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SAN DIEGO, California, Sept. 17 - Julian Stone's comedy feature film "Follow the Bitch" will arrive in San Diego, California for it's World Theatrical Premiere on September 19th, and will spread to screens across the country over the following six weeks. After a successful year on the U.S. film festival curcuit, where it received rave audience and jury response, the film will make its commercial debut on screens in two locations: the AMC LA JOLLA 12 and the AMC MISSION VALLEY 20.

The film is being distributed by Gurney Releasing, a new company whose President and Founder, Robert Gurney, Jr., finds particular interest in films whose subject matter runs counter to that of most traditional independent film fare. Gurney first saw "Follow the Bitch" at the North Carolina Festival of Film and Video where it took First Place honors in the Comedy category. He revisited the film at several other festivals, assuming that it already had locked up a distribution deal. When he discovered that only the foreign rights had been secured, he jumped at the chance to distribute the film in America. "It's hands-down the funniest indie at the festivals this year," he states, "and I'm definitely excited to sign it and bring it to a wider audience." He adds, "Julian Stone made a hell of a comedy on a shoestring budget with an excellent, young cast and a great story ... I saw it in a full house and the audience loved it."

While focusing on the independent film market, Gurney is no stranger to Hollywood. In the late fifties and early sixties he produced a series of films including the cult classics "Invasion of the Saucer Men" and "Terror from the year Five Thousand."

Both Gurney and Stone considered San Diego the best choice for an initial showcase of the film.

Through a series of local private screenings, "Follow the Bitch" has cultivated an enthusiastic grass-roots fan base in San Diego . This coupled with the support of local AMC theatre officials, as well as a robust local film-going public, made San Diego the perfect launch pad as "Follow the Bitch" makes its way to nation-wide release. San Diego is also home to the film's lead actor, Ray Porter who, while a featured veteran actor at the acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival, lived in San Diego for many years, and whose family still resides here.

The plot of "Follow the Bitch" involves the classic battle of the sexes. Centering around the chaos that ensues when an all-male poker game is invaded by its first female participant (who just so happens to be damn good), "Follow the Bitch" has been a word-of-mouth festival favorite, garnering standing-room-only crowds and winning first place awards both from juries and audiences since its debut at the Palm Springs International Film Festival earlier this year. Most recently the film took Best Comedy honors at the Breckenridge Festival of Film and the Audience Award at the Cinequest: The San Jose International Film Festival. One review explains " need not know poker to follow Julian Stone's ace feature about the war between the sexes played out on a green felt battlefield."

"Follow the Bitch" showcases the talents of an accomplished cast of actors. It stars Ray Porter, along with Melissa Lechner, who's appeared in several TV series and is a winner of the Los Angeles Dramalogue award for her stage work; Mike Cudlitz, once a regular on "Beverly Hills 90210" who went on to featured roles in "A River Runs Through It" and "Mighty Ducks III" ; David Teitelbaum, remembered by many as "Harvey Shine" on the Movie Channel; and Dion Luther who starred for years on the Canadian sitcom, "The Beachcombers."

Director Stone himself is a successful Los Angeles screenwriter, and has sold scripts to Tristar, Disney, Columbia and others. He is represented by Todd Stern of Weismann & Wolf.

Producer Schlaman has produced and directed several short films and has won regional, national, and international ITVA Recognition Awards, as well as an Award of Excellence at the Joey Awards.

As far as what's next, Director Stone is now raising funds for his follow-up film, "High Touch," and is working with Producer Schlaman to start shooting soon. Trading in poker chips for computer chips, Stone explains, "This next one draws deeply on my Silicon Valley roots. It's a comedy about Bay Area Gen-X'ers trying to remain human in the high tech world: it's about their relationships, ambitions, frustrations and, of course, the healing power of Jerry Garcia..."



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