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Written and directed by Jessica Scalise the movie was filmed in Portland and features local actors Julie Elizabeth Knell, Tyler Miller and Sam Mamerman

COURTESY PHOTOS: SEAN D. BROWN  - The families of the brides meet for the first time, with disasterous consequences, in Jessica Scalises comedy Zilla and Zoe. The film will be featured in special screenings July 19, 20 and 21 at Clinton Street Theater in Portland. It features local actors Julie Elizabeth Knell, Sam Kamerman and Tyler Miller.

Lake Oswego actress Julie Elizabeth Knell invites all to attend screenings of Jessica Scalise's award-winning film "Zilla and Zoe" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 19, 20 and 21, at 7 p.m. at Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., Portland OR 97202.

Scalise wrote and directed the comedy, which was filmed in Portland and includes local actors Julie Elizabeth Knell, Tyler Miller and Sam Kamerman among the cast. It is described as a "heartwarming and quirky comedy that explores family and the importance of accepting one another for who we really are."

The screenplay was a quarterfinalist in Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest in 2017, regarded as one of the top screenwriting contests in the world. Zoetrope looks for screenplays "with the best story and execution — regardless of genre or budget requirements."

In a July 2015 interview with The Review and Tidings, Knell said "Zilla and Zoe" is similar in style and humor to "Little Miss Sunshine," the 2006 story of a dysfunctional family and their road trip to a beauty contest. It starred Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin.

But this time, the star isn't interested in beauty contests. In "Zilla and Zoe," 10-year-old Zoe is obsessed with making horror films. A deadline for a big horror contest is coming up, and she is determined to win. But when her father, concerned about her increasingly gory activities, orders her to stop making horror films and shoot her sister's wedding week instead, Zoe has no other choice. To win the contest of her dreams, she will have to turn her sister's wedding into a horror film.

Knell plays Cora, an East Coast blueblood from a wealthy family. She is a loud, brassy, bossy socialite and has a genuinely warm, loving heart. Kamerman plays Zilla; Miller plays one of Knell's sons.

"We played at the Seattle Local Sightings Film Festival on Sept. 22 (2017) and were delighted to win the Audience Choice Award for Best Film," said Scalise.

"Zilla and Zoe" was also an official selection of the High Falls Film Festival in Rochester, N.Y., which took take place in November 2017. The High Falls Film Festival celebrates the artistry and innovation of women in film — behind the camera, in leading roles on the screen and at the heart of storylines. The film festival is inspired by Rochester's legacy as the birthplace of film and the women's rights movement.

"Zilla and Zoe" was also shown during the Portland Film Festival in 2017.

"Please spread the word to family and friends, and post on your social media pages," said Knell about the upcoming showings.

Tickets can be purchased online at

To learn more about Jessica Scalise's work, visit

The whole bridal party ends up in jail in one of their lower moments in this scene from Zilla and Zoe showing this weekend, July 19 through 21 at the Clinton Street Theater in Portland.

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