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“Jack Ong delivers a sensitive and soulful performance which helps anchor the wackiness of this highly-stylized romantic comedy with the sweet irony of reality. Without Jack as Bob, LAUNDROMAT would lose its heart.” –Edward Gunawan, Writer/Director of “Just” and “Laundromat.”

“Laundromat”: The Making of…and More!

          In the case of “Laundromat,” the acclaimed short film by David Gil and Edward Gunawan, things happened lightning quick from first draft to final festival!
          I just found out the amazing details when “Laundromat” screened Saturday, March 7, at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, during Outfest’s 2009 Fusion, the Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival.
          It was a wonderful experience to act in the film opposite Prince Gomavilas and Keo Woolford, and very gratifying indeed to help bring the tender story to life under young Gunawan’s sure direction. And it was great to experience the Fusion audience’s positive reactions to our 13-minute short drama. But it was something else entirely for me to be seated next to co-producer/cinematographer Gil and Marco Rios – the two men who actually lived the story that unfolds in “Laundromat”! Both were audibly moved watching the film, along with many in the audience.
          Not until the Q&A after the screening did I learn that David, painfully separating from Marco, had moved to Los Angeles from Phoenix in 2007, met actor-writer-director Edward at the Abbey in West Hollywood, where the new friends discovered their shared filmmaking goals as they exchanged personal experiences. Within a day and a half, Edward presented David the “Laundromat” script, and they decided to make the film together.
          Cast and crew were assembled in early 2008, we all had a ball filming, and “Laundromat” became one of the year’s festival hits. If you’re thinking WHEW!, please note that Team Gil/Gunawan followed up by rapidly producing another short, “Just,” which also enjoyed tremendous success on the festival circuit, often alongside “Laundromat”! Plus…they recently finished their third short together, “Scent.”
          It’s as though the dudes were racing against time: just three days after the Fusion presentation of “Laundromat,” it was off to Asia for Gunawan, who was born in Indonesia, grew up in Singapore, earned degrees at USC and Loyola Marymount and was mentored by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chris Tashima (“Visas and Virtues”). It will be very interesting to follow Edward’s bi-continental career!
          Meanwhile, “Laundromat” is playing on Logo, MTV’s GLBT network; and both “Laundromat” and “Just” are being distributed by Wolfe on the DVD, “He Likes Guys,” a compilation of “eight great gay short films.”



David Gil, Marco Ruiz, Edward Gunawan, Keo Woolford and Jack
Ready for the red carpet at the world-famous Egyptian in Hollywood (l to r): Jack with Edward Gunawan, David Gil and Marco Ruiz.
Speaking of Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre…

          March 17 is Sid Grauman’s 130th birthday anniversary. His landmark cinema palaces – the Million Dollar in downtown L.A., along with the Egyptian and Grauman’s Chinese, defined the modern movie-going experience, Hollywood star power and the lavish movie premiere. In fact, the first-ever Hollywood movie premiere (“Robin Hood” starring Douglas Fairbanks) was held on Oct. 18, 1922, at the Egyptian.


Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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