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‘After the Wizard’ follows search for Dorothy in Kansas

  • Published Sunday, August 5, 2012, at 9:55 a.m.

A film with a new take on “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to Kansas.

“After the Wizard” takes place and was filmed in Kingman, and had its world premiere there in July 2011. The film played at various film festivals after that, and is now gearing up for its national DVD release on Aug. 14. It will also play a short theatrical run at the Kingman Community Historic Theatre, 237 N. Main St., in Kingman. It will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. Aug. 12.

The film, which was written and directed by Hugh Gross from Los Angeles, is based on characters created by L. Frank Baum but is an original story. It follows the plight of a 12-year-old girl named Elizabeth, who lives in an orphanage in Kingman. She is a fan of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” novel, but also believes she is the Dorothy character in real life.

Meanwhile, back in the “real” Oz, things have not gone well for the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion. Oz is in trouble, and the three characters believe that Dorothy is the only person who can help them. So the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman leave Oz to search for Dorothy in Kansas.

The film was headquartered in Kingman during the Kansas portion of its shoot in 2010. It drew more than 200 volunteers from the area, and also was shot in Pretty Prairie, Hutchinson and Topeka.

Last year, filmmaker Gross told me that the production crew felt very welcome in Kansas, and that Kansans’ assistance “made a big difference in the quality of the movie.”

Gross will be in Kingman for an autograph session starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Jeri’s Kitchen, 240 N. Main St. For more information and to view a trailer, go to www.afterthewizard-themovie.com.

Benefit screening — A screening of the adventure documentary “Reveal the Path” will be presented in a benefit event at 7 p.m. Thursday at Murdock Theatre, 536 N. Broadway. Doors open at 6:30.

The film, directed by Mike Dion, contemplates what it means to live an inspired life using the bicycle as a mechanism to explore and discover.

Filmmakers bike through Scotland’s lush valleys, Europe’s snow-capped mountains, Morocco’s desert landscapes, Nepal’s rural countryside and Alaska’s rugged coastal beaches, along the way meeting locals living modest yet seemingly fulfilling lives.

The event is a fundraiser to benefit the Bike\Walk Alliance-Wichita (BWA), a collective group of volunteers dedicated to making Wichita and the surrounding area a safer place to bike, run and walk.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance through BWA members or at area sponsors, and at the door the day of the event. The net proceeds will benefit the BWA’s general fund, which is used to support the group’s mission. The event will feature sponsor booths and other business and non-profit groups that are interested in the same causes.

For more information on the film, go to www.revealthepath.com.

Former Wichitan finding success — Logan Lamson grew up in Wichita and went to Andover Central High School before graduating with top honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in film and television. Although he still lives in New York, Lamson has family in Wichita.

His 17-minute senior thesis film, “FORWARD&GONE, will screen at the FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival on Wednesday. The festival is one of 65 in the world to be an Academy Award-accredited film festival (making his film eligible for a short-film Oscar nomination).

“FORWARD&GONE” follows a mayoral candidate struggling with his sexuality. For more information on the film, go to www.forwardandgone.com.

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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