Moondance Semi-Finalist

Lady Magdalene's to be featured at
Robert A. Heinlein Centennial

June 25, 2007
For Immediate Release

J. Kent Hastings / Jesulu Productions
Voice: 775-209-0708
Lady Magdalene's Official Website

Jesulu Productions' new suspense-comedy feature film, Lady Magdalene's, has been chosen to screen as a special pre-World-premiere event at the Heinlein Centennial Convention celebrating American novelist, Robert A. Heinlein, lauded as author of the bestselling science-fiction classics Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers. Many space-scientists, astronauts, and commercial-space entrepreneurs have credited their initial interest to Heinlein's novels of space exploration, and the 1950 George Pal movie which Heinlein wrote and acted as technical advisor for, Destination Moon.

Lady Magdalene's will be presented after the convention's Gala Banquet on 07/07/07, the 100th birthday of Robert A. Heinlein, in Kansas City, Missouri, where Heinlein grew up.

Lady Magdalene's stars in its title role Nichelle Nichols, the iconic actress who played "Uhura" on Star Trek, as well as being a singer discovered at age 16 by Duke Ellington and who, as recruiter of NASA's first women and minority astronauts, gave America Space Shuttle astronauts including Dr. Sally K. Ride, the first American female astronaut, U.S. Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the space-shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Through her work as an advocate of space exploration, Nichelle Nichols developed a friendship with Robert A. Heinlein, and, in an essay titled "The Happy Days Ahead" from his book Expanded Universe, Heinlen portrayed Nichols as the President of the United States who saves the country with a common-sense, pro-technology approach.

As well as starring in Lady Magdalene's, Nichelle Nichols contributed her talents behind the camera as an executive producer, choreographer, and composer of two original songs for the film, which she performed as well.

Lady Magdalene's was written and directed by J. Neil Schulman, previously known as an award-winning novelist and journalist, and whose original screenplay "Profile in Silver," is one of the best-remembered episodes of CBS's 1980's Twilight Zone series. As a young journalist Schulman interviewed Heinlein for the New York Daily News, and subsequently developed a friendship with both Mr. Heinlein and his wife, Virginia, and in 1999 Schulman's interview, plus other materials Schulman had written on Heinlein over the years, was published in his book The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana. Schulman will be playing tape-recorded excerpts of his 1973 telephone interview with Heinlein at the convention.

Schulman's own novels have often been noted as having been influenced by Heinlein, and this influence also shows up in his script for Lady Magdalene's, which not only includes a surprise "homage" to Heinlein, but also features a character named after him.

Schulman also executive produced Lady Magdalene's, as well as contributing music and lyrics to five songs in the film, and played the role of Ali the American, an al-Qaeda terrorist.

Steve Miller, writing in a Rotten Tomatoes review, describes Lady Magdalene's as "a fun, fast-paced action comedy" that is "built like the classic comedies of the 1940s-1960s, complete with a musical number." Miller also writes, "If writers of the modern thrillers could come up with twists and misdirections even a quarter as clever as Schulman does here, I wouldn't find myself wondering if the thriller is a dead genre."

The IMDb plot summary says, "In this action comedy, Jack Goldwater, an IRS agent on loan to the Federal Air Marshal Service, is relieved of field duty after insulting a powerful U.S. Senator, and finds himself exiled to a humiliating desk job in Nevada as the federal receiver managing a legal brothel in tax default, where -- with the help of the brothel Madam, Lady Magdalene (Nichelle Nichols) -- he uncovers an Al Qaeda plot to unload a nuclear-bomb-sized crate at Hoover Dam."

Lady Magdalene's features a fresh cast with backgrounds in movies, music, TV, modeling, and stage, including Groundlings alumnus Ethan Keogh (Bedazzled, Able Edwards) as Agent Jack Goldwater, Susan Smythe ("Best Actress" Award at the NY International Independent Film and Video Festival) as "Angel," Persian pop princess Claudia Lynx (West Wing, Legion of the Dead) as Scheherazade, former Calvin Klein model Alexander Wraith (Hitch, Royal Kill) as Yassin Salem, London Drama Centre alumnus Mark Gilvary (Puritan, The Bard: The Story of Robert Burns), doubling both as the Director of al Qaeda and as FBI agent Curtis Broderick, Mara Marini (Darkworld, Porntourage) as Nurse Gretchen, Miss Teen All American Hope McBane (MTV's TRL and Housebroken) as Sinead, and Michele Redmond (HBO's Cathouse) as Eden.

On June 19, 2007, the Moondance International Film Festival named Lady Magdalene's as a semi-finalist for its eighth annual 2007 independent film festival in the Feature Film category.