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Leading Ladies USA


Directors: Daniel Beahm, Erika Randall Beahm Producer: Daniel Beahm


Screenwriters: Erika Randall Beahm, Jennifer Bechtel Cinematographer: Peter Biagi Editor: Daniel Beahm


Cast: Benji Schwimmer, Laurel Vail, Melanie LaPatin, Nicole Dionne, Shannon Lea Smith


2010/color/102 min.


DANIEL BEAHM A true Renaissance man, Daniel Beahm owns an advertising/design firm in Denver, has traveled the country performing music, started his own record label and designs and restores houses; only recently has he added filmmaking to his to-do list. Beahm also composed songs for the 1999 film Chillicothe.


ERIKA RANDALL BEAHM


A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Erika Randall Beahm went on to attend the Juilliard School. Beahm received her BA in dance from the University of Washington and her MFA in choreography from Ohio State University. She now teaches dance at the University of Colorado and has founded several dance workshops and studios.


Once a star, Sheri Campari is now a struggling yet controlling stage mom who lives vicariously through her daughter Tasi, the perfectionist darling of the amateur ballroom circuit. Wallflower older sister Toni, the backbone of the family, helps Tasi maintain a sense of humor in the face of Sheri’s overblown expecta- tions. And then there’s Cedric—Tasi’s flamboyant dance partner, Toni’s best friend and the only person with the confidence to stand up to Sheri.


This nutty family’s world gets turned upside down when Tasi confronts an unwanted pregnancy in the midst of rehearsals for the big ballroom competi- tion—and Toni meets Mona, who becomes her leading lady both on and off the dance floor, encouraging her to take the lead and fall in love. As Tasi prepares to becomes the mother she wished she’d had, Toni and Mona’s relationship blooms, and the members of this unconventional family learn to let love lead them as they accept the starring roles in their own lives.


A little bit Strictly Ballroom, a little bit Hairspray—yet wholly itself—this impres- sive first feature from Colorado-based duo Erika Randall Beahm and Daniel Beahm is as wonderfully heartfelt as it is campy and gently subversive. Drawing on their own experiences of growing up in the Midwest, cowriters Erika Randall Beahm and Jennifer Bechtel have filled quite a void with their uplifting, song- and-dance-filled, gay-themed and family-oriented romantic comedy. Among the stars are such real-life dance divas as Melanie LaPatin (Sheri), herself a ballroom champ and a choreographer for popular reality TV series So You Think You Can Dance—on which Benji Schwimmer (Cedric) was a winning contestant in 2006. The cast is rounded out by Nicole Dionne (Mona), Shannon Lea Smith (Tasi) and Laurel Vail (Toni)—who learned to dance for her role—along with other alumni from So You Think You Can Dance, who shimmy through a delight- fully surreal musical number set in a supermarket.


—REBECCA CARO Presented by


Sponsored by 97


NEW DIRECTORS SHOWCASE


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