Movie filmed in Wilmington to be featured in virtual film festival

Movie filmed in Wilmington to be featured in virtual film festival
"Drought," a film produced in Wilmington, will be featured in a national film festival, Dances With Films. (Source: Same Page Pictures, LLC)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A movie filmed in Wilmington will be featured in a national festival.

Drought, from filmmakers Hannah Black and Megan Petersen, was selected for the Dances with Films, an independent film festival in Los Angeles.

The festival will have a virtual red carpet on Saturday for the filmmakers with a live Q&A before the filmed is screened.

Drought is set in North Carolina in 1993, as the state experiences a historic drought. It follows the story of a teen with autism who is fascinated by the weather and predicts that a storm will soon hit nearby. His sister crafts a plan to help him chase the storm, stealing their mother’s ice cream truck to embark on a road trip about family, forgiveness, and following your dreams.

“Drought was originally inspired by the students I used to teach who were on the autism spectrum,” said Black. “These kids were pure joy and magic to me.”

“Hannah and I met in a Meisner class 6 years ago at Actor’s Arsenal, an acting studio in Wilmington, NC,” said Petersen, who also stars in the film. “During the 2 year program, our acting coach, Ron Fallica, showed us Mark Duplass’ SXSW talk encouraging filmmakers to make movies on the weekends with friends. So we did that!”

It was serendipity that later, the Duplass Brothers, Mark and Jay, signed on to executive produce the film. The two are Emmy winning producers, directors, writers and actors.

Petersen and Black entered a competition and pitched them on being involved in the project.

“When Mark announced that Drought had won the Executive Producer-ship & a 25K no-interest loan, the room erupted with an energy we had never felt,” said Petersen, who described watching the announcement in 2017 with family and friends. “Then we were on our way to make our movie with them on our team! It was, and is, unreal!”

The film was shot on location in and around Wilmington.

“Our top priority in casting was finding someone on the autism spectrum to play the lead role of Carl,” said Black. “One of the most exciting things we discovered was that across the United States, there were a lot of talented, trained actors on the spectrum; and that is just young men fitting our character’s breakdown. We were so fortunate to find Owen Scheid, the perfect actor to play Carl. It was almost too good to be true that he lived in Wilmington. In fact, we did a nation-wide casting call for every role in the film and the best actors for the job were all local.”

“All of the film was shot on location, with the exception of two days on a soundstage,” said Petersen. “We found all of our amazing locations by driving around our beautiful region keeping an eye out for the perfect spots. Our heart behind our film includes highlighting how special eastern North Carolina is and we’re thrilled to say we filmed everything within an hour of Wilmington.”

Tickets for the film festival screening are $15 per household.

More information is available here.

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