Filmed in Dallas, the new movie Rain--starring Faye Dunaway, Robert Loggia and Khandi Alexander--will debut tonight as the opening movie of the Palm Beach International Film Festival. It was exec-produced by Dallasite John Valdene, who grew up in Palm Beach, and is based on the novel by V.C. Andrews.
The movie was shot in three weeks this winter, for about $2 million. Years from now it may serve as a trivia question: What was Brooklyn Sudano's first starring role? Who she? The daughter of Donna Summer, who looks and sounds like her mother. Valdene insists she beat out Ashanti and Alicia Keyes for the role of a gifted teenage singer who discovers she's the child of a wealthy white woman and her black lover, not the black parents she has grown up with.
Valdene (called Johnny de la Valdene in the Palm Beach Daily News) partners with Dallas entrepreneur Travis Hollman in Big Headz Entertainment, which co-produced the movie. Until now, their output has been reality TV shows such as STAG: Last Night of Freedom ("the hot reality show that exposes bachelor parties!") and Badass, which pits amateurs against toughs with martial arts training. Nonetheless, says producer-wroter Jason Kabolati, "we are confident we have made a viable film and stayed true to the V.C. Andrews book. The loyal readers will be happy with the film translation."
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I'm dying to see Rain for two reasons. Much of it was filmed in my neighborhood at a big antebellum mansion near White Rock Lake. And it stars Faye Dunaway. I kept hoping for a glimpse of "Hurricane Faye," as some of the crew dubbed the actress, one of my favorite movie stars by virtue of three great films: Chinatown, Bonnie and Clyde and Three Days of the Condor. Alas. The hurricane stayed hidden. No word on when or if Rain will be screened in Dallas. --Glenna Whitley