Monticello man's movies to be shown at Champaign festival


Monticello man's movies to be shown at Champaign festival

CHAMPAIGN – Monticello resident Robin Christian Peters continues to write and produce movies locally, and he's still reinventing the feature films he's already made.

You can catch two of Peters' movies, "Act Your Age" and "Disconnect," this week at the New Art Film Festival, scheduled from Thursday through next Monday at the Art Theater in downtown Champaign. Please see accompanying box for a full schedule.

Peters, who owns Champaign-based Dreamscape Cinema, makes movies under the name Robin Christian.

"Disconnect" has been picked up by Porchlight Entertainment for international distribution.

"It's selling overseas, and it's taking off," Peters said.

"So Others May Live," a movie about a firefighter and his family after 9/11 and starring Ed Asner and Judge Reinhold, is being re-edited into a movie called "Sheeba" and focuses more about the story of Reinhold's son and his dog. The movie originally was titled "Crab Orchard." "Sheeba" should be in stores in the next six months, he said.

Peters said he's found "boy and his dog" movies do well and found that distributors are interested in another such film, which he plans to call "My Dog the Space Traveler."

Peters said part of his vision for success is making expensive-looking movies on a tight budget. He likes to film in the area, negotiate with name actors to get the biggest name for a minimum investment and uses high-definition cameras for a quality product. He doesn't write in scenes that will require extensive amounts of money to film, like train crashes, and hires cinematographers and others who are looking for work between jobs and will accept a 10th of their usual salary.

"That's the only way I'm able to do it," Peters said, adding that the public demands a high-end, original story that's well-told and features good acting.

He said he has dozens more scripts he'd like to make if he can get investors, and writes in his free time, whether that's after his kids go to bed or in an airport. He wants to keep his filmmaking local.

"I like living here, watching people who have a passion for film like I do," he said.

Festival schedule

Two of Monticello resident Robin Christian Peters' films will be shown at the New Art Film Festival, which runs Thursday through April 20 at the Art Theater in downtown Champaign. Those films are "Act Your Age" and "Disconnect."

Ticket prices for the non-free events are $6 for children younger than 15 and senior citizens and $6.50 for students and adults.

Here's a full list of the documentaries, short films, music videos and full-length features either filmed and produced in Illinois or in the Midwest:

-- 5 p.m., a free loop that will include "The Transient," "Dr. Zond Controls the Weather," "It's a Penguinful Life," "Matt Harsh Videos," along with previews of other movies that will be shown during the festival. This coincides with the Boneyard Arts Festival's activities in downtown Champaign. Audience members are free to stop in without having to stay for the entire loop, according to a press release from the Art Theater.
-- 10 p.m., a free presentation of "Existo," with "Falling to the Top."

-- 5 p.m., "Press Start" with "Space Ninja," "Press Start Adventures" and trailers for "Rampage and Rambogirl."
-- 7:30 p.m., "Act Your Age."
-- 10 p.m.,"Deadwood Park."

-- 2:30 p.m., "Hoopeston" with "Prelude."
-- 5 p.m., "Illini Film & Video 10th Anniversary" with "The Transient."
-- 7:30 p.m., "Disposable."
-- 10 p.m., "Return in Red."

April 18
-- 2:30 p.m., "Proceed and Be Bold" with "Celeste Above" and "The Heart of Tango."
-- 5 p.m., "Seven Signs" with "The Lifeline: Trilogy" and "I Am Concrete."
-- 7:30 p.m., "A Certain Point of View" with "This Life Ain't Pretty."

April 19
-- 7:30 p.m., "The Scientist."

April 20
-- 7:30 p.m., "Best of Festival."