One of the judges of the event , director and producer Ken Heusey, who grew up in Fombell, Beaver County, is looking to create his own niche in the film industry. Having returned from Los Angeles to live in Pittsburgh, he is producing a film exploring the mystery of Edgar Allan Poe's death. He said the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency has been very helpful. On this year's film festival, Heusey said, "I thought there was a wonderful variety of films."
John K. Manna
New Castle News
By Scott Tady, Times Entertainment Editor
Publishedd: Sunday, October 19, 2008 7:16 EDT
Move over Elvis and Tupac: Another dead celebrity is primed for a big year.
He's Edgar Allan Poe, horror author master and father of the detective story, who was born January 19, 1809.
Bicentennial bashes for Poe's birthday begin Halloween night in the Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia where another horror legend - Elvira, Mistress of the Dark - will read quotes from "The Raven". Shouldn't Elvira be reading from "The Pit & the Pendulum," since it, too, had a big rack?
Elvira better bring a bodyguard because Poe's former Philly house - where he wrote "The Black Cat" - is in a neighborhood as scary as any scene from "The Tell-Tale Heart".
The no less daunting downtown Baltimore also will celebrate Poe's 200th birthday beginning with a January 17-18 party at his burial site. On the October 10 anniversary of Poe's mysterious death, Baltimore will throw another party, involving a horse-drawn hearse carrying a period coffin and body. Baltimore's Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum will stage events throughout 2009, as will the Poe Museum in Richmond, Va., which will announce its year-long plans during an October 28-30 press junket for travel writers.
Hoping to capitalize on Poe-mania is Franklin Township native Ken Heusey, an indie filmmaker who moved back home from Los Angeles to shoot a Poe movie.
"It's a cross between 'A Beautiful Mind' with Russell Crowe and 'Walk the Line',"said Heusey who has photographed many old houses and properties in Beaver and Butler counties which he thinks will work well for his film. Those photos appear in a detailed business prospectus he's been presenting to investors.
Heusey says he's not intimidated by Sylvester Stallone, who also is planning a Poe movie. Actually Heusey, who directed a 2004 low-budget film "Then Again," relishes the role of underdog.
"I'm the Rocky to 'Rocky'," Heusey said.
Publications like Variety and the Guardian have reported that Stallone pitched his Poe role to Robert Downey Jr., and then Viggo Mortensen, neither of whom has accepted as of yet. Maybe those actors are worried by reports that Stallone will write the script.
Imagine the dialogue: "Yo! Lenore. Watch out for that raven!"