Tag Archives: mike scotti

Sky News – Mike Scotti talks SEVERE CLEAR (“This is War” in the UK)

13 Oct


SEVERE CLEAR released in United Kingdom as “This is War”

13 Oct






Visit the Severe Clear Website

Sirk’s SEVERE CLEAR to open March 12th at the Angelika Film Center in NYC

17 Feb

Sirk Productions is proud to announce that it will be theatrically releasing SEVERE CLEAR in New York City March 12th at the prestigious Angelika Film Center.  Sirk Co-President Marc Perez said, “we are delighted to be showing our film at the Angelika, it’s a great venue with a loyal following of film fans.”

Severe Clear is based on the memoir by First Lieutenant Mike Scotti as well as video footage shot by him and other members of 1st Battalion, 4th Marines on the outset of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Through their cameras we see the raw sounds of war, capturing the harrowing three hundred mile charge to Baghdad through hostile enemy territory. The footage used to create Severe Clear was never shot for the purpose of making a movie. In this digital age of embedded reporters, the film truly strips the barriers between audience and soldier, personalizing the fear, moral conundrum and adrenaline rush of life on the battlefield. Severe Clear offers an unflinching look at the uncertainty, disorder and chaos of war from the remarkable perspective of one Marine.

For additional information, please contact: 
Falco Ink Publicity 
Steve Beeman / Caitlin Speed
StevenMBeeman@falcoink.com / CaitlinSpeed@falcoink.com
(212) 445-7100

Sirk Productions Presented with 2009 Barrymore Award

12 Nov

barrymoreawardThe Fort Lee Film Commission presented Sirk Productions (Kristian Fraga, John Sikes and Marc Perez)  the 2009 Barrymore Award for their work on film preservation projects with the commission and their most recent film SEVERE CLEAR. Past winners include notable Academy Award Winners and Nominees including Ruby Dee (American Gangster), Budd Schulberg (On the Waterfront), Thelma Schoonmaker (The Departed) and Celeste Holm (Gentleman’s Agreement).  The award was presented at the Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Film Festival special Veterans Day screening of SEVERE CLEAR.

Soldiers’ story told from the front line

10 Nov

NorthJerseyLogoRight before U.S. Marine First Lt. Mike Scotti left for Iraq in March 2003 as part of the first wave of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he bought a video camera.

“I bought it right before I left San Diego,” says Scotti, a Colts Neck resident. “I think it was a Canon. I told one of the other guys to get the same kind of camera, so we could share a charger in case mine broke.”

Over the next three weeks, as Scotti and 1,500 other leathernecks from the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines fought their way toward Baghdad, Scotti and three buddies, also armed with cameras, were filming incredible things: artillery strikes, explosions, casualties.

That footage, edited down to a 90-minute feature called “Severe Clear” by filmmaker Kristian Fraga of Leonia and producer Marc Perez of Fort Lee, has been screened at the St. Louis, San Diego, Palm Beach and South by Southwest film festivals.

It recently got a “special mention for cinematic excellence” at the Rome International Film Festival, and it gets its New Jersey premiere at 8 p.m. Wednesday — Veterans Day — at Teaneck’s Cedar Lane Cinemas.

On that day, Scotti will also be getting the annual Lewis J. Selznick Award from the Fort Lee Film Commission.

“We thought this was an important story to tell,” says Fraga, credited as the writer, director and editor of the film, since it was he who shaped the hours of images into a coherent narrative.

Scotti’s footage came to the attention of Fraga and Perez through a New York University student who was familiar with it and was then working as an intern for Sirk Productions, the New York film production company they founded.

“This story really hasn’t been told yet,” Fraga says. “The movie does not argue about the politics of the situation, it’s not about bashing the president [Bush] — and it’s not for the president. We just wanted to allow the viewer into what these guys experienced.”

While Hollywood has produced fictional war films by the truckload and a few old-school documentary filmmakers risked their lives to film from the front, it’s only in the new age of cheap, lightweight cameras that soldiers could film their own stories.

And what stories.

“I hope audiences feel what Marines on the battlefield feel,” Scotti says. “All those emotions running through you. The first one is fear. The next is fighting for the brotherhood — the Marine on the left and right of you. You’re fighting for your country. You’re also missing your loved ones at home and battling the elements. All these things are swirling through your mind simultaneously while you’re literally fighting for your life. It’s a unique feeling.”

And just how, you might ask, was Scotti able to shoot video footage while he was simultaneously fighting on the front lines? Actually, he says, he saw a lot of the war through his viewfinder, which effectively — and with the blessing of his higher-ups — functioned as one of his unit’s binoculars.

“I had the camera around my neck the whole time,” he says. “I was calling in artillery and mortars and sometimes airstrikes. … That allowed me to stay focused on the enemy.”

E-mail: beckerman@northjersey.com

Link to article

SEVERE CLEAR in competition at the Lone Star Film Festival

3 Nov

LSFS_logoSEVERE CLEAR will be playing in competition at the 2009 Lone Star International Film Festival Saturday, November 14th @ 3:30PM at the AMC Palace 2 in Fort Worth, Texas.  Representing the most dynamic talent in international cinema, the fall festival is quickly becoming a marquee cultural event in Fort Worth. LSIFF 2009 features more than 100 screenings from all over the world including feature length narratives, documentaries, animated and short films as well as educational panels, red carpet entrances, celebrity guests, and nightly parties featuring celebrated musical acts.  LSIFF has presented its most prestigious honor, the LSIFF Life Achievement Award, to Sidney Lumet, Martin Sheen, Bill Paxton, and Gregory Peck.

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Festival Website

SEVERE CLEAR Veterans Day Screening in New Jersey

2 Nov

severeclearSEVERE CLEAR will have a special Veterans Day screening as part of the Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Festival on November 11th at 8PM at the Cedar Lane Cinemas in Teaneck, New Jersey.  This event is a fundraiser for the Fort Lee Film Commission / Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow. Tickets are available at the box office of the Cedar Lane Cinema the night of the event and are $10 each. Please call 201-592-3663 for further information.  U.S. Marine First Lieutenant Mike Scotti, Kristian Fraga (Director), Marc Perez (Producer) and John Sikes (Executive Producer) will all be in attendance for an introduction and Q&A.

Visit the Fort Lee Film Commission Website

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