On March 14, 2020, the Best Lead Actor Award at the Blastoff Film Festival in Los Angeles was awarded jointly to Jeff Weber and Junes Zahdi for their roles as Sheriff Joe Haladin and Abdul Latif Hassan in My Stretch of Texas Ground. Then, the exact same thing happened at the Mabig Film Festival in Augsburg, Germany in April 2020, where both were awarded Best Male Actor.
In mid-February, Jeff and Junes won for Best Acting Duo at the World Premiere Film Awards, and they won the same award at the Cinemafest World Awards in late March. Both festivals are in Los Angeles.
Many hundreds of films were submitted to Austin Indie Fest from over 30 countries and from every continent except Antarctica, and the choice of the 17 judges was Junes Zahdi for his portrayal of Abdul Latif Hassan in My Stretch of Texas Ground.
Junes also won Best Actor at the World Premiere Film Awards, the Creation International Film Festival, the Cinemafest World Awards, all in Los Angeles, and the Mabig Film Festival in Augsburg, Germany.
Junes Zahdi was the only actor on our horizon with the cinematic greatness and in possession of all the skills needed (language, martial arts, etc. ) to bring this enormous character of Abdul Latif Hassan to life. We were extremely lucky to get him, and Junes made it clear that it was the film's anti-war message that motivated him to accept the role. Thank you, Junes.
Jeff gave us a uniquely noble and exemplary lawman as Sheriff Joe Haladin, right up there with the great screen lawmen of old, and that has to be why he won. But, Jeff insisted that we credit the actors who played off him and gave him support, which includes his arch adversary Abdul Latif Hassan played by Junes Zahdi, his wife Carrie played by Hailley Lauren, his son Tommy played by Caleb Duane, his daughter Becky played by Marie-Claire Huff, his top deputies Butch and Nelson played by Jeremy Stein and Christian Stokes, respectively, and his combatants Namir and Malik, played by Tarek Zohdy and Siya Ameen. Jeff had great screen chemistry with all these actors.
Thank you, Jeff, for fulfilling our every expectation for Sheriff Joe. Haladin.
Photo credit to Nick Berard.
Brian's FBI Agent Frank Calderone was to Abdul Latif Hassan what Inspector Javert was to Jean Valjean in Les Meserables, but it was his turf war with Sheriff Joe that caught the attention of judges.
Hailley's character underwent the most emotional upheaval of any in the movie, and it was very demanding on her. But, Hailley really poured herself into it and gave it her all, and that was recognized by the judges in Augsburg, Germany. The head of the Mabig Film Festival, Andreea Boyer, who is herself a writer, a director, and an actress, expressed her great awe and appreciation of Hailley's work. And we are particularly pleased for Hailley because My Stretch of Texas Ground is such a male-dominated film.
Please watch and share our trailer.
Terrorists descend on a small Texas town to assassinate a visiting Senator, but standing in their way is the town's very capable sheriff, Joe Haladin. But, this is no Captain America story. It's not like an old Western. Two formidable men are going to collide over the life of the Senator, but there is more to the story than that. This movie has a message about war and terrorism, and it will clutch at you as much as the inevitable clash between two indomitable men.
Starring as Sheriff Joe Haladin is Jeff Weber, an actor from Austin who is also a singer/songwriter, a published author, and a former rodeo cowboy. Playing the lead warrior Abdul Latif Hassan is Junes Zahdi, a classically trained and multilingual actor, originally from Morocco, The very popular and versatile Texas actor Mike Gassaway stars as Senator Harlan Cruthers, and actress/dancer/costume designer Hailley Lauren, also from Austin, stars as Carrie, the sheriff's wife. This film was directed by Erich Kemp, written by Ralph Cinque, and produced by Jason Ninness.
My Stretch of Texas Ground was filmed the summer of 2018 in Bastrop County, Texas with the exception of two scenes shot in Los Angeles and one scene that was filmed at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. It was released in May 2019. For more information, you may contact Ralph Cinque at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Held at the storied Alamo Drafthouse theater, the January 15, 2019 Austin premiere of My Stretch of Texas Ground was a grand celebration of our accomplishment. See images below.
Below are photos from our L.A. premiere, held the evening of February 22, 2019 at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.