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< Sunday, January 31, 2021 >

All Day Your BBQ-Feasts Await at Bistro Espresso
Arnold, CA...Now serving our BBQ Feasts Thursday - Sunday 4-6pm! Be sure to place your order ahead of time either by calling in or ordering in advance online. FREE servings of our new cinnamon roll bread pudding, getting rave reviews! Our platters are served all day along with our entire regular menu.

All Day Our Sunday Edition with Local Features, Local Specials & More Every Sunday All Day Long!
Arnold, CA...Our goal is to bring back the feel of the old Sunday Paper. It was a day for features, profiles and most importantly the Rotogravure section with all the color ads that had kids begging mom & dad for the latest toys, Dad checking out the new hardware and automotive specials and Moms everywhere looking for the best for their families. So it was a day to let the hard news and crime stories wait till Monday if they could and focus on fun, family and of course Shopping. So join us for our Big, New, Sunday Edition where we will feature everything Fun, New, & most importantly On Sale at our local stores and businesses!!!

If you own or run a local business in Calaveras, Amador, Alpine & Tuolumne Counties give us a call at 209.768.3929 or email us at for great Sunday Special ad rates. During the week ads and promotions compete with the news, on Sundays the ads and features are the news!! only accepts advertising from locally owned or core businesses in our local area. Shop Local!!
06:00 PM Local Film "First Date" Film Screening at Sundance Film Festival 2021 January 31 & February 2nd
Park City, UT...The locally produced and filmed "First Date" is an Official Selection of Sundance Film Festival 2021. Sundance Virtual Screenings 2021 for "First Date" are: Sunday, January 31 @ 6:00 p.m PT / 7:00 p.m. MT - Online, Tuesday, February 2 @ 7:00 a.m. PT / 8:00 a.m. MT - Online. Sundance Website:

Tyson Brown and Shelby Duclos appear in First Date by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Darren Knapp, director of First Date, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Manuel Crosby, director of First Date, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Shy highschooler Mike finally summons the courage to ask out his badass neighbor Kelsey, only to realize he’s missing a key element for a successful date - the car. Panicked and low on cash, he’s conned into buying a beat up ‘65 Chrysler. Mike's plan to win over Kelsey soon turns into a surreal misadventure when they are inexplicably targeted by a pair of cops, a criminal gang, and a vengeful cat lady. A night fueled by desire, bullets, and burning rubber makes any other first date seem like a walk in the park.

In this perfectly executed throwback thrill ride, directing duo Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp deftly weave together elements of dark comedy, teen romance, shoot 'em up action and classic coming-of-age story, creating a truly entertaining ride that never misses a beat. This refreshing mix of tones, coupled with a break-out performance from Tyson Brown as Mike, make FIRST DATE a truly outstanding first feature.

Movie night at Darren's. A long-standing tradition, where friends gather together to break out old favorites, new discoveries, and the ones we've been hearing about forever but were just waiting for bluray to see them at their best. Projector, surround sound, the works. Might as well be church.

With all due respect to the classics of old, and the titans of film history, our sermons circa 2017 tended to go the way of Robert, Kevin, Quentin, Joel and Ethan, among others. We'd reminisce about a bygone, yet recent time- a time when these indie rebels, and many others, started shooting their breakout films. And you felt that... that electricity on the screen. Y’know?

"Why don't they make 'em like this anymore?"​ we wondered.

Don't get us wrong- we both love modern movies. Dramas, blockbusters, superheroes, you name it. But, whatever happened to fun, suspenseful, ensemble-driven films that had scale but also felt kinda... odd? Could movies be made today that felt like that?

We weren't sure. But, we figured we could always go shoot one. Why the hell not?

