Charming Romance Movie: “Step Back, Doors Closing” World Premieres at the TCL Chinese Theatre at the “Dances With Films” Film Festival

Charming Romance Movie: "Step Back, Doors Closing" World Premieres at the TCL Chinese Theatre at the "Dances With Films" Film Festival

The Charming Romance Movie: “Step Back, Doors Closing” World Premieres at the TCL Chinese Theatre at the “Dances With Films” Film Festival on June 27th. Even though this is only Carter Ward’s debut film, it has the quality of a 5 star romance movie that makes you think about your own life, your own future, learning to smell the roses, and falling in love!

I was a pleasure watching this movie in advance for a review, before it’s world premiere, so that I can recommend it to you, and to see this 5 star movie for yourself at Dances With Films on Thursday, June 27 at 7:15PM PDT at the TCL Chinese Theatre at 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. The two lead actors both do amazing jobs- with Reilly Walters as Ryan, and Carmen Berkeley as Julisa, who by coincidence, or by a lucky chance, OR by fate meet on a train, and gradually fall in love with each other, all with beautiful on location scenes in Washington, DC, with one key scene looking over the White House.

My favorite scene was at the historic restaurant: Martin’s Tavern where on June 24, 1953, then Senator and future President: John F. Kennedy first proposed marriage to his future wife Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. This is where Ryan, a DC native takes Julisa for lunch to talk about their future together, at the exact same booth where JFK proposed to Jackie, and has been named The “Proposal Booth” !

Martin’s is located at 1264 Wisconsin Avenue, NW in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. Local lore has it that Kennedy proposed to Jackie in a booth that is still there now— a legend that the restaurant has memorialized on a plaque: The table where it happened, Booth 3, bears a plaque inscribed, “The ‘Proposal Booth’ Where JFK proposed to Jackie.” If the Proposal Booth is occupied when you arrive, you may still have the opportunity to dine in “The Rumble Seat” (where JFK worked on a draft of his inauguration address) or the Richard Nixon Booth, or the Sam Rayburn-Lyndon Johnson Booth. They are marked with small plaques as well. Martin’s Tavern has been a Georgetown landmark for nearly a century. For 4 generations the Martin family has served every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, many of Washington’s most prominent movers and shakers, scores of Hollywood stars, Hall of Famers, and Broadway legends.

With both Ryan and Julisa being very young: only 24 years old, and living on opposite sides of the country: Ryan in DC, and Julisa in Southern California, one of them would have to choose to move out to live with the other one, which makes this a very difficult decision. However, within 24 hours of both of them discussing their hopes, dreams, and fears, they slowly reveal more and more of themselves, and they fall in love! I will not give away the ending, but I can promise you that you will be entertained by this romance, and may even love this movie!

The basic synopsis is: STEP BACK, DOORS CLOSING is a charmingly universal love story about two young adults who long for an authentic relationship. Ryan (Reilly Walters) is witty, down-to-earth, and newly single for the first time in four years, while Julisa (Carmen Berkeley) has lots of self-imposed pressure and is considering dropping out of grad school. After their failed nights out end in chance encounter on the metro, Ryan and Julisa spend the next 24 hours discussing their hopes, dreams, and fears. They initially present curated versions of themselves, but as they slowly reveal more and more their armor chips away and they fall in love.

Writer, director, and producerCarter Ward discovered his passion for film and storytelling while working as an assistant on several short and feature films in New York City. After moving to Los Angeles, he founded the production company Arden Pictures which aims to produce character-driven projects that explore all aspects of the human condition. For Ward art is an important vehicle for reflection in an increasingly complicated world, he says, “In much the same way that Ryan and Julisa learn to step back and smell the roses, it’s my hope that audiences can find respite from their problems for 90 minutes by watching this film.” Born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland, Ward created STEP BACK, DOORS CLOSING as a love letter to DC with a deep consideration of its geography, culture, and people that counteracts the usual stereotypes of political corruption and scandal.

An Arden Pictures Production
Aspect Ratio: 1.90:1
Running Time: 98 minutes
Writer/Director/Producer: Carter Ward
Producer: Kathryn Crabtree, Jane Hollon
Executive Producer: C. Maury Devine
Director of Photography: JWJ Ferguson
Production Designer: Sofia Wong
Editor: Gordon Antell
Costumer Designer: Taylor Gray Burke, Phoenix Steele
Composer: Paloma Estevez
Music Supervisor: Natalie Clark
Casting Director: Matthew Glasner
Cast: Carmen Berkeley, Reilly Walters,
Michelle Macedo, Ashley Romans, Mershad Tora


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