July 16--ST. MARYS -- The audience at a two-hour film festival in St. Marys didn't have to wait long to see familiar faces and places on the big screen.
The Coastal Georgia Film Alliance Micro FilmFest opened Saturday with a scene from "Eye of the Hurricane," filmed in downtown St. Marys in 2010.
The city was transformed into a small South Florida town recovering from the direct hit of a hurricane for the movie.
The scenes included the downtown waterfront area that was turned into rubble-strewn disaster area, and a tent city along the saltwater marsh for survivors who lost everything.
It looked like South Florida on the big screen, except to those familiar with the waterfront downtown. Familiar landmarks included local marinas, historic buildings and clusters of palm trees on small upland areas surrounded by marsh along the St. Marys River.
After the trailers from "Eye of the Hurricane" ended, another clip featuring actors, producers and directors from the movie was shown. They raved about residents, public officials and the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance, and promised to recommend the city for other movie projects.
A clip was shown from the TV series "Royal Pains" filmed at the Howard Gilman Memorial Park in downtown St. Marys in 2012. The scene was shot in one of the park's gazebos, with the distinctive brick fountain in the background.
Scenes from other short movies and upcoming productions were also shown, including "The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands," and a preview of "Preserve," which was filmed recently at a demolished industrial site. Both movies were directed by Brandon Herron, of Brunswick.
Tom Dennard of St. Simons Island was applauded in response to "Tea for One," a short movie he wrote that was shown at the festival.
St. Marys Mayor Bill Deloughy said the movie industry has potential to bolster the local economy, and he is pleased filmmakers have had so many good experiences.
"People were so positive," he said. "The festival was done so well. It was terrific."
-- Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or at 464-7655.
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