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Films with local connections are now showing at festivals



Philadelphia Business Journal - by Peter Van Allen Staff Writer

Some independent films with Philadelphia roots are making the rounds at film festivals nationwide.

A documentary about the early tattoo artists will have its debut at the South By Southwest Film Festival next month. "Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry: The Life of Norman Keith Collins," about the Honolulu tattoo artist of the same name, was directed by Erich Weiss and produced by Steven Grasse, owner of the Center City advertising agency Gyro Worldwide. South By Southwest will be held March 7-15 in Austin, Texas.

Another film, "The Black List," a portrait of black America, was co-produced by Michael Slap Sloane, who has a Blue Bell production company, Freemind Ventures. Last month, within a week, the film was acquired by HBO Documentaries and shown at the Sundance Film Festival.

The films follow on the festival success of "Bella," which gained recognition at the Toronto Film Festival and then general release last fall, and "Teeth," a Sundance winner last year that gained general release this year. The producers of "Bella" included King of Prussia businessman J. Eustace Wolfington. Visual effects for "Teeth" were handled by Mark O. Forker, who heads up DIVE, a division of Shooters Post & Transfer in Philadelphia.