[Romantic Comedy, 2000]
(© Foreign Exchange Films Ltd. Used with permission.) [RealMedia, 1.4 Mb.]
Nick was nominated for a Leo Award for his work in
LUNCH WITH CHARLES!
The movie got seven nominations in all:
1. Best Feature Length Drama - Shan Tam, Michael Parker
2. Best Director - Michael Parker
3. Best Screenwriter - Michael Parker
4. Best Cinematography - John Houtman
5. Best Musical Score - Simon Kendall
6. Best Production Design - Michael Bjornson
7. Best Performance for Male - Nicholas Lea
The ceremony was May 11-12, 2001, in Vancouver, Canada. Though Nick didn't win,
LUNCH WITH CHARLES won in the Best Director, Best Screenwriter, and Best Musical Score categories.
Nick stars in LUNCH WITH CHARLES, a romantic comedy, with Hong Kong stars Lau Ching
Wan and Theresa Lee, as well as rock star Bif Naked (who appeared in the ONCE A THIEF episode "Kangaroo
Court," and in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
The film was released in Vancouver on January 26, 2001
at Tinseltown Theatre, and opened in Hong Kong on February 5, 2001.
LUNCH WITH CHARLES
played on March 9, 2001, at the Okanagan Film
Festival in Kelowna. It was the first film in the festival's history to
sell out. The feedback was fantastic. It will start a general release
in Kelowna at the Paramount Landmark Theatre, beginning March 16.
It was screened as part of the Local Heros
International Film Festival in Edmonton (Alberta), March 17, 2001, then had .
a general release in Edmonton, opening
March 23, 2001, at the Gateway 8 Theatre.
It aired at
the Moving Pictures Festival in Ottawa on May 2, 2001 and then in the Maryland Film Festival on Friday, May 4, 7:00pm and
Saturday, May 5, 4:00 pm.
LUNCH WITH CHARLES
aired at a film festival in Shanghai in early June. It was chosen as one of
nine "must-see" films by the Shanghai Daily and voted by another Chinese paper one of the top ten.
It was released in Toronto on July 27, at the Carlton Theatre
It played at the 21st
International Film Festival in England, with
screenings on July 19 at 3:15 and July 20 at 5:30.
It was shown at Toronto's Cinema du Parc Saturday, July 20, 2002, 5:15pm, as part of the
Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival.
LUNCH WITH CHARLES showed at the Hawaii Film Festival November 2 - 11, 2001.
It screened at the
DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2002.
Video file: a Canadian interview with Bif Naked and Nick Lea about LUNCH WITH CHARLES. (RealMedia, 1.4 Mb)
Press release and photos from the
Official Bif Naked Page:
CULTURES CLASH AND HEARTS COINCIDE IN MICHAEL PARKER’S CHARMING
ROMANTIC COMEDY “LUNCH WITH CHARLES” STARRING HONG KONG’S SEAN LAU IN
HIS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT, WITH NICHOLAS LEA, THERESA LEE, & BIF NAKED AS
A DEBUT FEATURE FILM SHOOTING ON LOCATION IN VANCOUVER & INTERIOR B.C.
Vancouver, B.C. May 18, 2000– LUNCH WITH CHARLES, a debut feature film by writer/director
Michael Parker, is the story of two couples in crisis that cross paths, and cultures, on a fated
journey to Banff. Principal photography on the film begins today, Thursday, May 18th, with
locations in Vancouver and interior British Columbia.
Natasha and Matthew have both compromised their careers for love. All they have to show for
noble sacrifice is a broken down business and the bitter knowledge of abandoned talent. April and
Tong are divided by the ocean, Immigration and warring ambitions. Hong Kong and Vancouver
are worlds apart, and the rugged Rocky Mountain landscape is a different universe….where rules
don't have to apply. The Quest - is for fulfillment: creative; spiritual; cerebral; and romantic. The
Journey - is a subtly hilarious epic of mishaps and heartfelt moments. The Outcome – is one new
relationship, and two free spirits.
Bif Naked, in her first starring film role, is “Natasha”, a woman who struggles to explore her
stunning voice as a celtic singer, without losing herself. Hong Kong star Sean Lau (aka Lau
Ching Wan – The Longest Nite, Black Mask) makes his North American debut as “Tong”, who likes
where he lives and fears that in Canada his still unfulfilled dreams of making it as a singer will be
buried forever by his bad English. His wife, “April”, played by Theresa Lee (The Poet, Big Bullet),
has the golden key – her Canadian passport – and revels in all the trappings of success that her
workaholic lifestyle brings to her. “Matthew”, played by Nicholas Lea (Vertical Limit, “Krychek” –
The X-Files, Once a Thief) is a Buddhist, and a big “R” romantic. He’s being a fool for love, and is
having second thoughts about it. “Cora”, “April’s” inept assistant, is played by Françoise Yip
(Rumble in the
Bronx, Romeo Must Die). The Juno Award-winning Celtic band The Paperboys are “The Standing
Stones”, with Philip Granger (The Goon Squad, Wind At My Back) as the manager “Charles”.
LUNCH WITH CHARLES is written, directed and produced by Michael Parker (Holiday Pictures
Ltd.), and co-produced with his partner Shan Tam (same). This is a debut feature film for Parker
Tam, who are successfully established in the B.C. and International Entertainment Business as
line-producers for a number of feature films, including the Jackie Chan blockbuster Rumble in the
Bronx, and several television series. They have also created and produced documentaries,
docu-dramas, commercials and interactive videos.
LUNCH WITH CHARLES is an independent feature film by Foreign Exchange Films Ltd. in
co-production with Hong Kong’s Newfull Development Co. Ltd. The film is produced with the
participation of Telefilm Canada, and the Canadian Television Fund, with development support from
The Harold Greenberg Fund. The film will be distributed in Canada by Vancouver-based LS
Entertainment and in Asia by Mandarin Films Distribution Co. Ltd. Subsequent television
of the show will be on The Movie Network, Superchannel, Super Écran and CHUM Television. The
executive producer of the film is David Hamilton (Deepa Mehta’s trilogy Fire, Earth, Water) and
Stephen Shin is the Hong Kong co-producer. Production design is by Michael Bjornson (Double
Happiness, Drive, She Said); the director of photography is John Houtman (the Cannes
Award-winning short film Shoes Off), and film, television and theatre composer/director/music
producer Simon Kendall, is creating the score.
Photos from photographer James Dittiger's page:
From The Western, June 6, 2000:
OFF TRACK? The Holiday Pictures Ltd. film Lunch With Charles was
Thursday shooting at the Kettle Valley Railway trestle in Summerland. The
romantic comedy, by writer/director Michael Parker, stars Bif Naked as
Natasha and Hong Kong's Sean Lau in his North American debut as Tong.
In this scene, a couple on a fated journey from Vancouver to Banff awake
to discover they have over-nighted in their vehicle parked on the Kettle
Valley Railway trestle in Summerland. And shortly, a not-distant-enough
train whistle wakes them to the fact that the tracks aren't quite as
abandoned as they had thought the night before. The Kettle Valley Steam
Train tries to stop, but careens into the vehicle, forcing the couple to
continue their journey on foot.
Scenes for Lunch With Charles were also shot in Penticton, Peachland, and
And check out the photo Katie scanned in. No Nick, but it's still kind of cool!
The Holiday Pictures webpage
The ReelWest site has an article on LUNCH WITH CHARLES,
which includes a photo of Nick.
Bif Naked First Movie Role
Interview with Bif Naked in the National Post. (It mentions Nick!)