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Comedy Film by, for and about Milwaukeeans

WORLD PREMIERE OF FEATURE FILM COMEDY BY, FOR AND ABOUT MILWAUKEEANS “COFFEE REFILLS ARE FREE” DEBUTS AT ROSEBUD CINEMA MILWAUKEE – (August 12, 2003) –The premiere showing of a new independent feature film comedy about Milwaukeeans will take place at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse (6823 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, WI 53213) on Thursday August 21, 2003 at 7pm. Admission is $3. The 105-minute film, “Coffee Refills Are Free,” was written and directed by 26-year-old former Milwaukee-area resident Ryan Walter. The movie focuses on the lives of three young Milwaukeeans, Ethan (Lucas Wall), Eddie (John Lewandowski), and Mickey (Brian Hubert). Ethan was looking forward to another summer in Milwaukee after his first year away at college. Little did he know that his real education was just about to start. The coffee shop becomes the classroom as Ethan and his friends struggle to find the courage to make their own unique leaps of faith into the future despite a string of humiliations and failures that threatens to keep them from ever leaving the past. When Marie (Jill Siegel) arrives in town, all three of their lives change forever… and for the better. “Coffee Refills Are Free” offers an often touching, always hilarious look into the lives of three guys in the midst of an arrested adolescence who lick their wounds and bolster each others’ delicate egos with witty banter and false bravado- all from the safety and comfort of their favorite booth. Because in this life, only one thing is for certain: coffee refills are free. ~ more ~ 2 – Coffee Refills Are Free Premiere “The film is driven by dialogue, characters, and relationships,” states Walter. “It features characters that people can laugh with and laugh at. It takes an honest and realistic look at the often embarrassing, painful, and hilarious things that happen to all of us in our everyday lives.” The majority of the cast and crew for Coffee Refills Are Free are from the Milwaukee area. The movie soundtrack is composed of 30 songs, most of them from southeastern Wisconsin rock bands and singer-songwriters who submitted their albums to Walter in a contest that he held last year by placing ads in the local media. “On one level, this movie is about the lives of several unique and humorous characters, but it is also a love letter to my hometown.” says Walter. As a result, the sounds and sights of Milwaukee in the summer also fill the film. The lakefront, skyline, and streets of Milwaukee are seen throughout, and many scenes were shot at Milwaukee area sites such as the Rock Bottom Brewery, The Brass Key Restaurant, The Comedy Cafe, The Astor Hotel, Howard’s Pub and Grill in Mequon, and South Shore Park. Scenes taking place in the characters’ favorite coffee shop were shot at Gyros Corner West in Waukesha. “Coffee Refills Are Free” was produced by Ryan Walter’s New Jersey-based Cheesehead in Exile Productions. Walter is a high school history and psychology teacher in northern New Jersey. A Greenfield, WI, native, he wrote much of the screenplay for Coffee Refills Are Free while attending Northwestern University. Producing the film has been Walter’s “summer project,” having been shot and edited over the past three years. In upcoming months, he intends to submit the film to festivals around the country and the world. Walter is currently working on two new screenplays, as well as preparing for the upcoming school year. # # # “Coffee Refills Are Free” characters include: . Lucas Wall (Ethan): Lucas has done stand-up comedy in the Milwaukee area, and is a screenwriter as well. He lives in Milwaukee and is a restaurant manager and bartender. (414 975 1731) . John Lewandowski (Eddie): John has starred in community theater productions in the Milwaukee area, including a show for the West Allis Players. He also attended UWM in the theater program. (414 708 6725) . Brian Hubert (Mickey): Brian is a software engineer in the Milwaukee area. (262 424 1361) . Jill Siegel (Marie): As a college student, Jill was a member of the Northwestern University Dance Ensemble. For a time, she was an employee and teacher at First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee. She is now the director of the Capital Children’s Museum Theatre Company in Washington, DC. * The cast consists of over 30 others from the Milwaukee area.