midnight as he encounters a variety of characters who help renew his belief in a season where everyone's expectations run high. The film and its new orchestral score are available on DVD and CD at www.solsticemovie.com, while the director seeks new distribution for the film on broadcast and streaming platforms.
Vasilatos is continuing development of his next project "Shelter Me" with co-producers Sam George of Luna Mojo, Kristi Dunn Kucera and the support of Chicago Media Angels and Cinespace Studios in Chicago.
"Shelter Me" is the story of Jeanie Carpenter, a domestic abuse survivor who becomes ensnared in a homicide investigation threatening both herself and a young child she has befriended after seeking refuge in a Washington D.C. homeless shelter.
"The narrative tapestry of "Shelter Me" deals with a multitude of social issues ranging from domestic abuse and homelessness, to illiteracy, alcoholism and human trafficking. It also features a racial and gender diverse cast of characters whose stories will resonate with a wide range of audiences," says Vasilatos. "The lead character's resolve to end the cycle of abuse in her life sets the stage for a dramatic, suspenseful and inspirational journey."
"Shelter Me", was written by Sara Coover Caldwell and Jerry Vasilatos. It was also a nominated finalist in last years Script Summit Screenplay Contest and 2019 winner in the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Screenwriting Contest taking place in Hollywood's Raleigh Studios in late August.
It's Vasilatos' goal as co-writer, producer and director to produce "Shelter Me" through his company Nitestar Productions in Chicago utilizing the resources of local crew and talent while creating more jobs for the indie film community.