Ben-Hur Releases in Theaters – Press Release and News Interview

Alexandra Pierce interviews Levi Vincent:

Eye on the Desert – CBS Local 2 News:

Press Release

For Immediate Release


Special Pre-Release Screening Set for Aug. 17 at Mary Pickford Theatre, Cathedral City

Palm Springs, California, August 16th, 2016 – Today, the Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance and the Riverside County Film Commission, announced that portions of the epic action adventure “BEN-HUR” were filmed by the 2nd unit in the eastern Coachella Valley area of Painted Canyons. The film, from Paramount Pictures’ and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’, will release in theaters August 19th.

BEN-HUR is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army.  Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery.  After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.  Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.  The film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Morgan Freeman.

Timur Bekmambetov directed the film from a screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, and Duncan Henderson served as producers, with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley, and Jason F. Brown serving as executive producers. Principal photography was shot in Rome and Matera, Italy.

Levi Vincent, Executive Director of the Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance said, “BEN-HUR is a big movie – one of the biggest with which I’ve personally been involved. Though our on-screen presence may be brief, there is a lot of pride in that. The website was specifically designed to attract, grow and keep film and television production in the Coachella Valley and this film is one of many that we are proud to have supported.”

Paramount Pictures and MGM have granted Vincent permission to host a private local pre-screening of BEN-HUR on August 17th at the Mary Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City, two days before its public release. Attending will be members of the local film and television community: directors, producers, writers, crew, talent, production vendors, and Alliance partners. Additionally, Vincent plans to distribute tickets to selected radio stations as giveaways.


About the Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance & Film Office

Recognized as the official film office of the Greater Palm Springs region, the Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance and Film Office ( is the Coachella Valley’s economic development resource dedicated to attracting all types of film and media production to the Coachella Valley. The Alliance encompasses many activities, such as attracting and promoting film and television productions, facilitating access to filming locations, connecting producers with local crew, talent and vendors, and acts as liaison between industry and government entities; all while marketing the greater Palm Springs area as a world-class production region in the United States.


About Riverside County and the Riverside County Film Commission

The Riverside County Film Commission ( provides a single resource to the film community to find locations and apply for permits within Riverside County. In addition to a streamlined permit process and inviting incentives, the Riverside County Film Commission is dedicated to providing professional, expedited concierge service, to help ensure a pleasant experience while filming in Riverside County.


Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance and Film Office Logo

3111 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 139 • Palm Springs, California 92241 • +1 (760) 861-1182

The Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance & Film Office is non-government owned & operated.

©2019 Greater Palm Springs Film Alliance & Film Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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