SAN DIEGO -- “The Wishmakers of West Hollywood” is a lighthearted romp through the lives of three young gay men who are trying to find love, career successes and happiness in Hollywood.
The film is showing at FilmOut San Diego's 13th annual LGBT Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the historic Birch North Park Theatre.
The film features Hollywood legend Sally Kirkland, who received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for “Anna,” a film about a struggling Czech actress. Kirkland has worked in movies such as “JFK” and “Bruce Almighty,” and she had cameos in almost every classic 1970s television show.
The other stars of the film include Ari Sorrentino, Thorose, Gregory Zarian, Vincent De Paul, Scott Hislop and young comedian Justin Martindale.
Martindale recently was a part of the Laugh Out Loud Comics’ Benefit for FilmOut San Diego, which raised money to help fund the film festival.
“I’ve never really done a film before, and in the movie I play a stand-up comedian named Jason. I know it’s a real stretch,” Martindale said. “It was a very personal film because it was all pretty much improvised. It’s kind of a mockumentary, sort of. It screened in the Boston gay and lesbian film festival and got some really good reviews.”
“My character becomes an alcoholic, and he’s in the stand-up world and he’s very jaded yet very funny. I’m playing myself is pretty much what it is,” Martindale jokes about his role in the film. “I was thinking I should call ‘Intervention,’ because it’s hitting a little too close to home.”
The film centers on the lives of three young men who each have different desires for being in Hollywood. They all throw a penny in a fountain and hope for their wishes to be fulfilled. It’s a whimsical journey through the perils of living in Hollywood and trying to make some sense of the crazy world that is the entertainment industry while also searching for love.
The movie also touches on the difficulties of coming out and having self-restraint in a society that doesn’t frown upon casual hookups. The pitfalls of searching for romance in a city that thrives on the nonchalance of sexual peccadillos follow the character Ben, played by Ari Sorrentino, throughout the story. In the film, Sorrentino is always looking for love but lust is calling all of the shots.
“The movie was inspired by a series of films in the 1950s about young women who are searching for husbands. ‘How to Marry a Millionaire,’ ‘The Best of Everything,’ ‘Three Coins in a Fountain,’ which is a direct reference to this movie, and the one that I love the title of, ‘The Pleasure Seekers,’” writer/director David Grotell said.
“I decided to update that concept to the 21st century, but to make it three young men that are not necessarily looking for husbands but are looking for love in a dog-eat-dog, Internet savvy, competitive, postmodern world that we live in,” Grotell said. “So it’s somewhat of an updated version of that old 1950s genre.”
The film plays Saturday, Aug. 28, at 8:15 p.m. and will be presented with a short film also by Grotell called “Speed Dating.” A majority of the actors from the film as well as Grotell will be on hand for a brief Q&A after the screening of the film. To buy individual tickets, click HERE.
FilmOut San Diego’s 13th annual LGBT Film Festival will concludes Aug. 26-28.
Almost 60 films and shorts will be shown at the historical Birch North Park Theatre.
To buy individual tickets, click HERE.
A festival pass for the three remaining days of the festival is only $50 and includes the Closing Night party at Urbn Coal Fired Pizza in North Park.