High There's world premiere screening was a rousing success last night at the Action on Film International Film Festival.

Laughter, applause, and actual gasps of shock were heard in the Krikorian Monrovia Cinema theatre as director and star Wayne Darwen delivered a brave performance as a version of himself: "Dave High," a legendary, down-and-out tabloid television producer who finds redemption -- and gets the story -- by immersing himself in the hippie pot culture of the island of Hawai'i.

Director-writer-producer Wayne Darwen on the red carpet

Director-producer-director of photography Henry Goren

Fellow director Henry Goren got many laughs as Dave's frustrated and dedicated cameraman, "Roland Jointz."

Producer Burt Kearns

Goren and producer Burt Kearns led the High There team, including associate producer Doug Bruckner and production assistant Sam Kearns at the screening.

Director-writer-producer Wayne Darwen gets an earful from Doug Bruckner

Production assistant Sam Kearns spoke about his new YouTube channel, Sammi's Secrets.

There was much animated discussion about the film, its commentary on tabloid journalism and federal marijuana laws, as well as Darwen's "gonzo" style, not seen since the work of Hunter S. Thompson. The real-life cast of Hawai'i denizens, including The "E" Girl," Tony The Healer and Alien Tom,  also received praise.

Television writer and producer Michael Lynn notices something on Darwen's back

A brief question-and-answer session took place outside the theatre while festival director Del Weston hosted other AOF filmmakers and guests in a restaurant next door.

The Producers

Darwen himself is on location in Adelaide, Australia.

He phoned in to the team before the screening and made an unexpected, if two-dimensional, appearance on the red carpet, and later outside the theatre, to welcome viewers personally.

Writer-director-producer star Wayne Darwen and SpongeBob

A pre-screening celebration was hosted at the nearby Rudy's Mexican Restaurant, an AOF sponsor, and attended by personalities including noted television producer and writer  Michael Lynn.

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