August Evening by Chris Eska

At the center of “August Evcening ” is the conflict between generations. Aging parents and grown children have difficulty expressing both their love and mutual disappointment in each other. A father recognizes the unstoppable force of time and must say goodbye to his daughter so she can start her own life.

Chris Eska: Director

For inspiration, Ive looked to the naturalistic world cinema of the 1950s, and an approach that values subtle yet conflicting emotions above frantic action and the overt fears and pleasures that tend to drive many current films. It includes subtle romance, gentle humor, and heartbreaking tragedy but it should not be depressing. Instead, we concentrate on the Japanese idea of “mono no aware,” which is difficult to translate, but involves finding peace with life's imperfections.

Heartwarming scenes highlight the bittersweet nature of life, finding resolution in the warmth of the characters, the beauty in sadness, and the universality of the human experience.

My hope is that the project will express emotions that are frequently absent from films today but are ubiquitous in our real lives.

Making of the Film

Shortly after premiering his UCLA thesis film, “Doki-Doki,” on national PBS in late 2004, Chris Eska returned to his rural hometown in south Texas in search of inspiration for his first feature film.

He found his story, and spent the spring developing a treatment for August Evening.
Chris began casting in California and Texas in May 2005 and found his lead in an unlikely way. Non-actor Pedro Castaneda was installing computer networks in San Antonio when he randomly bumped into Chris, who was struck by his authentic look and his natural depth of character. After convincing Pedro that he was serious, Chris showed him the script and they began months of intense rehearsals.

In June, producers Connie Hill and Jason Wehling left their jobs at PBS and became the first residents of the three-bedroom house that would become a homey mixture of production office and filmmaking commune. When they werent scouring the county for props, wardrobe, and locations, more than 15 crew members slept on air mattresses, cooked together, and sand karaoke.

The entire community of Gonzales came together to support the project despite the 105-degree August heat, and all on-set meals were donated and prepared by local citizens, many of whom appeared in supporting roles in the film.
Over 55 hours of footage had to be sifted through and edited during the course of 2006. As soon as a rough cut was complete, the film was invited to several top film festivals, and Chris decided to wait and premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June of 2007. On the night of its premiere screening, August Evening was picked up for theatrical distribution by Maya Entertainment.