First-time helmer Kalmenson has deep roots in H'wood
Bill Kalmenson’s “The Souler Opposite,” which picked up foreign buys at the American Film Market, will open the Tahoe Intl. Film Festival on Friday.
The film, described by its screenwriter-director as “a romantic mockery,” stars Christopher Meloni (“The Last Don,” “Bound”), Timothy Busfield (“thirtysomething,” “Quiz Show”) and Janel Moloney (“Desperate Measures,” “Till There Was You”).
“I’m selling this movie like a Fuller brush salesman,” said stand-up comic Kalmenson, who has appeared in episodic TV shows as well as in “Lethal Weapon” and “Loverboy.” At the AFM and at Mifed, “Souler” sold in Germany, Spain, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Latin America.
“I’m here in the tall trees, trying to get some sunlight on my movie,” said Kalmenson, who had originally intended to play the lead in the largely autobiographical picture but cast Meloni “because he did me better than me.”
Kalmenson comes from a tradition of movie salesmanship. His grandfather, the late Ben Kalmenson, was longtime exec VP of distribution at Warner Bros. and retired as WB president in 1969. The elder Kalmenson began his career in 1927 selling WB’s musicals to theater owners by playing the songs on his ukulele.