August 5, 2008
Film About 2008 Olympics Getting Big Laughs
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- As the 2008 Olympic Games open in Beijing later this week, an independent movie about one man's dream that the Olympics would be held in the desert town of Barstow, Calif., is getting big laughs around the country.
"Barstow 2008" centers on Benny Finch, a Barstow male manicurist hoping to bring the Olympics to Barstow, despite the doubts of his friends, family and fellow residents.
The movie was the first feature film co-written by Bob Morrow and Chuck Borghese -- the two had worked together before in the advertising industry making commercials. The idea was first born in 2000, when the International Olympic Committee was looking for a city to host the 2008 games.
"We thought it would be a creative publicity stunt for the Olympic committee to pick an out-of-the-way location," said Chuck Borghese, co-writer of "Barstow 2008".
Morrow and Borghese decided to make a film based on Finch's efforts to bring the games to his hometown. Initially, they shot a short spoof video with Benny Finch the protagonist, making his pitch to the Olympic committee. The short video highlighting Benny's pitch to the committee is available on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi0nHFiQoWw. The short video has garnered more than 52,000 hits so far on the popular Web site.
The video took two days of shooting in May 2000 and ultimately the team shot a feature length film in 12 days in October 2000.
"People loved the short, so we decided to expand it into a feature," said Bob Morrow, co-writer and director of the film.
In the full-length film, Finch loses his job as a manicurist and decides that the best way to redeem himself in the eyes of his family and friends is to bring the Olympic games to Barstow.
"They see him as a dreamer, a guy who's a little out of touch, but Benny's a very positive, can-do kind of guy," adds Morrow.
The movie screened on the film festival circuit and garnered good reaction, including a Best Actor award for leading man Paul Willson at the 2001 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, but it never hit mainstream distribution.
"We were very close, but then 9-11 happened and distributors stopped buying movies," adds Morrow.
The Barstow 2008 concept has had a revival on http://www.youtube.com/ and the pair is seeing more feedback on the short film, leading them to entertain the idea of reviving the feature film.
"At the end of the day I think the International Olympic Committee should have selected Barstow over Beijing," said Morrow. "At least in Barstow you can use the Internet and the air is cleaner."
Blossom Communications Inc.
CONTACT: Mary Anne Morrow of Blossom Communications Inc.,+1-602-332-9026, [email protected]