Actors in the film include Brian Dempcy of Madison along with Roy Hanley and Sammi Leno of Hancock. Members of the Hmong Community from Walnut Grove are also featured in one of the scenes performed in the historic Opera House above the Pioneer Public TV studios. The movie was shot in two days in Appleton in October, 2014.
The film is meant to promote thought and discussion about what it means to be an “alien” in a small community. Johnson created a storyline with Eric Santwire of Fergus Falls based on her own imaginations of what it would be like if beings from another planet suddenly transported themselves to Appleton, took over an empty house and started interacting with the locals. There are no words in the film. The dreamy and moving original score by Pavek provides a fitting background to the rich visual imagery created by Schliesman’s masks, Huiting’s cinematography and Gieske’s special effects.
“This film does an exquisite job of both holding the mirror and shining a light on a kind of story that people overlook,“ stated Lauren Carlson, a writer from Dawson who recently reviewed the film.
Johnson received a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council to purchase the digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera which she used to make the film.
Pioneer is sending Johnson and Gieske to Portland to attend the Film Festival and meet with other film producers from all over the United States. Starting in October 2015, the film will be made available for facilitated discussions in communities in the region. For more information, contact Patrick Moore, Pioneer Communications Director at 320-289-2919 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pioneer Public Television is a viewer supported PBS station dedicated to sharing the art and culture of local communities with the world. For more information, call 800-726-3178 or email email@example.com.