Today marks the VOD release of King of Herrings, a Mamet-esque gritty drama written, co-directed and starring Eddie Jemison. Last April I called KOH “a triumph of ensemble acting. Rough, full, and adult,” and like “an ensemble at a great theatre.” King of Herrings is indie filmmaking done right, and another a solid release from Devolver Digital. You can read my original article here, an interview with Jemison and Co-director, Cinematographer and Editor Sean Richardson. Given the fantastic array of characters, I spoke with Jemison about some of the personal details that come out (or don’t) in the film. So here are the back-of-the-baseball-card facts about the societal leftovers that inhabit this New Orleans film.  Use them as King of Herrings gets its release on iTunes and VOD on January 20th.

Name: Mary
Profession (or lack there of): Seamstress
Most Likely to: Stay inside all day dusting and daydreaming
Greatest Conquest: Not stabbing her husband in his sleep
If she were an animal she’d be: A deer
Tells everyone her favorite movie is: Shakespeare In Love
Guilty Pleasure: Romance Novels and Pills

Name: Ditch (Richard, Ritchie)
Profession (or lack there of): Plays the horses
Most Likely to: Bark at a dog
Greatest Conquest: Marrying up
If he were an animal he’d be: A badger
Tells everyone his favorite movie is: The Champ
Guilty Pleasure: Starting fights his friends have to finish

Name: Arthur (Artie, The Professor)
Profession (or lack there of): Magazine Salesman
Most Likely to: Write an essay, read it to you
Greatest Conquest: Taking care of Leon after his laryngectomy
If he were an animal he’d be: A silver fox
Tells everyone his favorite movie is: That Obscure Object of Desire
Guilty Pleasure: Bird Watching and Baseball on the radio

Name: Gat (Gatlin)
Profession (or lack there of): Once owned a pawn shop
Most Likely to: Fall truly in love
Greatest Conquest: Being with “the red head”
If he were an animal he’d be: A cocker spaniel
Tells everyone his favorite movie is: Shane
Guilty Pleasure: Steak n’ scramble, rum n’ cokes, bowling shirts

Name: Evie (Evelyn)
Profession (or lack there of): Court Stenographer
Most Likely to: Keep a secret, tell a secret
Greatest Conquest: Getting out of the old hood
If she were an animal she’d be: A race horse
Tells everyone her favorite movie is: Waitress
Guilty Pleasure: Shoe shopping, kissing

Name: Augie (August)
Profession (or lack there of): Owner of Anita’s Grill, short order cook
Most Likely to: Give you “the look”
Greatest Conquest: Keeping peace in a hornet’s nest
If he were an animal he’d be: A mountain lion
Tells everyone his favorite movie is: Hud
Guilty Pleasure: Standing alone quietly in the early morning dark.

Name: Leon
Profession (or lack there of): Takes care of his mother
Most Likely to: Sneak in the pantry to cry a little
Greatest Conquest: Surviving cancer
If he were an animal he’d be: A songbird
Tells everyone his favorite movie is: Marty
Guilty Pleasure: Watching kids play hopscotch

Name: Hoss
Profession (or lack there of): Tavern Owner
Most Likely to: Hit you with a bat
Greatest Conquest: Never sneaking a drink
If he were an animal he’d be: an Orangutan
Tells everyone his favorite movie is: The Bridge On The River Kwai
Guilty Pleasure: The ladies

Bears Fonté is the Founder and Executive Director of Other Worlds Austin, a new festival in Texas’ capital focused on SciFi.  Prior to that, Bears served as Director of Programming for Austin Film Festival from 2012-14, overseeing some 200 films selected to screen at eight venues over eight days.  The 2013 Festival saw 28 world premiere features and 7 films picked up at the festival or the week after.  His most recent short film, THE SECRET KEEPER, has been selected by over 35 US Film Festivals since September of 2012.  His feature thriller iCRIME, which he wrote and directed, was released on DVD, VOD and streaming by Vicious Circle Films in 2011.  Bears also self-produced two web-series which have been seen by a combined ten million viewers.

Prior to arriving in Austin, Bears wrote coverage for independent producers and coverage services in LA and placed in nearly every single screenwriting contest out there including Screenwriter’s Expo, Final Draft Big Break, Page International, Story Pros and Austin Film Festival.

Bears received his BA from Carleton College in British Studies and Theatre Studies and a MFA in Directing from Indiana University and has directed over forty plays, including the Austin Critics Table nominee Corpus Christi, and the Austin Shakespeare Festival’s Complete Works of Shakspeare Abridged. He studied writing with noted playwrights Jeff Hatcher and Denis Reardon, and directed the first-ever professional productions by Princess Grace Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Don Zolidis and up-and-coming playwright Itamar Moses. He is currently working on a new five minute short to submit to festivals in 2015.


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