Sister Cities premiered on Lifetime last night, and what an incredible movie!! Every person involved did a fantastic job. For those who weren’t able to see it, it’s on Lifetime on demand and producer Sean Hannish says they’ll have info about international/dvd release soon. In the meantime, check out HD screencaps in the gallery.



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Lifetime has picked up TV rights to the indie pic “Sister Cities,” starring Jacki Weaver, Stana Katic, Jess Weixler, Michelle Trachtenberg and Troian Bellisario.

The drama tells the story of four estranged sisters who are brought together by their mother’s death. It’s set to bow on the cabler Sept. 17. Amy Smart, Alfred Molina and Tom Everett Scott also star.

The project comes from director-producer Sean Hanish and the same team that produced the Emmy-nominated “Return to Zero,” which aired on Lifetime in 2014.

“Our goal with ‘Sister Cities’ has always been to get the film in front of as many people as possible, and Lifetime has proved to be the preeminent network to reach viewers who love films with strong female characters and performances,” said director-producer Sean Hanish. “After the overwhelming success of ‘Return to Zero’ on Lifetime, we’re thrilled to partner with the `Fempire’ a second time with ‘Sister Cities.’ ”

Colette Freedman wrote the script, which was based on her play. “Sister Cities” hails from Hanish’s Cannonball Productions and was produced by Hanish, Paul Jaconi-Biery and Eleonore Dailly. Kelly Kahl and Molina are executive producers.

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Sister Cities, the independent film Stana worked on last year, will have the world premiere on July 29th at Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan. The run time is 87 minutes and tickets go on sale July 10th. Stana plays the oldest sister Carolina, and the film also stars Jess Weixler, Michelle Trachtenberg, Troian Bellisario, Jacki Weaver, Amy Smart, Alfred Molina and Kaia Gerber. Hopefully we’ll get more info on distribution after the film premieres.

In this twisty and finely-observed family drama of Chekhovian simplicity, four estranged and wildly different sisters—each named after the city they were born in—are called home following the death of their mother. Free-spirited force of nature Mary Baxter lived a whirlwind life, and left her daughters adrift in her wake. After they arrive for Mary’s funeral, a raging storm traps them together in the house. Clashes ensue, old flames reappear, vodka is consumed, memories are triggered, and secrets bubble up, forcing them to confront the things they love about each other, and the things they’d just as soon forget. By turns awkward, funny, and moving, much like real-life family reunions, the fiery and forceful women at the film’s center give this American dramedy a winning appeal. Featuring an all-star cast including Jackie Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook“), Stana Katic (“Castle”), Troian Bellisario (“Pretty Little Liars”), Michelle Trachtenberg, and TC’s own Amy Smart, we are excited to play host to this film’s world premiere. In Person: Director Sean Hanish; Actress Amy Smart.

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After eight years, Stana Katic better known to viewers as Detective Kate Beckett is leaving “Castle.” ABC announced this week that Nathan Fillion’s TV wife will be departing the detective drama after Season 8. While her departure from the popular series is heartbreaking to fans and a huge loss to the network, Katic can look forward to a busy year ahead.

According to her IMDB page, Katic has completed filming three new movies slated for 2016 while on break from “Castle.” One of her projects is “Sister Cities,” an independent drama based on a play by Colette Freedman. Katic will star alongside “The Good Wife” alumni Jess Weixler, “Pretty Little Liars” actress Troian Belisario and “Gossip Girl” regular Michelle Trachtenberg.

According to Variety, “Sister Cities” revolves around four estranged sisters who reunite after losing their mother to what they believe is a suicide. Each sister is named after an American city, as different and far apart from each other as sisters. Amy Smart, Alfred Molina, Kathy Baker and Tom Everett Scott complete the cast. Sean Hanish serves as the producer and director.

Meanwhile,”Lost in Florence” (or “The Tourist”) is about an American who, after getting his heart broken, flies to Florence and get involved in a dangerous sport. Katic plays the role of Anna, a supporting character. [Watch the trailer below.]

In “The Rendezvous,” Katic goes back to solving mysteries as Rachel Rozman. The film is based on a novel by Sarah Isaias about a “mis-matched” couple that goes on to an adventure to search for the “Dead Sea Scroll” said to be hidden in the ancient city of Petra.

Moreover, Katic’s fans should not be too disappointed about her departure from “Castle” because the actress will not be straying away from television despite her blooming and increasingly busy movie career. She revealed to ET Canadathat she is developing a new television series for cable, but she refused to divulge further information because, as she quipped, she will probably be in trouble for talking about the project. With all these lined up, Stana Katic does not really need Rick Castle anymore.

