FIRST TIME WRITER-DIRECTOR TED SIKORA’S DIY PUNK ROCK VERSION OF THE BIG BUDGET SUPER HERO FILM IS A WORLDWIDE FILM FESTIVAL HIT
This Trippy Comic Shop Romance With A Superhero Twist Made Its World Premiere At Comic Con International And Has Wowed Audiences Everywhere From New York And Montreal To Rome, Santa Fe And Sydney
Hey, superhero film fans, listen up—the genre that you love is no longer the exclusive domain of the corporate studio culture! With the worldwide festival success and DVD release of first time director Ted Sikora’s quirky and compelling, DIY Indie film
“Hero Tomorrow,” it’s now anyone’s ballgame.
A trippy comic shop romance with a superhero twist, the film was conceived, written and produced by Sikora, who hasn’t missed an issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” since the mid-70s, and Milo Miller, who thought it would be cool to try a new spin on the superhero genre and came up with a comically dark new idea: Spidey meets “Taxi Driver.”
The result of this labor of love by these two lifetime comic book readers and Sikora’s brother Kurt (co-director of photography and associate producer) can be summed up in a tagline on the film’s multi-media website: “From the suburban jungles of Cleveland comes the most TEMERARIOUS crime fighter of all!” Or as Sikora likes to say, “It’s the punk rock version of the big budget superhero film.”
It’s an authentically hip, fashionably tragic, perfectly twisted future cult classic, and midnight movie for superhero fans. But wait a sec–what does “Temerarious” mean? Ask the folks at Comic Con. They get it: “aggressively nonsensical, without a good reason.”
For Ted Sikora and Miller, the world premiere of “Hero Tomorrow” at Comic Con International in San Diego was a surreal dream come true. It was the only narrative feature selected in the group of 50 films and G4 Network’s “Attack Of The Show” ran clips when critic Chris Gore included the film in his “cream of the crop” picks at the event.
The film’s been a hit everywhere it’s played, from Sikora and Miller’s hometown of Cleveland (two jam packed showings at the Cleveland International Film Festival, including a near record setting midnight screening) and New York (Comic Con 2009, the only indie narrative feature film shown) to Santa Fe, Rome and Sydney, where it was one of ten feature films from around the world shown at the Fantastic Planet Film Festival.
At the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, the largest genre event in North America, “Hero Tomorrow” was one of 29 films representing the U.S. and the IFC Channel aired a segment on the film and showed the trailer. At Fantaspoa in Brazil, the largest genre film fest in the country, “Hero Tomorrow” was one of only four films from the U.S and drew the fifth highest attendance overall. “Hero Tomorrow” made its European debut in The Netherlands at the B-Movie, Underground, Trash Film Festival and was one of six U.S. films at the Suburbia Film Festival in Rome.
Closer to home, it won Best Actor and Best Cinematography at the North Texas Film Festival and Best Feature at the Akron Film Festival. It was also part of the Meet the Filmmaker Facets Series at IFP Chicago.
The DVD, which has over 4 hours of material, is currently available for purchase on the film’s website and Amazon.com. One of the first films to get a deal on iTunes without a major distributor, “Hero Tomorrow” will be available on the site for purchase and downloading on February 16.
The critical praise for “Hero Tomorrow” extends to a wide variety of media outlets. Michael San Giacomo from Newsarama: “The film is excellent…a solid story that will appeal to everyone, comic fan or not.” Isabelle Ouimet, Bang Bang Montreal: “Twisted, unconventional…diverting, inventive and creative.” Perfectly capturing the director’s intention, Clay Dempsey of Cinephelia says, “Ted Sikora constructs a genuine super hero film ignoring Hollywood rules…’Hero Tomorrow’ is a super hero to indie films.” Michael Gallucci from Scene Magazine calls it a “love letter to comic book fans,” while Kate from Cinema Oddity adds, “You won’t know why you enjoyed it, you just will…their odd adventure is peculiar and catchy. It does a shockingly good job of entertaining.”
At heart, HT is a love story. “We’ve always resonated with what Marvel Comics did with Peter Parker and how he struggled with relationships and his alter ego. We take the idea to an even more human level. David, our hero, is a guy who could live next door to you.” Miller adds, “He is struggling—to sell his own comic book, to make things work with his girlfriend—and he finds this escape through his superhero creation based on a made up animal called the Apama. Add Robyn, a woman with her own agenda and desires, and we’ve got a great dramatic situation. Throw in some drugs, fashion models, a rage-aholic landscaper and a skin-tight leotard and we’re definitely bringing more bacon than the pan can handle.”
“Milo and I have an affinity for foreign films and appreciate that sensibility,” Sikora adds. “We were trying to make a film with an art house quality, that didn’t have that overly commercial corporate feel, and I think we hit all our goals. You can’t watch ‘Hero Tomorrow’ and say it’s like ‘Clerks’ or ‘Spider-Man.’ There’s nothing like it. It’s not just for guys or comic fans, the typical audience for the big budget action films. Females like it because Robyn, an aspiring fashion designer, is a strong complex character.”
A brief synopsis: David (Perren Hedderson), a struggling comic book creator from Cleveland, spends his days cutting grass and his nights smoking it while desperately trying to keep his superhero fantasies alive. When Robyn (Jocelyn Wrzosek), his aspiring fashion-designer girlfriend, makes him a Halloween costume of his original character Apama, it doesn’t take David long to hit the streets and begin blundering towards disaster. Can Robyn rescue David and save their relationship before his vigilante dreams become a four color nightmare? This comic book Don Quixote is characterized by surreal flourishes, mixing dream, fantasy, and flashbacks that borrow as much from the art house as the comic shop.
To help drive traffic to the website and keep the “Hero Tomorrow” creative flow going, the producers aren’t stopping with the credits. The website will soon feature a spin off serialized comic book about Apama based on the ideas that were in David’s head before he took them too far into real life. “If he could have published his work and stayed out of trouble, this is what it would have looked like,” says Sikora.
Earlier in his creative life, Sikora, performed in a band with his brother Kurt, and in 1994 scripted, wrote lyrics and co-scored a dark surreal musical entitled “Nothing Like Vaudeville,” which received international acclaim for its original cast album. Later in the 90s, he wrote the score and lyrics to “The Crown of Ariadne.” A former audio engineer, he currently directs, shoots, and/or edits numerous independent and commercial films.
“There is a spiritual side of all these projects that inspires me to create positive experiences for those who come to know it.” he says. “Hero Tomorrow expresses many of the things I find most fascinating about dreams, both conscious and unconscious. It’s an attempt to turn the traditional comic book superhero movie inside-out by taking real people and putting them into comic book-like situations. We created ‘Hero Tomorrow’ as a devout tribute to comic books, and an independent kick in the ass to the corporate super-hero action film.”