We wanted to make an independent flick, the kind that had a certain kinship to many of our favorites from the 90s and early 2000s, but that still felt exciting and fresh. Something with youthful energy, but also with bite to it. Something that could mix comedy, suspense, romance and violence while feeling like a natural blend. Kinda like mixing all the different sodas at the soda fountain. You're not supposed to do it but damn, it's a sugar rush. Something that would allow us to play with special effects and spotlight a unique ensemble cast. And also something that we would have seen when we were just getting into filmmaking, and been ​stoked​ about.

Furthermore, why not make it homespun? First Date is shot in Valley Springs, the town we both grew up in, a generation apart in age (and where Darren still lives). Almost the entire cast and crew consists of individuals from the greater Sacramento and Valley Springs regions. We knew our local area was full of talent- so why not highlight them? We both felt that screen presence and chemistry amounted to more than an IMDB star rating. Let's give everyone their shot!

We didn't have a studio to help us make this movie. Besides, who was gonna fund two NorCal indie filmmakers with no features under their belt? What would they say about the script? ​"Sierra Mist was fine, why did they put *bleep*ing Dr. Pepper in here?"

Who knows what would have been said? (Not us, cause we didn't wait to find out.) Call it determination, call it foolishness or call it not being prepared- we simply started filming. We figured if we could put a few self-funded scenes together, we could use those to start generating further budget investments, and then pull off the bigger scenes. (Fortunately for us, it worked out exactly that way, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this director's statement!)

The end result? A movie with layers for those searching for them- but also a thrilling ride for those who want entertainment. The characters and story within have deeply personal meanings for us, but we also hope that viewers will take away their own meanings from them too. The highest honor for us would be that this movie ends up on the shelf of a fellow genre cinephile, having their own movie night with friends, and saying​ "Have you heard of First Date? ..... Oh, you GOTTA check this one out!"


Manuel & Darren

Manuel Crosby - Director
Growing up in Valley Springs, California, Manuel Crosby discovered filmmaking around age twelve and has since written, directed, shot, edited, and produced numerous projects, including the short western film DEAD MAN'S LOCKET (2017) and the thrillers PRECAUTION (2014) and BROADCAST (2012). While volunteering at Calaveras County Public Access TV during college summer vacation, he became friends with Darren Knapp. The two have been making movies with mutual friends ever since. He currently resides in Northern California.

Darren Knapp - Director
Darren Knapp is an independent filmmaker of 22 years. He has made several short films with credits including Cinematography, Editing, Writing, Directing and Producing. Over the years he has collaborated with his sister Brenda Norris and long time friends Lucky McKee, Kevin Ford, James Miller, Manuel Crosby and musician/composer Jammes Luckett. Among some of their collaborations are SWITCHES (2002) LIVING BY THE GUN (feature length, 2013) THE MISSING(2014), BROADCAST(2012), PRECAUTION(2014) and DEAD MAN’S LOCKET (2017).

Brandon Kraus - Producer
Brandon Kraus is an actor/producer known for, “13 REASONS WHY”, AMERICAN FIGHTER (2019) and FIRST DATE (2021). Brandon’s business experience includes; financial analyst for BlackRock, real estate broker and investor. With a keen attention to the finances and strong interpersonal skills, he has provided production with leadership and business execution from the pre-production stage to distribution/festivals. Brandon’s primary responsibilities on FIRST DATE include; raising capital, day-to-day production management, budgeting, contract negotiation, and distribution.

Lucky McKee - Producer
Lucky McKee is an award-winning producer, screenwriter, director, and novelist best known for work directing the cult hit MAY (2002), the schoolgirl chiller THE WOODS (2006), and the notorious 2011 Sundance shocker, THE WOMAN. Lucky oversees FIRST DATE’S post production team in El Paso, Texas and will be introducing the film to multiple distributors as well as facilitating showings at the larger film festivals.

Charles Horak - Producer
Charles Horak is a fifth generation El Pasoan. He is the director of the monthly film screening series, The Film Salon, and host of the long-running radio program, On Film, which airs weekly on KTEP 88.5FM. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and a past board member of the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Most recently, Horak has built a film collective specializing in film production and post-production work in West Texas, and he is currently a producer on several feature films, including Kevin Ford’s documentary THE PUSHBACK (2020 SXSW), Zach Passero’s hand-animated THE WEIRD KIDS (2020) and a new psychological horror film from writer/director Lucky McKee.

