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By Bonnie Carroll
Opening night at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival included Red Carpet interviews with film makers including local Leslie Zemeckis, who arrived looking stunning in her designer couture. This was her third time submitting a film at the 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival and she said she was excited and happy to be at the Arlington Theatre once again with her newest film Grandes Horizontales. The premieres March 4 at the Metro Theatre #4 on State Street at 8:40 p.m.
This film is one of absolute empowerment for women filmgoers on understanding how a select group of females in past centuries used their sexual prowess to experience lavish lives in society through their private relationships with groups of powerful men and secure opulent comfort zone lives in their community.  Zemeckis worked on this project for five years and did her own extensive research in Paris, France, and Los Angeles, California.
Zemeckis shared that the lives of the courtesans always fascinated her, and the subject was largely unexplored without prejudice so thought she would jump in.  The research was done solely by the film maker who said she likes to hold all the information in her own head, and then cross reference things. The film was shot in Paris and here in Santa Barbara and features some amazing photographs, paintings, and sculptures of courtesans of the period.
The narration of the film by Zemeckis and Andrew Kursanov is done with sensitivity and at times a sense of fun, but always filled with interesting personal detail on how these clever women managed to live such amazing lives, as well as details on the sad endings of some. Cinematography was done so well by Clay Westervelt, educational, sensual but not sensational.
Full Cast & Crew include Leslie Zemeckis, Writer/Director, Cast: Andrew Kirsanov, Dianna Miranda, Michelle L’Amour, Sheri Hellard, Mosh, Minxie Minnieux, Ed Anthony Budzius, Producers: Donnalee Austin, Leslie Zemekis, Robert Zemeckis, Executive Producer, Music Oliver Schnee, Joel Sill Executive Music Supervisor , Film Editing, Evan Finn, Brent Summer and Leslie Zemeckis, Make Up, Sara Chamiedes, Poster Arts Jason Kauzlarich.
Knowing this woman in my community as a wife, and as a dedicated mother who creates divine cooking videos at home, an active community member as well as the creator of a writer’s group that inspires and offers unique assistance to other women authors, I am not at all surprised by this outstanding film, but delighted by knowing that before the Santa Barbara International Film Festival had even begun the Leslie Zemeckis Grandes Horizontales film has received three major awards from Hollywood and Los Aneles Film groups.
Congratulations to our talented Santa Barbara lady and thank you for this beautifully researched and presented story on a subject that warrants exploration and understanding. 
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