Thursday, August 25, 2011


Features Live Q & A With Director Margaret Whitton of  “A Bird Of The Air” On Sept. 20 
 And Actor/Comedian Steve Guttenberg, Star of “A Novel Romance,” On Oct. 3

By: Jeff Blumenfeld
 Everyone has heard of blockbuster Hollywood films supported by tens of millions of dollars.  But what about the dozens of independent films telling important stories without a gold-plated budget?  Digiplex Destinations, a new and fast growing chain of all-digital theaters, is celebrating independent films this fall with the Digiplex Independent Film Series (DIFS), highlighting a number of films in pre-release, well ahead of national distribution.
            All films will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Digiplex Rialto Theater in Westfield, N.J. (250 East Broad Street), and feature prominent area film critics and film experts, along with talent or production staff from each film.
            The film series will open Sept. 20 with a presentation of “A Bird of the Air,” featuring a live question and answer session afterwards with director Margaret Whitton. The film, about a sassy parrot and a free-spirited librarian who upend the well-ordered life of a solitary man, will be hosted by Stephen Whitty, past chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. Whitty is also an award-winning Sunday columnist and film critic for the Newark Star-Ledger whose reviews run nationwide.
            DIFS will continue on Oct. 3 with “A Novel Romance,” featuring an introduction by director Allie Dvorin and a live Q & A with actor and comedian Steve Guttenberg at the Digiplex Rialto Theater in Westfield. Other films will be offered Oct. 11, Nov. 15, and Dec. 13.  Log onto for more details.
            “Hollywood blockbusters are like the Snooki of cinema – they're loud, they're colorful, and they tend to suck up all the oxygen in a room. They can be fun in small doses but you need to catch your breath once in awhile,” said Whitty.  
            “It’s important to have festivals and series that spotlight all the movie alternatives out there – American indies, foreign films, documentaries.
            “Their budgets are a lot smaller than the studio products, but their entertainment value is just as big. And what they also provide – provocative real-life stories, offbeat dramas, quirky comedies, wide-open windows to other cultures – is immense,” Whitty said.
            Adds A. Dale “Bud” Mayo, Digiplex Destinations chairman/CEO, The best way audiences can discover the next big break-out film is to see them on the big screen, where they really belong. This is our first effort to bring movies to people who enjoy learning how movies are made, and appreciate the thinking process that goes on behind the scenes.
            “DIFS offers a better understanding of the entire movie-making process,” Mayo said.
            Co-producer of DIFS is Mark Ehrenkranz, series producer of the New York Film Critics Series.
            Tickets for the Digiplex Independent Film Series are $10 per person and can be purchased at the box office or on-line at


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