Tyson Brown - Mike
Tyson Brown’s fascination with acting began in high school in Georgia, inspired by watching his favorite characters come to life on screen. He knew that he would one day be in front of a camera too. A few years later, Brown moved to Sacramento, California, and started acting in short films with local filmmakers. Brown’s breakout role as Mike in this year’s FIRST DATE will be his first time acting in a feature film.

Shelby Duclos - Kelsey
Shelby Duclos’ passion for acting started at a young age. In elementary school, she took a media class where she learned how to operate a camera and the rest is history. Duclos would film, direct and act in her own self made movies on an old school camcorder and star in her small town’s production of Annie as Annie, feeding her desires to act and make short films well into her high school years. To continue to work on her craft, Shelby joined the high school drama club for 2 out of her 4 years landing astounding roles like “girl with umbrella”.. She knew then that theater acting, as beautiful as it is, just wasn’t for her. Duclos’ passion for acting never stopped, however it wouldn’t be until her mid-twenties that she decided to stop ignoring the fire inside of her to act and she finally took a TV/Film acting class at Sacramento’s local acting studio, Studio 24. Since day 1 of acting class, Shelby’s heart was set on wanting to act. She worked on various Sacramento/ Bay Area student projects and would ultimately land her first big role as Kelsey in her first Feature Film, FIRST DATE debuting in 2021.

Written, Directed and Produced by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp
Produced by Brandon Kraus
Produced by Lucky McKee and Charles Horak
Cinematography by Manuel Crosby
Music Composed by Noah Lowdermilk, Kevin Kentera, and Manuel Crosby
Additional Music by Mads Heldtberg
Edited by Zach Passero and Manuel Crosby
Sound Design by Andrew Smetek
First Assistant Director
Brandon Kraus
Second Assistant Director
Josh Fesler
Executive Producers
Brandon Kraus
Manuel Crosby
Dara Bazzano
Rob Longwell
Christian Milner
Associate Producers
Darren Knapp
Harold & Carol Crosby
Carol Knapp
Paul Duclos
Cameron Samimi
Elijah Korobkin

Tyson Brown as Mike
Shelby Duclos as Kelsey
Jesse Janzen as The Captain
Nicole Berry as Sergeant Davis
Samuel Ademola as Deputy Duchovny
Ryan Quinn Adams as Vince
Angela Barber as Ricky
Dave Reimer as Shannon
Jake Howard as Donnie
Samantha Laurenti as Mikaylah
Scott Noble as Dennis
Leah Finity as Darla
Shari Schweigler as Thelma
Graham Green as Roger
Josh Fesler as Brett
Brandon Kraus as Chet
Greg Jones as Ross
Todd Goble as Tony
Sara Garcia as Tasha
Desalene Jones as Kelsey’s Mom
Darrell P. Miller as Kelsey’s Dad
NJ Brown as Mike’s Dad
Keldamuzik as Mike’s Mom
Renée Sprouse as Janice
Grid Margraf as The Boss
Robert Joseph Miller as These Aren’t Just Trash Bags Shane Maus as Hammer Time
Terry Morgan as Industrial Hardware
Sean McIntire as *bleep* Em I’m Leavin’
Pedro Lara as The One Guy Who’s Actually Working Ron
Zuchella as Blue Shirt
Brittany Reitz as Confused Car Girl
Bri Larson as Nurse
Robin Vance as Truck Driver
Lori Nielsen as Diner Owner/Waitress
Drake Morehouse as Paramedic 1
Micheal Stockton as Paramedic 2
Chris Rhodes as Paramedic 3
Jessica Belshe as Pinup Model
Bowling Alley Extras
Ian Robertson
David Brookshire
Parth Solanki
Giovanni Salas
Daniel Walker
Gloria Sabala
Randy Liming
Nicholas Macias
Ian Robertson
Joseph Pucilowski
Rayne Moreno

