Private Project

Solstice 25th Anniversary Director's Restoration (2018)

In 1993, filmmaker Jerry Vasilatos wrote, produced and directed the holiday drama "Solstice". Through some Christmas magic and a lot of good fortune, "Solstice" was broadcast into millions of households as Lifetime Television's Original World Premiere Movie in 1994. Set in Chicago on Christmas Eve, the story centers on Nick Allman (Michael Kelley), a disillusioned young man who encounters a variety of characters that help him regain a sense of hope and optimism in the holiday season.

This special 25th Anniversary Director's Restoration was restored in 2K from original camera negative elements with a newly recorded orchestral score. "Solstice" is presented with a newly produced 14 minute retrospective (beginning after the feature at 47:20) with interviews of original cast and crew members reflecting on the restoration and making of this perennial Christmas classic.

Original Production Year: 1993/2018
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 62 mins
Format: DCP

"Sentimental... notable for its freshness and sincerity." - The Chicago Sun Times

"Turn on, tune in, or miss out." - The Los Angeles Times

  • Jerry Vasilatos
  • Jerry Vasilatos
  • Jerry Vasilatos
  • Michael Kelley
    Key Cast
  • Mary McCloud
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Holiday, Drama
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 2 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 5, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    130,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Worldfest Charleston
    Charleston, South Carolina
    United States
    November 13, 1994
    Silver Award
  • Worldfest Houston
    Houston, Texas
    United States
    April 30, 1995
    Bronze Award
  • Music Box Theatre
    Chicago. IL
    United States
    December 18, 2018
    25th Anniversary Restoration
  • Action on Film MegaFest 16th Annual Film Festival
    Las Vegas, NV
    United States
    August 1, 2019
    Best Drama Score
  • Hollywood Dreams 4th Annual International Film Festival
    Las Vegas, NV
    United States
    August 1, 2019
    Best Drama Score, Best Drama Feature
  • Los Angeles Film Awards
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    September 2, 2019
    Best Score
  • Flickfair

    United States
    December 1, 2021
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Nitestar Productions
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Jerry Vasilatos

Jerry is a native Chicagoan and graduate of Columbia College in Chicago where he studied screenwriting, producing, directing and editing. Never one to let adversity stand in his way, Jerry survived a near fatal accident in 1986 resulting in the loss of his leg to go on to producing and directing his first film "Solstice" in 1993. "Solstice" was awarded the Silver Award by the Charleston International Film Festival, the Bronze Award by the Houston International Film Festival, and was broadcast in 1994 by Lifetime Television as their first original holiday movie. Broadcast in 17 international territories including the UK, Greece, Africa, Latin America and Spain, the film is currently undergoing a 2K HD restoration under Jerry’s supervision for it’s 25th Anniversary in 2018.

Relocating to Los Angeles in 1996, Jerry spent 10 years working in film and television, running his boutique editing studio Nitestar Productions at Hollywood's famous Crossroads of the World. While in Los Angeles, Jerry’s work included editing DVD featurettes produced by Trailer Park for Universal Home Entertainment and Fox Atomic, 10 segments of the series "Breaking In" produced for the Reelz Channel and co-producing / editorial duties on 23 episodes of the weekly syndicated series "Made in Hollywood". Jerry also edited "Now You Know", the romantic comedy written and directed by "Clerks" star Jeff Anderson. "Now You Know" earned accolades in the San Diego, IFP Chicago, Greenwich and Big Bear Film Festivals. Jerry also worked on several projects with the late great television luminary Richard Hatch, of "Battlestar Galactica" fame.

Returning to Chicago in 2007, Jerry now works on projects between his hometown and Los Angeles. Named by New City as one of the top 50 people in Chicago’s booming film industry, Jerry's credits include a wide variety of projects including work on features, commercials, music videos, documentaries, short films like "The Dark Knight Project", and editorial duties on 4 episodes of the popular History Channel series "Gangland".

Jerry's projects aren't limited to only media. To overcome mobility challenges he faced using his cane and crutches, Jerry teamed up with his father Anastasios to invent the SandPad LandPad All Terrain Stabilizer, the only patented crutch and cane tip accessory that provides maximum stability on sand, grass, mud, snow, as well as regular paved surfaces.

As an advocate and mentor to emerging filmmakers, Jerry presently serves as Chicago City Producer of the world renowned 48 Hour Film Project while also developing projects for his company Nitestar Productions at Cinespace’s Stage 18 in Chicago.

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Director Statement

"Solstice" was written during what was for me, a very difficult Christmas. Not only was I dealing with some serious personal issues, but I was also overwhelmed by the plight of other less fortunate people during what was supposed to be a season of faith and goodwill. As I poured most of what I was feeling out onto paper in an effort to sort things out, it occurred to me that I was quite obviously, not the first person nor the last to have to confront these issues and attempt to make sense out of them. I think that everyone can relate to "Solstice" in that we've all been down, and we've all had our faith challenged at one time or another. In Nick's case, this happens during the holidays, a time when everyone's expectations run high. Although his own life is in disorder, he sees others around him not in tune with the holidays, and this is what sparks his journey and eventual rediscovery of what Christmas should be about. Like Nick, sometimes we're so busy feeling sorry for ourselves, that we don't recognize the positive that can come out of a seemingly bad situation, and that's the human spirit. I think if there's a message in "Solstice", it's that no matter how bleak we sometimes perceive things to be, we should never give up hope or faith, because in our hearts they're what give us the strength to forge ahead. I hope those of you who are reading this will have the chance to see "Solstice" during the holiday season, and that you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Jerry A. Vasilatos