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Mon Valley filmmaker's 'Pie Head' recognized by industry

- Hollis McLachlan, of California, Pa.
Hollis McLachlan, of California, Pa.
- 'Broken Things' a new movie produced by Hollis McLachlan of California, Pa.
'Broken Things' a new movie produced by Hollis McLachlan of California, Pa.

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Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 9:03 p.m.
 

The accolades keep growing for Hollywood actress and Mon Valley native Hollis (Zemany) McLachlan.

McLachlan, co-founder of Pie Head Productions LLC, and No Love Here Films, won the prestigious grand jury prize, and best screenplay, at the Hollywood & Vine Film Festival, for her feature-length comedy, “Pie Head: (A Kinda' True Story).”

McLachlan co-wrote, directed and starred in the film, and she will appear on the cover of Hollywood & Vine Magazine's spring 2013 issue to discuss the challenges and rewards of low-budget indie filmmaking.

A one-time resetident of California, Pa., and Canonsburg, the Hollywood resident has been pursuing her acting and filmmaking career since moving to the West Coast in 2006 after graduating from Washington & Jefferson College.

A 2002 Canon-McMillan High School graduate, she is the daughter of Spandy Zemany and granddaughter of Lou and Prue Petrucci, all of California, Pa. Her mother, Lou Ann Petrucci, moved from Canonsburg to Hollywood to be close to her. McLachlan‘s mother co-produced “Pie Head.”

McLachlan returned to her roots to film “Pie Head” in 2010. Some of the locations included the W&J campus, her grandparent‘s home in California and other spots in Brownsville and Washington.

Pie Head Productions also was recognized in March by the Autism Speaks Organization for McLachlan's fundraising efforts through special screenings of “Pie Head,” and for actively hiring actors and crew who are diagnosed within the Autism spectrum.

McLachlan, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, also has awards from the Best Shorts Competition. McLachlan earned the award of excellence for her “powerful leading performance” in her short film “Broken Things,” and the award of merit in the Women Filmmaker's Category for overall production value. McLachlan wrote, directed, and starred in “Broken Things.”

“I'm so grateful for the Hollywood and Vine Film Festival's generous recognition. Not only because they have acknowledged our hard work, but also because a major purpose of ‘Pie Head' is to enlighten audiences about the amazing work people with diverse disabilities can accomplish, and now we can get the word out thanks to the festival wins,” McLachlan says.

“I honestly don't know of another film like ‘Pie Head,' in that we cast a very diverse group of actors, regardless of ability or disability,” she says.

“For example, if a character is a wheelchair user, hard of hearing, or has a developmental disorder, they just happen to exist within the world of ‘Pie Head.' We don't emphasize the disability factor in the script, and it just works.

“‘Pie Head' is presented much like the real world presents itself: We are a diverse species, and my films reflect that truth.”

The Hollywood & Vine Film Festival is part of a non-profit organization called Breaking into Hollywood, whose mission is to help creative and business professionals in the entertainment industry to pursue their careers with integrity.

The Best Shorts Competition recognizes film professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film industry. Information about the Best Shorts Competition and a list of recent winners can be found at www.bestshorts.net.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or swolford@tribweb.com

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