of three local landmark diners owned and operated by Gene Wilkes,
the Tastee Diner in Laurel, Maryland, is making its big screen debut
at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge on Tuesday, June 25 at 6:50 p.m.,
with happy hour starting at 6 p.m. and a Q & A with the filmmakers
following the screening. "The Least of These," a 35mm
motion picture short in which the Tastee Diner serves as principal
location, will be playing along with a selection of other short
film projects made by local filmmakers. All the films are part of
the monthly spotlight on independent film and video known as STUDIO
Tastee Diner in Laurel (Comac 1951) was chosen as a location for
"The Least of These" after an extensive and savory scout
of nearly 20 diners over a 100 mile stretch through Maryland, Virginia,
and Washington, DC. However, finding the right diner was just the
beginning. Always loyal to his customers, Gene Wilkes refused any
and all cash offersas well as other forms of briberyto
close down his establishment for film production. However, after
numerous requests, he finally agreed to allow the filmmakers to
section off a large portion of the diner, while the rest remained
open for business. The results are magical.
Least of These," based on a true story, patiently unfolds how
the fading, isolated life of a diner owner and the dull routine
of his late night crowd are forever changed by the unusual proposition
of a stranger. The film was the joint venture of two local companies,
Old Fashioned Pictures and Infinity Film & Video, and was produced
by Ed Baxter and written, produced, and directed by Rik Swartzwelder.
For a complete list of credits or more information on "The
Least of These" and Old Fashioned Pictures upcoming feature
film project, please visit their website: www.oldfashionedpictures.com.
more information on STUDIO 650@VISIONS or Visions Cinema Bistro
Lounge, please visit their website: www.visionsdc.com.
Admission for STUDIO650@VISIONS is $6.50. Visions is located at
1927 Florida Ave. NW in Washington, DC. 202/232-5689.
"The Least of These"/Rik Swartzwelder/301-452-3213
STUDIO 650@VISIONS/Katri Billard/202-298-0457
Tastee DinerLaurel/Helen Finnelle/301-953-8171