"Prison Blues," a short film by Edison High School graduate Jeff McCray, will have a red carpet premiere at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Crest Theatre, 1170 Broadway Plaza. A question-and-answer session with the writer/director/producer will follow.
The film tells the story of an ex-con who shares his painful life experiences with a close friend. McCray got the idea for the story from the 10 years he worked in the county and state prison systems. He calls the production a "community awareness project" because it deals with many of the issues Fresnans face: homelessness, unemployment, alcohol abuse, spousal abuse and gangs. The director wants his film to promote "education, positive parenting and a pride of community."
"The idea behind creating the short film is to get some buzz going so that we could make it into a feature film. All I would have to do is develop a couple of more plots," McCray says.
The film was shot locally in three days in October on a budget of about $10,000, all funded by McCray. It features all local actors, including McCray in a supporting role.
This is the fourth short film written, directed and produced by McCray, who studied theater and film at Long Beach State.
Along with the screening, the premiere will include a red carpet arrival starting at 4 p.m. of the actors and special guests. McCray says the red carpet area will be open to everyone because people in Fresno don't get the chance to experience such events.
General admission tickets are $11 and are available at facebook.com/ PrisonBluesAShortFilm.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, email@example.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.