July 05--ST. MARYS -- Those involved in the production of a short movie currently being filmed in St. Marys have big dreams.
Crews spent about 24 hours last weekend filming "The Broken Ballerina" and plan to return this weekend for another 20 hours of filming, said Doug Vaught, president of the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance.
Vaught said the alliance helped the producer, Kim Murray, of Jacksonville, find locations and get the appropriate permits for filming.
"We try to maximize their dollars by finding locations at no charge," Vaught said. "Our main focus is to put them in locations that will provide the best backdrop."
They plan to enter the movie "The Broken Ballerina" in the Long Live Imaginat10n contest sponsored by Canon and movie producer Ron Howard.
The contest requires film makers to create a movie from what they envision from 10 photos posted on the contest's website.
The 20 finalists will be judged on imagination, originality, technical quality, overall impression and the extent to which the film is inspired by the Long Live Imaginat10n contest photos.
Howard and other judges will select five grand prize winners, all with an opportunity to go onto the famed Cannes Film Festival.
Murray, the movie's producer, said her movie is about a teenage girl abducted as a child and held prisoner by her mother. She has a chance to escape, but in the end she decides to stay, in effect making herself her own prisoner.
"It's a sad story," Murray said. "We ended up with a story we really like."
The challenge was creating a plot where the images from the photographs have to be recreated in the movie.
"You want to make sure you tell an engaging story," she said.
Murray is no stranger to St. Marys.
She filmed the short movie "The Prisoner" last year in the city.
The movie's award-winning film director, Mahmoud Shoulizadeh, who had directed Iranian TV for more than 25 years, won the Best Film Award for "Noora" in the 49th International Film Festival in Taormina, Italy.
The movie is currently a finalist in the Montreal Film Festival and, if it wins, the movie will be considered for an Academy Award nomination, Murray said.
"It would be amazing," she said.
Murray decided to film her first movie in St. Marys after she scouted locations in North Florida and encountered problems that would make filming either cost prohibitive or too time consuming.
Then Murray contacted the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance and found everything she needed to film the movie about a man facing execution in just days and a request he makes to a former inmate.
Murray plans to film another movie, "Mime in a Box," in St. Marys later this year because of the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance.
"I love working in St. Marys," she said. "It's really the best experience I've had in film making. Any project I can take there to film, I will."
-- Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebruns wicknews.com, on Facebook or at 464-7655.
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