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Red carpet rolled out for Robel

  • The red carpet was rolled out Sunday at the Charles Theatre for Joey Robel, who appeared in the world premiere of the movie “Murphy’s Law.” (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The red carpet was rolled out Sunday at the Charles Theatre for Joey Robel, who appeared in the world premiere of the movie “Murphy’s Law.” (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The red carpet was rolled out Sunday at the Charles Theatre for Joey Robel, who appeared in the world premiere of the movie “Murphy’s Law.” (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

It wasn’t exactly an Oscar-night parade of elegant fashion in front of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, but Charles City can celebrate movies, too.

A few dozen people cheered for 10-year-old Joey Robel as he walked down the red carpet at The Charles Theatre on Sunday, on his way to watch himself in a movie.

Robel has a small but important part in the 18-minute short film, “Murphy’s Law,” which made its premiere to the movie-going masses at The Charles on Sunday. The short festival film was screened by the general public before the theater’s regularly-scheduled feature, “The Secret Life of Pets, 2.”

The comedy, produced by Iowa filmmaker Les Nelson, is tagged as “the story of a man who thought things couldn’t get any worse.”

Nelson’s company, Marketplace Media, is based in Rockford and creates ads for business throughout the upper Midwest. Nelson also makes movies.

He produced the movie “Rise of the Sea Urchins,” about a coach reaching for his last chance at success with his high school boys water polo team. The movie, which was primarily shot in Forest City, premiered in 2015 at The Charles and several other theaters in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.

“I just want to give a big thank-you to The Charles Theatre and all the people who support the arts here,” Nelson said on the red carpet Sunday. “It’s such an important thing, when the community supports something like this.”

Robel’s total screen time amounts to about 15-30 seconds of the 18-minute movie, although Joey had to spend several hours shooting and reshooting for the bit part.

Robel’s mother, Sarah, said that although Joey has enjoyed the acknowledgment he’s received, the attention hasn’t gone to his head.

“It’s been exciting,” she said. “Joey’s really happy. I’m glad everybody came.”

Despite all the attention, Joey — who will start fifth grade in the fall — is pretty level-headed and hasn’t been behaving like a diva at home, according to his mother. His parents said Joey has shown interest in doing another movie, maybe next year.

Robel plays the role of “Benji the lawn boy” in “Murphy’s Law.”

“I play a kid that was mowing the lawn, and a guy named Murphy won the mega-millions, and he had to get in his car and he didn’t have gas, so he took my gas can,” explained Robel, who first saw the film Saturday night at a private screening for cast and crew in Forest City.

“Murphy’s Law” also stars Mikeal Burgin and Jim Brockhohn. Burgin is a Hollywood actor and writer who has appeared in 18 motion pictures, including “Bring Me A Dream,” “Low Self Esteem,” and “The Experiment.” Brockhohn, from Forest City, has 29 movies to his credit, including “Rise of the Sea Urchins,” “Demonica” and “Trunk’d.”

“Murphy’s Law” will eventually be available to watch online at marketplacemedia.com.

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