Event Details

  • June 13, 2019
  • 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • $7/$5
  • $7 general admission / $5 for students with ID


Event Description

Actors Tanya Perez and Jax Jackson in a shot from the film ‘Veronica.’

A special movie event will open The Varsity’s Peripheral Vision Film Series summer schedule. Director and producer Reiko Aylesworth will present her first short feature, “Veronica,” on Thursday, June 13. Aylesworth will introduce the film and lead a question-and-answer session after the screening. “Veronica” has been shown in more than 12 global film festivals and was featured on Cannes film fest webpage and in their online catalog. The film has just been chosen for screening at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference Film Festival in Vancouver, British Colombia, where Melinda Gates will deliver the keynote address. “Veronica” is Aylesworth’s directorial debut. The 2018 dramedy centers on the title character’s seemingly perfect life. But when Veronica attends her first Transgender Identity Empowerment group meeting, she opens up about how she’s convinced that a stranger’s life is hers from afar. This confession spills over into a series of events where she battles with her desire to wholly adopt another woman’s life and remain herself because of what society expects of her. “It’s first-rate moviemaking, thanks to the avant-garde plot alone,” writes Ayurelia Horn Muller at filmthreat.com. “Writer and lead actress Tanya Perez proves to be a double threat in this 16-minute film. Thrilling and radical, the two (Aylesworth and Perez) combine forces to inject a pattern of delightful risk in the sequence of events.” Lead actress Perez has been seen on “Orange Is the New Black,” “Jessica Jones” and “Blue Bloods.” Aylesworth, who will be in Southern Illinois visiting family, has a substantial career in theater and film and has been a working actor for nearly 30 years. She has performed on more than a dozen plays in regional theater, Off Broadway and in Los Angeles. Since the early 1990s, she has had starring and guest roles in television series. She was a central character in the cast of ‘24’ when the show won a Golden Globe. She also has guest starred on “Law and Order,” “Hawaii Five-O,” Scorpion,” “ER,” “Lost” and many others. Aylesworth has also acted in more than 40 films, large and small, around world, and has worked with Sydney Pollack, Ellyn Burstyn, Harrison Ford, Edie Falcon, Jim Carrley, Kevin Costner, Demi Moore and many others. Aylesworth lives in Southern California with husband Rob and their son. There will be a Q&A session with Aylesworth after the screening, where she hopes to share her experience in the film industry. She is especially interested in talking to and answering questions from young would-be directors and from women who are interested in making films. The film is not rated but contains mature subject matter not suitable for children. This special film event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13. Tickets are $7 or $5 for students with ID and are available in advance at www.thevarsitycenter.eventbrite.com. They are not available in advance at the venue, but will be sold on the night of the show when doors and the Varsity Bar open at 6:30.

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