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"CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES" Takes National Stage with U.S. Release on DVD/Video

Los Angeles, CA; October 14, 2003 - A critical smash in its summer theatrical release in 24 U.S. cities, "charlotte sometimes" is now available nation wide with Hart Sharp Video’s release on DVD and home video.

Critics have compared "charlotte sometimes" to "sex, lies and videotape" and the early works of Robert Altman, while The New York Times and The Washington Post compared first-time writer/director Eric Byler to Anh Hung Tran (The Scent of Green Papaya), Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story), and Eric Rohmer (Claire’s Knee). But "charlotte sometimes" is in many ways a first of it’s kind: an artful and cinematic "erotic mystery" with an entirely Asian American cast.

Byler, who is biracial Chinese American, and Korean American actress Jacqueline Kim began their six-year journey to create "charlotte sometimes" in 1997, but found an Asian American love story hard to sell in Hollywood without the requisite martial arts, prostitution, or gun play. Byler rejected offers contingent on furnishing lead roles to non-Asian actors. "It was a waste of time trying to convince people inside the industry to invest in this kind of film," Byler said. "Finally I just went to my family."

Byler told his parents and uncles he hoped to sell the film to cable television in order to repay their investment. But thanks to "ridiculous good fortune," including festival awards, prestigious nominations, and strong reviews, "charlotte sometimes" earned distribution deals for not only cable (The Sundance Channel), but also theatrical (Visionbox/Small Planet) and DVD/home video (Hart Sharp).

By the end of it’s festival run in April 2003, "charlotte sometimes"
had earned three festival awards and two surprising nominations at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards (the indie world’s equivalent of the Oscars)— including one each for Byler and Kim. But the film’s rise to the national spotlight began at the Hawai’i International Film Festival, when Kim invited Roger Ebert to attend the Hawai’i premiere. In his review published November 7th, 2002 in the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert praised the film’s "uncanny" realism and dramatic complexity, announcing a "breakthrough for Asian American filmmakers" with the arrival of "charlotte sometimes" to go with Justin Lin’s "Better Luck Tomorrow."

"charlotte sometimes" went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed releases of the summer, earning a 100% Cream of the Crop rating on RottenTomatoes.com for stellar reviews in the nation’s top publications, including The New York Times, The New York Post, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The
Chicago Sun-Times, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

"It boggles my mind," Kim said of the film's success. "If you really care about something, you can make it happen. We've played just about every role one could play. Actors, producers, publicists, producer reps. We're truly a company, like in theater."

DVD bonus features include bloopers, omitted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, and commentary tracks featuring Byler, and all four lead actors.

In addition, the DVD includes a Q/A session hosted by Ebert at his film festival in Champaign, Illinois. In his introduction to the film, Ebert remarks, "Every once in a while I go to see a movie, out of maybe 400 movies I see in a year, that with its authority, and its mood, and its tone, and its tension, simply captures you; totally absorbs you. That's what ‘charlotte sometimes’ did to me." Byler, Kim, and actor Michael Idemoto then join Ebert on stage to discuss the film’s unique cinematic approach, and its impact on the representation of Asian Americans in mainstream media. Ebert later called the discussion the best q/a session in the festival’s five-year existence.