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"That Evening Sun" shines at SYR Film Fest

After years of transforming his talents form live theater to film and then to cable television, Larsen Jay, 34, has found his common ground within the realm of putting "great stories into film."

Jay, a graduate from the Cicero-North Syracuse class of '92 returned to Syracuse this week to celebrate the showing of "That Evening Sun" at the Syracuse Film Festival. Jay was one of three executive producers for the film.

The film was written and directed by Scott Teems. The inspiration for the script came from a short story by author William Gay.

Jay said there was an interesting dichotomy that went into the success of the film's direction and performance.

"You have this seasoned veteran, Hal Holbrook, and a young, creative writer (Teems) working together," Jay said. "Those are the two major reasons for the success."

The strengths of the writing and the caliber of Holbrook's presence as an authentic actor made the film what it is, Jay said.

After travelling to film festivals in Boston, Nashville and now Syracuse, the film has earned much acclaim for best narrative film and best ensemble cast. According to Jay, winning the audience award for best feature at the Sarasota Film Festival was an honor because the audience chose the film from many others.

Although the festival circuit, which will continue into the summer, has been exhilarating, Jay said there is something special about being back in town.

"It's great to be back in Syracuse," he said. "I have lots of friends here."

Jay grew up on Route 31 between the towns of Clay and Cicero. He said he remembers the unique start he got in the business of performing arts.

"I remember seeing a girl I thought was cute," Jay said. "I followed her in and started to build sets for live theater."

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