Line Producer
Brandon Kraus
Sprott Woods

Unit Production Manager
Brandon Kraus
Camera Assistants
Ian Robertson
Matt Couto
Hunter Reusche
Graham Green
Camera Operators
Manuel Crosby
Darren Knapp

On Set Sound Recordists
Andrew Hobgood
Darren Knapp
Ian Robertson
Randy Nundlall
Jordan Sachs
Joe Barnett
Andrew Smetek
Cody Martin
Key Grip
Rylon Bird
Andrew Hobgood
Francisco Acosta
Josh Fesler
Ian Robertson
Matt Couto
Jordan Sachs
Garrett Sachs
Pedro Lara
Wesley Dotson
Hunter Reusche

Ryan Quinn Adams, RAAD House Films Ed Lark
Calaveras County Public Access Television
Hair and Makeup
Michelle Cochran
Brandon Kraus
Josh Fesler
Shelby Duclos
Darren Knapp
Fresh Fade Consultant
Pedro Lara
Property Masters
Cheryl McIntire
TC Morgan
Brandon Kraus
John DeMasters
Wesley Dotson
Dara Bazzano
Tanner Williams
Jim Miller
Rusty McGee
Adam Sturgeon
Pinup Photo by Mitzi & Co. Photography
Prop Car Ad Website by Larry Anderson
Vehicle Rental - cop car- One Take Stunts
Additional Casting by Graham Green

Production Insurance
Charlotte Brown, McGee & Theilen Insurance Brokers

Production Assistants
Josh Fesler
Joseph Pucilowski
Bri Larson
Shelby Wesner
Special FX Supervisor
Special FX Assistants
Josh Fesler
Parth Solanki
Cat Wranglers
Kim Gleason
Carol Crosby
Rick & Julie Varain
Sarah Lunsford
Harold & Carol Crosby
Megan & Tony Mabanag
Kim & Stacey Gleason
Dave Silva
Brook Silva
Rosie Vega
Kevin Smith
Kevin Johnson
John Swift
David & Gina Hesseltine
Don & Donny Holsworth
Creekside Health Facility
Valley Springs Variety Store
Robert DeMarco

Top Quality Insulation & Fireplaces
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
Stunt Coordinator
Terry Morgan
Stunt Double “Thelma”
Susan McGarry

Martial Arts Instructor, Fight Choreographer
Phil Weaver
Assistant Fight Choreographer
Justin Dorland
ISS Props
Stunt Drivers
Brandon Kraus
Set Photographer
Garrett Sachs
BTS Videographers
Ed Lark
Garrett Sachs
Josh Fesler
Carol Knapp
Jenny Baxter
Sarah Lunsford
Joan Lark
Brenda Norris
Debbie Knapp Hobgood
Post-Production Supervisors
Charles Horak
Lucky McKee
Digital Color Timing
Cheeky Monkey Post
Digital Colorist
Ryan J. Orozco
Visual Effects and Titles
ZP Studios
VFX Artist
Zach Passero
Re-Recording Mixer
Andrew Smetek
Foley Artist
Kristen McLeod
Written by Jammes Luckett Performed by Thrillharmonik
Published by Pied Piper Lorre Musesick (ASCAP) Courtesy of Art Mechanix

Written by Jammes Luckett Performed by Thrillharmonik
Published by Pied Piper Lorre Musesick (ASCAP) Courtesy of Art Mechanix

