Sam Rockwell with MVFF director of programming Zoe Elton.
Sam Rockwell with MVFF director of programming Zoe Elton.

Actor Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2, Charlie’s Angels) and local screenwriter Pamela “Great dress” Gray were in town for the Mill Valley Film Festival opening night screening of Conviction, co-starring Hilary Swank. Loni Kao caught up with the two hug-friendly stars in this Stark Insider on location video segment, part of our continuing coverage of the prestigious and increasingly influential festival.

“I did prison research for The Green Mile so I knew a little about it.” said an easy-going Sam Rockwell, looking part Gap, part San Francisco chic in a scarf, jacket and dark-framed glasses (or as Clint Stark calls them: Buddy Holly binoculars).

Sequoia Theatre in Mill Valley
Sequoia Theatre in Mill Valley

“I actually found my house in Sebastopol the week that A Walk on the Moon opened,” said Pamela Gray, who had spent the better part of nine years working on the screenplay for Conviction. “There was an article about Tony Goldwyn that my realtor attached to the offer to help me get the house.”

She added, “Betty Anne Waters is an incredible human being who went to law school to free her brother Kenny.”

Later, the two mingled at a reception for the festival that included board members, donors and cast and crew from other films including director Tom Hooper whose film, The King’s Speech, fresh from a high profile run in Toronto (TIFF) has been receiving early raves.

Screenwriter Pamela Gray (CONVICTION) with Loni Kao Stark
Screenwriter Pamela Gray (CONVICTION) with Loni Kao Stark.

Over the weekend, the festival continued to draw fans to Marin, as a diverse array of independent and global films graced a packed schedule. Quality choice is a valued option when it comes to MVFF.

Speaking of quirky (watch video), in his weekly Sunday Espesso column, Clinton Stark gave his perspective on the experience so far, and includes short takes on period piece and Oscar-buzz-worthy The King’s Speech, real life drama Conviction, local gem Opal, and Ed Norton’s latest, Stone.

For more MVFF coverage including interviews with director Tom Hooper, actor Edward Norton, film reviews, and updates, visit the special Stark Insider MVFF section. Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest in SF Bay Area theater, arts, food & wine, and travel.

(with Clinton Stark contributing on location from Marin)

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.