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'A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints'
to Screen at UW-Eau Claire Sept. 27-30

RELEASED: Sept. 20, 2007

poster for A Guide to Recognizing Your SaintsEAU CLAIRE — Dito Montiel's autobiographical debut feature "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" (2006) will be presented Thursday-Sunday, September 27-30, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award (drama) and a Special Jury Prize for its ensemble performance, the film will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

A successful writer living in Los Angeles, Dito (Robert Downey Jr.) is summoned home to Astoria, Queens, New York, after a 15-year absence when his father (Chazz Palminteri) becomes seriously ill. Memories of his youth come flooding back as Dito revisits the old neighborhood, encountering the few childhood friends the "saints" who aren't in prison or dead. Young Dito is played by Shia LaBeouf; other members of the cast include Diane Wiest as Dito's mother, Flaurie; Rosario Dawson (Laurie), Melonie Diaz (Young Laurie), Julia Garro (Diane) and Channing Tatum (Young Antonio).

"Though autobiographical, 'A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints' is also a coming-of-age story set against a tough urban background, in which the protagonist's emerging sense of his own individuality cuts against his loyalty to friends and kin," wrote A.O. Scott in The New York Times. "What sets the film apart, and makes it one of the more remarkable American directing debuts in recent years, is Mr. Montiel's passionate, almost reckless engagement with the possibilities of the medium. Adapting his impressionistic, often rambling memoir for the screen, he demonstrates an autodidact's exuberant self-confidence and the eye of a born filmmaker. Working with a large, mostly young cast, he has made a picture so full of life and feeling that the screen can hardly contain it.

"Though the picture is wrenching, at times devastating, it leaves you with that buoyant feeling of having encountered a raw, authentic work of art."

The 98-minute drama is rated R.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the Service Center, 715-836-3727, in Davies Center's east lobby and will be sold at the door.

The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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