Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


March 28, 2014

‘Tomato Republic’ slated for first public screening

JACKSONVILLE — Dallas will soon get a front row seat to Jacksonville politics.

A film focused on the 2013 Jacksonville mayoral race will have its first public screening in April. “Tomato Republic,” a feature-length documentary film, will show April 9 and April 10 at the Dallas International Film Festival, according to film officials.

“We are so honored and excited that our world premiere of 'Tomato Republic' will be at DIFF – less than 100 miles away from the heart of the story in East Texas,” said Jenna Jackson, an executive producer and co-director on the film. “It is the perfect place to truly showcase amazing characters, story and the small town of Jacksonville that we love so much. And we are so thankful to this prestigious festival for having us.”

The festival runs from April 3 to April 13, and films will be showing at four different theaters.

“Tomato Republic” will be screened 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10, at the Angelika Film Center Theatre. Additional information about the festival and tickets is available online at www.dallasfilm.org.

Co-producer and co-director, Whitney Graham Carter, said Thursday she is excited about the screening and can't wait to show the film in Jacksonville, as well.

“Everyone that has seen it has given it rave reviews,” Carter said.

Carter said about 200 people viewed the film during a private cast and crew showing, and the response to the film was “overwhelmingly positive.”

“Tomato Republic” is entered into about 20 film festivals, Carter said. She said once the film has finished making the festival circuit, there will be a public showing in Jacksonville later this year.

The film focuses on local restaurateur Rob Gowin, entrepreneur William Igbokwe and now-Mayor Kenneth Melvin during the race for the Jacksonville mayor's seat.

The executive producers on “Tomato Republic” include Jenna Jackson and Kelli Weinzierl. It was co-produced by Carter and Anthony Jackson, who directed the feature along with Jenna Jackson.

“People still don’t know where Jacksonville, Texas is, but hopefully they will have a better idea after this film. If we do anything to bring awareness to people that this is a real special place, with great people, who care about the future, then we have accomplished what we set out to do,” Carter said in a release.



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