Aug. 20--"Heart of the Country" has roots that run deep in Wilmington. It was filmed here in 2012. Jana Kramer, who stars in it, spent several years filming "One Tree Hill" here as well. It was written and directed by Wilmington native John Ward. And "Heart of the Country" was produced by Wilmingtonian Anne Hawthorne, a former classmate of Ward's at Cape Fear Academy, and local actress Sydney Penny.
The movie is out today (Tuesday, Aug. 20) through video on demand services, and DVDs are available exclusively through Walmart.
"Heart of the Country" tells the story of a country girl (Kramer) returning to her roots. Gerald McRaney plays her father.
Local audiences got a sneak peek of the film at the Cape Fear Independent Film festival earlier this year.
Producer Penny couldn't attend that screening because she was working on another locally made project, the UP network movie "The Perfect Summer." Still, "Heart of the Country," rated PG, is a project she's proud of, and, she said, it fueled her passion for producing.
"I would love to do more producing," she said. "I think by nature I'm sort of an introducer. I like to introduce people who I think are talented and creative to each other. That's kind of a natural function of being a producer. I like to find talent in all areas -- crew, acting, producing, writing, directing -- and see if I can't help people find others who can further their goals and careers and expand their experience. And hopefully, along the way, I can also participate and expand my own experience."
The movie filmed in the spring of 2012 on a budget of about $1 million. The producers hop the movie looks like it was made with a budget much greater than that.
"No matter how much you have, you wish you had twice as much," Penny said. "So you might as well just make the movie you can with what you have."
On Twitter: @WilmOnFilm
(c)2013 the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.)
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