‘Phoenix, Oregon’ filmmakers stop by Santa Rosa for screening, family visit

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If You Go

What: Screening of film “Phoenix, Oregon”

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 2

Where: 3rd Street Cinema, 620 Third St., Santa Rosa

Admission: $11

Information: santarosacinemas.com

Traveling in a van decorated in bright blue and plastered with photos of cast members, the producers and director of the film “Phoenix, Oregon” will stop in Santa Rosa for one night only as part of a nationwide 70-stop tour.

Downtown Santa Rosa’s Third 3rd Street Cinema will host writer, director and editor Gary Lundgren as well as producers Annie Lundgren and Luis Rodriguez at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

After the screening, the audience will have the chance to ask the director and producers questions.

A story of overcoming midlife crises and reviving ambition, the film tells the heartfelt story of two reunited friends, Bobby (James LeGros) and Carlos (Jesse Borrego), who risk their careers to restore a bowling alley in Phoenix, Oregon (complete with the “world’s greatest pizza”). These characters find hope and inspiration in middle age despite exhausting jobs and frayed relationships.

The cast of the film includes LeGros, who plays the disheartened central character Bobby and has acted in a number of independent films, including many which have received Independent Spirit Award nominations.

Carlos, Bobby’s ambitious companion, is played by Borrego, whose recent projects consist of “La Mission,” “Colombiana” and John Sayles’ “Go For Sisters.” Lisa Edelstein plays Tanya, Bobby’s love interest, and has appeared in “West Wing,” “House” and “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.”

The story is set in Phoenix — a town of 4,500 in Oregon’s Rogue Valley — and filming took place in nearby Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Shooting began in May of 2018 with the support of many local businesses from the local bowling alley in which many of the scenes are shot to the local Waffle Hut which provided the cast and crew a hot breakfast every morning. This help was invaluable due to the “very low” budget of an indie film, according to producer Annie Lundgren. Extras and even a stunt bowler were all found locally.

Lundgren was the person who inspired the team to take “Phoenix, Oregon” to Santa Rosa, because her brother lives here with his family. Her sister-in-law grew up in Sebastopol.

“We just like the area and it seemed like a really great stop on our national tour,” said Lundgren. “In the past, Santa Rosa has been a really supportive community for the arts, in my family’s experience.”

This film is sure to motivate audiences, according to Lundgren. “People have been finding it really inspiring and hopeful, especially for people who are looking at the middle of their life,” she said. “[It’s about] continuing to dream, continuing to be inspired and finding motivation in your later years.”

The slogan emblazoned on the tour van says it all: “these could be the best years of your life.”

If You Go

What: Screening of film “Phoenix, Oregon”

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 2

Where: 3rd Street Cinema, 620 Third St., Santa Rosa

Admission: $11

Information: santarosacinemas.com

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