Written by Jammes Luckett Performed by Thrillharmonik
Published by Pied Piper Lorre Musesick (ASCAP) Courtesy of Art Mechanix
Written by Subra Doyle Performed by Subra Doyle
Courtesy of Subra Sonic Records
Written by Andrew Stevens and Miles Olson Performed by Andrew Stevens and Miles Olson Courtesy of Miles Away Studios BMI (PRO) and 1217 Records BMI (PRO)
Written by Jonathan Cacal, BJ Strahan, Jordan Abellanida, Adrien Cabrera, BJ Alvarez, Noah Clemons, and Justen Dutro Performed by Sounds of Jah
Written by Jonathan Cacal, BJ Strahan, Jordan Abellanida, Adrien Cabrera, BJ Alvarez, Noah Clemons, and Justen Dutro Performed by Sounds of Jah
Written by Jammes Luckett Performed by Thrillharmonik
Published by Pied Piper Lorre Musesick (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Art Mechanix
Written by Andrew Stevens Performed by Andrew Stevens
Courtesy of 1217 Records BMI (PRO)
Written by Andrew Stevens Performed by Andrew Stevens
Courtesy of 1217 Records BMI (PRO)

Written by Noah Lowdermilk, Manuel Crosby, and Kevin Kentera Performed by Noah Lowdermilk, Manuel Crosby, Subra Doyle and Kevin Kentera
Written by Andrew Stevens Performed by Andrew Stevens
Courtesy of 1217 Records BMI (PRO)
Special Thanks
Brian Kraus
Madison Smith
Frank Crosby
Denise Jennings
Ed Lark
Sarah Lunsford
Carol Norris
Jim & Bonnie Miller
Brenda Norris
Ben Strang
Peter Tran
Lucky, Vanessa, & Arthur Bear McKee Charles & Ann Horak
Raphael Gray
Kathy Mewhinney
Dean Mata
Emilia Knapp
Robin Vance and “STELLA” her Logging Truck Josh Pierson & Courtney Conklin
Dan Zampa & Shannon Sinclair
Powell Robinson
Carol Knapp
Debbie Knapp Hobgood
Derek Larsen
Brandon Morter
Noah Lowdermilk, Mallory Guyton & Olive Kevin Kentera & Danielle Thomas
Ed Sait
Harold & Carol Crosby
Cassandra Thames
Pat & Cheryl McIntire
Ron Zuchella
Robert D. Kryzkowski
Lisa Michelle
Randy Nundlall, Jr.
Rick Behler
Anne Katherine Smith
Roger Salter
Jack Pickens
Chris Rhodes
Tony Cucchiari
The Bazzano-Jones Family
Siavash Farahani
Ryan & Grace McGrady
Chelsea & Paula Cambra
Sprott Woods
Eric Fernandez
Natalia Filson
Darla Bayer
Peter Sereno
Craig Kessler
Rhonda Abend
Sharon Slater
Carson Nugget
Jeff Olsen
Tom & Donna Robertson
David & Lisa Reyes
GT at Letus35
Cliff Edson
Michelle Tyer
Elizabeth Barnes
Travis Ban
Danny Dowden
Cameron Edens
Mark Campbell
Aaron Williams
Glenn Harris
Save A Pet Thrift
Film Riot
Ryan Connolly
Eric Beck
Tom Antos
Robert Rodriguez
Peter Kuplowsky
Grant Holtmeier
Jake Fisher
Trent Henry
Susan Tomasich
Christian Blandin
The Albert-Berry Family
Britton Thomas
Nathan Reedy
Dan Gill
Jammes Luckett
Jeremy Hanke
Michael Joshua DeSousa
Ivana Bogdan
Emmanuel & Alex Lemnah
Shelby Wesner
The Folks at Autozone & Ace Hardware, Valley Springs
Sheriff Rick DiBasilio & The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department Audrina Bosonetto
TNT Airsoft & Customs
Hannah, Fynn, & Arlo Passero
Marina Monsisvais & Paul Ro
Hazael Anaya
Carlos Corral
The McLeod Family
Dale & Sally Smetek
Rio Bravo Post
El Paso, Texas

Shot in Calaveras County and Amador County, CA.
Copyright © 2020 First Date, LLC

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