It isn’t every day that patrons at the Charlevoix Cinema III can look around inside the theater and see some of the same people who are on the screen sitting next to them in the audience.
But that’s exactly the experience several hundred people had over the weekend as the full-length feature film “The Frontier Boys” made its Charlevoix debut.
In fact, there was so much interest in seeing the show for its debut Friday, that the 8 p.m. debut show sold out a day in advance, prompting the cinema to add two more showings.
Much of the interest likely stems from the local ties to the movie — and there are many. Not only was much of the movie shot in and around Charlevoix in some easily identifiable locations by a Charlevoix native’s production company, but also several local people appear in the movie in small roles or as extras. The movie’s story is also set in Charlevoix.
Indeed, the film’s first frames feature a winter-time shot of the landmark breakwater and lighthouse. Other easily well-known locations appearing in the film include the downtown Charlevoix, the Charlevoix County Sheriff’s office, Charlevoix Area Hospital, Charlevoix Middle School and many other locations.
The movie is the story of four high school boys whose undefeated basketball season and friendship are threatened after a drive-by shooting leaves one of them in a coma and one of them with a secret. They are inseparable on and off the court until one of the four gets caught up in his older brother’s mixed-up life.
Excitement about the film has spilled way beyond Charlevoix. The movie recently won the ADAM Award for Best Feature at the 2011 Sabaoth International Film Festival, a festival for Christian films in Milan, Italy. The film was one of 10 feature films nominated from countries around the world. The four-day event which took place March 2–5.
“Seeing the reactions of a European audience to this distinctly American film was a pleasant surprise, and the reaction was incredible,” Grooters said. “When the film ended the audience cheered and applauded with boisterous enthusiasm. As this is first film festival we’ve entered with The Frontier Boys, we really had no idea what to expect. Bringing home the award for Best Feature Film is a great blessing and a tribute to the cast and crew who poured their hearts into this film.”
On Friday, Grooters said that preparations are under way for shooting the second installment of the movie’s series. The next will be shot partially in Charlevoix and partially in Italy.
The movie is tentatively slated to show for two weeks in Charlevoix. Call the Charlevoix Cinema III for details. For more on the movie, visit www.frontierboys.com.
"Frontier Boys" locally shot feature film premieres to packed cinema in Charlevoix
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