Traverse City Film: The comedy documentary The Coexist Comedy Tour, produced by Leland residents, Rebecca Reynolds and Jim Carpenter of 8180 Films, has its theatrical debut at this year’s Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival on Saturday, February 16th at 1:00 PM at the State Theatre. Reynolds, Carpenter, director Larry Brand and subject comedian John Fugelsang will be in attendance.

The film stars comedians Tissa Hami, Keith Lowell Jensen, Moshe Kasher, Sammy Obeid, Tapan Trivedi and Fugelsang and is directed by Brand. Leland resident composer Alexander Janko (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) arranged the music for the film.

What began as a live comedy concert film featuring a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, and an atheist, all on the same stage in a gesture of co-existence, quickly deteriorated when the Christian bailed and refused to sign his contract. Overnight the film became a documentary with the filmmakers going across the nation auditioning for a “new” Christian comic in New York City, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, California.

8180 Films is a Michigan-based film production company formed in 2007 by Reynolds and Carpenter and Larry Brand, Reynolds’s long time writing partner, to make high quality, cost-effective independent films. Their first feature film, Christina, starring Stephen Lang, Nicki Aycox and Jordan Belfi was written and directed by Brand and inspired by a true story set in the aftermath of World War II Berlin. Winner of seven major awards in its first four film festivals, Christina is being distributed in the United States by Indican Pictures. The film had its theatrical premiere in 2010 at the Traverse City State Theatre.

Their lastest film, The Girl on the Train (now in post production), is a neo-noir thriller shot in New York City. It stars Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), Nicki Aycox (Jeepers Creepers), David Margulies, Charles Aitken and Stephen Lang (Avatar, Terra Nova) and was written and directed by Brand. Janko is the film’s musical composer. Leland resident, Ross Satterwhite, is the Executive Producer.

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