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Bill and Turner Ross made a splash at the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival where they took home the Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize for 45365. I wrote this about the film earlier this year:

A tender portrait of the Ross Bros.’ hometown, Sidney, Ohio, 45365 plays like a greatest hits of a small town’s most iconic symbols and events—homecoming bonfires, football games, Halloween, the carnival, etc.—capturing this slice of distinctly American pie without ever succumbing to condescension or over-sentimentality. The Ross Bros. apply a poetic editorial rhythm to their verite footage, creating a truly original atmosphere in which the camera becomes an omniscient presence, literally floating between characters and situations, between time and space, to add an air of dreamy reverie to the proceedings. 45365 is a lovely marvel of a picture.

Clearly, the SXSW jurors weren’t the only ones smitten with 45365, as it continues to rack up awards on its ongoing festival run (Full Frame, Calgary, Newport, Sidewalk, etc.). This summer, it was picked up for distribution by 7th Art Releasing, who plan to release the film in 2010.

But enough about 45365. Just in time for Christmas, the Ross Bros. have been kind enough to post a new 18-minute short, Dinosaur Curtains, for your free viewing pleasure. Though it has nothing to do with Christmas itself, Dinosaur Curtains might just be the sweetest present you’ll receive this year. The less said about it the better, as part of its charm is how it reveals its purpose along the way. I will say that by the end, don’t be surprised if it brings a tiny little tear to your eye.

In the world of online viewing, 18 minutes can seem like a hearty investment. But trust me, Dinosaur Curtains is worth it. Merry Christmas and thank you, Bill and Turner Ross.

(I recommend letting the file load all the way before viewing it in full-screen mode.)

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

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