Screening of film about the life, works and tragic death of “A Christmas Story” director Bob Clark

to benefit the Cleveland chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving

CLEVELAND – Nov. 19, 2008 – “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention that takes place Nov. 28-29 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in Cleveland is filled with many events and activities related to the holiday classic film. Held in the city where many memorable parts of the movie were filmed, the pinnacle event of the two-day convention is the world premiere of “ClarkWORLD,” a documentary about the life, works and tragic death of Bob Clark. The screening will take place Saturday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel.

Clark was an American actor, director, screenwriter and producer. He was best known for directing and writing the script with Jean Shepherd to “A Christmas Story.” He even made an appearance in the film as Swede, the neighbor who asks The Old Man about the proudly displayed leg lamp in the window. He and his 22-year-old son, Ariel, died April 4, 2007, when Clark’s car was hit head-on by a drunk driver.

“Cleveland is really where it all began,” said Deren Abram, who wrote, directed and produced the documentary. “And now, 25 years later with the 25th anniversary celebration of ‘A Christmas Story’ and the fans that are more like an extended family, there’s no other place we’d rather premiere ‘ClarkWORLD.’ In essence, it’s like coming home.”

Following Clark’s death, a nonprofit production company called ClarkWORLD Films was formed by Abram and Lyne Leavy, both friends and associates of Clark who wished to keep his spirit and vision alive. Its mission is to create films that positively impact the world and to raise money for social needs. “ClarkWORLD” is the company’s first film, and it aims to help educate and promote awareness of drunk driving. Proceeds from the documentary’s premiere screening will go to the Cleveland chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“ClarkWORLD” features many of the people who worked closely with Clark, including Kim Cattrall, Jon Voight, Denise Richards, Scott Baio and Peter Billingsley (who played Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”). The documentary covers how Clark would effortlessly switch genres, studios and even countries – anything to continue making movies – when success was met with high-profile box office failures. But as Clark continued to struggle against a series of flops, he was simultaneously being heralded as an inspiration to a new breed of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter and many others, citing their influence from his iconic films such as “Porky’s,” “Murder by Decree,” “Turk 182,” “Black Christmas,” and the legendary film “A Christmas Story” (which is on more than 100 critics’ lists of top 50 movies of all time and the best Christmas movie of all time). As the film weaves between various anecdotes told by some very famous people, viewers discover insight to Clark’s quirky and unpredictable personality as well as his integrity and genius. “ClarkWORLD” is a riveting, hilarious, edgy and poignant film that takes us on a whimsical journey inside the world of Bob Clark.

“This is more than a biography – this is a celebration of a life’s work that continues to entertain so many people, especially at this time of year,” Abram said.

“This is about Bob,” Leavy added, who serves as executive producer of the film. “I think we got it right.”

In celebration of Clark’s long-standing commitment to Toys for Toys, ClarkWORLD Films and A Christmas Story House & Museum will host a toy drive during both days of the 25th anniversary convention at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. This will serve as the local kick-off event for the Marine’s ’08 Toys for Tots campaign. Convention attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the hotel. Those who donate will receive a voucher for free popcorn, which is good with any ticket purchased for the ClarkWORLD premiere.

During the “ClarkWORLD” premiere, representatives from the Marines will be on-hand to man the toy collection bins, and the two Genie Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) won by “A Christmas Story” for Best Achievement in Direction and Best Screenplay that are on loan from Clark’s estate will be on display.

Tickets to the premiere screening of ClarkWORLD are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12. VIP tables also are available for $250 and include eight seats, drinks, snacks, candy and a leg lamp centerpiece to keep as a souvenir. For tickets or more information, call A Christmas Story House & Museum at 216-298-4919 or visit http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com/index.php/convention/clarkworld-premiere/. Tickets also can be purchased the day of the event at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

For more information on “A Christmas Story” 25th Anniversary Celebration & Convention,” including a schedule of events, hotel packages and convention tickets, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com.

ClarkWORLD Films, Inc., is a nonprofit production company formed in 2007 by a few of the people that worked closely with Clark for many years and wish to keep his spirit and vision alive. Its mission is to create films that positively impact the world and raise money for social needs. For more information on ClarkWORLD Films, visit www.clarkworldfilms.com.

A Christmas Story House & Museum is located just five minutes from downtown Cleveland at 3159 W. 11th St. in the Tremont neighborhood. It is open year-round on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. From Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, the house is also open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the house run every 30 minutes. Regular admission tickets are $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $5.50 for children (ages 7 to 12) and free for children ages 6 and under. For more information or for directions, visit www.AChristmasStoryHouse.com or call 216-298-4919.

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