The short film Summer Lightning, a true story told from the point of view of a teenage boy as he and his coach father, recovering from colon cancer, prepare for a baseball game, has its world premiere May 27 at Seattle International Film Festival
SEATTLE, WA, May 20, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Based on a true story, Summer Lightning is having its World Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) over Memorial Weekend, exactly 16 years since the events of the film took place. The short film is told from the point of view of a teenage boy as he and his coach father, recovering from colon cancer, prepare for a youth summer baseball game in Mount Vernon, WA.
The lead actor of the film is Ty Simpkins. Simpkins plays the teenage son and has been featured in such blockbuster films as Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man 3, Jurassic World, and Insidious. Co-starring with Simpkins, Ryan Findley (Portlandia, and Grimm) plays the father and baseball coach.
Summer Lightning is the most personal project to date from director and Seattle native, Andrew Saunderson. The film is a follow up to Andrew Saunderson’s HBO short film Birthday Boy, Executive Produced by Academy Award Nominated Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, Dallas Buyers Club, and Wild).
The production of Summer Lightning is packed with connections that make this regional story truly unique. The coach is based on Ken Saunderson, local marketing guru for 25 years in Seattle and past president of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. The opposing team in the film is the Bellevue Boys of Summer, coached by the Seattle author of When It Mattered Most and former University of Washington Assistant Coach, Kevin Ticen.
Kevin Ticen trained Andrew Saunderson when he was 17 years old, the year the true events and the film take place, at the facilities of Edmonds Community College, where the film was shot. Kevin Ticen and Ken Saunderson also have remained close over the years, having the same colorectal physician and sharing the experience of coaching baseball with a colostomy bag. Kevin Ticen appears in the film as the opposing coach and has a scene with none other than Ken Saunderson, playing the umpire.
The film was produced by Seattle native Zach Mann (Low Low, and Perfect Sport), along with Seattle filmmaker Andrew Preston, and Brendan Kenney (Big Little Lies, Hot Pursuit, and Wild).
The short film Summer Lightning is screening as part of the Destination Northwest program over ShortsFest weekend. The screening takes place at noon, at the SIFF Cinema Uptown on May 27, 2019. Andrew Saunderson, Ken Saunderson, Kevin Ticen, Ryan Findley, Zach Mann and Andrew Preston will all be in attendance for this homecoming World Premiere.
About Andrew Saunderson
Brooklyn, New York based filmmaker Andrew Saunderson is a Seattle native. Summer Lightning is a follow up to Andrew Saunderson’s HBO short film Birthday Boy, Executive Produced by Academy Award Nominated Director Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, Dallas Buyers Club, and Wild). Andrew Saunderson and his wife, Amira Dughri, were co-editors and provided addional production support for the Academy Award nominated Joe’s Violin.
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