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Published April 13th, 2011
too perfect Premiere at The Orinda
By Andrea A. Firth
The Orinda-based cast of too perfect on the steps outside Table 24 at Theater Square: Back row (L to R) Aaron Valled, Mia Harnett, Antonio Salmeron, Tyler Maramonte, Jake Linares; front row (L to R) Maddie Geary, Madison Gibson, Lindsey Watters, Tessa Hanson, Elijah Stavena, Haley Stanton. Photo A. Firth

The title of Orinda-based movie producer Julie Rubio's new film, too perfect, carries a not so subtle hint of irony. Rubio's latest cinematic venture addresses the emotional ups and downs young people deal with as they transition from middle school to high school-a time many teens would describe as less than perfect. "It's a coming of age film about first love, friendship, divorce, bullying and how these things impact kids," says Rubio. As the teens in the film deal with these heavier issues, there is also a lot of laughter, teasing, and playfulness, which suitably characterizes this time in life when young people step toward adulthood with one foot still planted in childhood.
The majority of the cast of too perfect is from Orinda and attends Orinda Intermediate School or Miramonte High School. For almost all of the young actors, this was their first experience in film. The film's leads are played by Rubio's son Elijah Stevana and a close family friend, Tessa Hanson. Rubio recruited most of the other actors for the film through Elijah's network of friends except for a few young actors from southern California.
When asked about the upcoming premiere of too perfect to be held at the Orinda Theater later in April, there is a palpable feeling of nervous anticipation among the local cast. They have yet to view the full-length version of the film, and it will be the first time for most to see themselves on a theater's big screen. All of the cast members recall the two weeks of filming last summer as a good time and enjoyed hanging out, making a new set of friends, and getting to know the film crew. "I thought being in the film was an amazing experience," says Jake Linares, who plays one of Elijah's good friends in the film, "The acting wasn't that hard, but it was definitely work and harder than it looks."
The movie was filmed at locations throughout Lamorinda including Theater Square, Republic of Cake, Loard's Ice Cream, 24 Hour Fitness, and Miramonte High School. (Miramonte Principal Adam Clark plays a small part in the film.) "You even see the crosses in Lafayette in the background of one scene," says Rubio, "You can't deny it's a part of our landscape, but it's not there to make sort of political statement."
Rubio says she set much of the film in Orinda because she wants to contribute to the changing vibe of the downtown. "I want people who come to Orinda to find it to be a cool, little city," says Rubio, and she believes movies might be a way to foster that image. She mentions other Bay Area cities that have served as film locations, such as San Rafael which served as a film site for the movie American Graffiti. "They may have only done a day filming there, but people still go to visit San Rafael to see that set location."
"Film is the strongest medium we have," says Rubio. "We have this gorgeous theater in a downtown surrounded by beautiful hills. We need to support what we have here."

too perfect will screen at the Orinda Theater on Friday, April 29th at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday. May 1st at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. There will a Q and A with the cast following the screenings. Tickets are $10. too perfect will also be shown at Miramonte High School on Friday, May 6th at 7:00 p.m. This screening is open to the public and 25% of the ticket proceeds will be donated to Miramonte.

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