"That Evening Sun" shines at SYR Film Fest

Farah Jadran Pike 04/24/09More articles

After years of transforming his talents form live theater to film and then to cable television, Larsen Jay, 34, has found his common ground within the realm of putting “great stories into film.”

Jay, a graduate from the Cicero-North Syracuse class of '92 returned to Syracuse this week to celebrate the showing of “That Evening Sun” at the Syracuse Film Festival. Jay was one of three executive producers for the film.

The film was written and directed by Scott Teems. The inspiration for the script came from a short story by author William Gay.

Jay said there was an interesting dichotomy that went into the success of the film’s direction and performance.

“You have this seasoned veteran, Hal Holbrook, and a young, creative writer (Teems) working together,” Jay said. “Those are the two major reasons for the success.”

The strengths of the writing and the caliber of Holbrook’s presence as an authentic actor made the film what it is, Jay said.

After travelling to film festivals in Boston, Nashville and now Syracuse, the film has earned much acclaim for best narrative film and best ensemble cast. According to Jay, winning the audience award for best feature at the Sarasota Film Festival was an honor because the audience chose the film from many others.

Although the festival circuit, which will continue into the summer, has been exhilarating, Jay said there is something special about being back in town.

“It’s great to be back in Syracuse,” he said. “I have lots of friends here.”

Jay grew up on Route 31 between the towns of Clay and Cicero. He said he remembers the unique start he got in the business of performing arts.

“I remember seeing a girl I thought was cute,” Jay said. “I followed her in and started to build sets for live theater.”

His love for the theater during the last few years of high school motivated him to find a college with a good theater program. He set his sights on the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Although Jay said he has always been interested in theater, he constantly had connections to the film scene.

“I really got that bug,” Jay said. “I’ve always had a knack for film editing too.”

Jay’s first gig in the film business came along while working as a production assistant for “Universal Soldier,” a Jean-Claude Van Damme film.

While living in Los Angeles to further his interest in film, Jay said he had the pleasure of working as the production secretary for “Erin Brokovich.”

Since then, Jay has moved on to starting a production company called Dogwood Entertainment, and another company called DoubleJay Creative, which focuses on visual media within television, film, design and Web interactive media.

The film will be shown at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at the Palace Theater at 2384 James St., Syracuse. The film has already been named a special selection at the festival because the film was not finished in time for official submission.

Jay said he and the other two executive producers, Jay’s wife Adrian, 33, and Raul L. Celaya, 34, will begin working to get the film to theaters across the nation during the end of the summer.

Having a good drama like “That Evening Sun” will be great to have after all the big summer action films, Jay said.
“To think, this all started at C-NS,” Jay said. “I’m glad to be bringing this back home.”

Look for the full story in next week's Star-News. More information on the film, cast and crew can be found at thateveningsun.com.

TAGS: That Evening Sun, Syracuse Film Festival, Larsen Jay, Scott Teems, Hal Holbrook, Cicero-Noth Syracuse High School, Dogwood Entertainment, DoubleJay Creative
EDITION: Star-Review

Rating: 3.5/5 (10 votes cast)

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