Poker Film 'Shark Out of Water' Released: "Is Skill Enough When Your Luck Runs Dry?"

The movie short ‘Shark Out of Water’ was released last weekend, and has already enjoyed a measure of success having been nominated for Leo Awards for Best Short Drama, Best Direction, Best Performance, and Best Musical Score. It has also appeared as an Official Selection at a number of film festivals, including ones held in Miami, Edmonton, Tacoma and Nevada City.
The movie, at just 18 minutes, certainly belongs to the short film category and has a tense and gripping story line about Bobby, a poker-obsessed man who, after a streak of bad luck at the tables, borrows more gambling money from his friend Abe. A series of events then ensues which offers the viewer an insightful glimpse into the emotional roller coaster world of  high stakes poker.
As producer Andrew Halliwell explains: “The director and I worked on a small project before this, a television pilot. He approached me with a script he had written. He’s an avid player and he wrote a script for a short film and asked if I would produce it. I gave it a read and we went to work on it. That was two years ago.”
The movie’s cast include Matty Finochio (‘Night at the Museum’ II and Wolf Canyon) and Artine Brown ( G.P.S. and Smallville series), but also enjoys brief cameo appearances from real life poker professionals Phil Hellmuth and Brad Booth.
In the trailer to “Shark Out of Water” Hellmuth is seen sitting at the poker table when he spots Brown’s shark shaped card protector. He then  provocatively asks: “That’s a nice shark you have there. Is that what you are, a shark?”  A little later, the audience are treated to a fully fledged Hellmuth rant after a series of suck out occur.
Halliwell explains that Hellmuth requested a fee for his part in the movie but instead, “..after we finished shooting his scenes, we got one of our directors (Juan Riedinger) to play him heads-up for a fee. You have to watch the DVD’s bonus features to find out what happened.”
‘Shark Out of Water’ is now available as a DVD exclusively through the “Shark Out of Water” website, but is expected to be released soon through iTunes for greater distribution.
The DVD costs $9.95 and as the website explains, despite the film being 18 minutes long: “The DVD is jam-packed with bonus features which include behind-the-scenes footage of ‘Yukon’ Brad Booth and Phil Hellmuth.”

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