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Stana Katic is one half of TV’s favourite couple on Castle, but she’s bonding with a whole new cast on set of her upcoming indie film, Sister Cities.

“I thought that they did a really good job of bringing together some really ballsy chicks,” Stana tells ET Canada from the LA-based film set.

Sister Cities revolves around four estranged sisters who reunite to mourn their mother’s death. It co-stars Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars), Jess Weixler (The Good Wife) and Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Stana’s sisters.

“I’ve always wanted sisters,” says Jess, “so it’s kind of a dream come true to get three of them in this movie.”

To make their sisterly bond all the more convincing, the actresses did some real life bonding off screen.

“We filmed in this gorgeous old house that was originally built in 1882,” Michelle explains, “and we all had a sleepover there at night, it was just us and the ghosts.”

Nothing says relationship-building like scary spirits from the afterworld!

“It was very special, and I think you’ll see that on screen,” adds Michelle.

Sister Cities is scheduled for release in 2016.

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Most people who get time off from work use it relax. Since she’s been starring as detective Kate Beckett on the ABC hit show Castle, actress Stana Katic has a tendency to use her hiatus time between seasons to go do another acting job.  For the Castle 2015 hiatus, she used it to do two: The Rendezvous and Sister Cities. Read on to see how these projects fit into the still rising trajectory of this talented & beautiful star.

(…)Artistic processes are all about making choices all the time, and the very act of making a choice is the distilling down and the getting to the core of what it is that you care about and what you want to say, really.

The above quote is from five time Oscar-nominated writer and director Mike Leigh.  This idea of actors making choices in what roles they do may sound unlikely to some.  Don’t actors – especially early on – just take what they can get?  Well, yes and no. In terms of what auditions come their way an actor has no control over it.  However, even early in the game an actor makes decisions on what they will audition for.  (For more on actors choosing roles:www.backstage.com – advice for actors ).

What strikes me about the Katic resume is that there aren’t any roles where she’s just there as eye-candy – and there’s no doubt she’s beautiful enough to play any number of roles that require nothing but the ability to be hot on film.  This speaks to the choices Katic didn’t make when going to audition and makes what she did do a snapshot of what’s been important to her early on as an actress.

In examining her body of acting work and her public persona, one can see Katic doing exactly as Leigh describes. Her work shows a steadily building arc that gives a picture of her not only as an actress, but of her larger artistic sensibility and spirit. These two new projects fit right into this arc, and appear to be creating a point that will allow more of who she is as an actress to shine.

Let’s look at the roles she’s doing in the first of these new projects.

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Stana’s definitely staying busy this summer. Not long after wrapping on The Rendezvous, she got busy on another project. She’s currently filming Sister Cities, a movie based on the play by Colette Freedman. You can read a synopsis of the play below, and it’s been confirmed that Stana is playing Carolina, the oldest sister. She is described as forty, a hard-driving lawyer, and recently divorced. Though I don’t see how Stana can pull off a 40 year old. The other sisters will be played by Michelle Trachtenberg, Jess Weixler and Troian Bellisario. The movie is directed by Sean Hanish. Make sure to follow the official Twitter page and you can read the play on Indie Theater.

Based on the internationally acclaimed play by Colette Freedman, Sister Cities tells the story of four estranged sisters who reunite for their mother’s alleged suicide.

Mary Baxter has had an enviable life – a dancer who married young and never looked back as she traveled the world and moved from one marriage to the next. Four husbands gave her four daughters, each of whom are as different from each other as the cities they were named after. When Mary dies, her live-at-home daughter, Austin, calls her three sisters to return to their childhood home for what appears to be a wake; yet when they discover mom’s still in the tub, the siblings quickly retreat into their childhood roles.

As a raging storm traps them inside their island home with their dead mother, the women’s fragile facades begin to crack as they share memories, play Scrabble, and drink a lot of vodka. Their bickering escalates, until finally Austin can’t hold back any longer and confesses that their mother had ALS and that her suicide was really a planned death. Her sisters are furious and want to turn her into the police.

Austin pleads that her sisters have no idea what she’s been going through in care taking of their mother. To prove it, she secretly poisons her older sister Carolina – giving her a drug, which paralyzes the body but leaves the mind alert.

Old animosities and new secrets continue to surface as the sisters panic that Carolina has been drugged for too long. Finally, she emerges from the paralysis. Her time spent immobile and dependent sways her opinion and she confesses that she would have done the same thing. Just as the police arrive to examine the body, and Austin faces the possibility of arrest, the sisters unite to take care of their own, finally understanding the true meaning of family.