Portland filmmaker Gus Van Sant will hold open casting calls today, Aug. 3, from 1 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to fill starring and supporting roles in his upcoming independent film project, 'Paranoid Park.'

The casting calls, open to males and females ages 14 to 18, will be held at the Ambridge Event Center, 300 N.E. Multnomah St. in Portland, and aim to uncover fresh talent to effectively portray the real-life attitudes and emotions of high school-aged youth. Experienced actors are welcome to audition, but no acting background is necessary to attend the two calls, which will serve as the primary casting process for the film.

The talent search for 'Paranoid Park,' which will be filmed and set in Portland, does not represent the first time that Van Sant has offered such an opportunity for young people in the region. The director employed similar casting tactics for his award-winning 2003 independent release, 'Elephant.'

Featured actors in that film included Lake Oswego resident John Robinson, who went on to a starring role in the 2005 major motion picture, 'Lords of Dogtown' and will appear in the upcoming film 'Transformers: The Movie.'

In addition to the Aug. 3 and 5 calls, Lana Veenker Casting will soon announce an additional date to seek experienced skateboarders ages 14 to 30 and other extras in that same age range for the film, a 'coming of age' story set partially in the skateboarding community. Filming is set to commence in October, with a wrap date anticipated in summer of 2007. For information about the casting calls, call the 'Paranoid Park' hotline at 503-222-2462 or visit Park.

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