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Savanah Wiltfong and Shayne Topp in Dear Lemon Lima

Day 6: Los Angeles Film Festival

Studio: Film Independent

Jun 25, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Dear Lemon Lima - Directed by Suzi Yoonessi

The 4:30 screening of this Narrative Competition entry was packed to the hilt. While introducing the film, writer/director Suzi Yoonessi offered up her seat, and folks in the front with poor sight lines immediately raised their hands in the hope of being saved from neck pains. With a winsome, understated lead performance from newcomer Savanah Wiltfong and a colorful visual design distinguished by pastels and Sweethearts candies, Dear Lemon Lima takes an offbeat yet compassionate look at heartbreak and identity discovery at the onset of teenagehood.

In the film, Wiltfong plays Vanessa, a 13-year-old Yup’ik (Western Eskimo) girl who befriends an offbeat group of outcasts banished to the weight room at her prep school. Dubbed Vanessa the Kind, she leads them in a school-sponsored physical competition against a team captained by the boy who dumped her over the summer.

Savanah Wiltfong adresses the LAFF audience with director Suzi Yoonessi and actress Melissa Leo to her right.

Yoonessi’s short film of the same name screened at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, and Oscar nominee Melissa Leo reprises her supporting role from the short. Dear Lemon Lima will screen again on Saturday at 4:15 at the Landmark.


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