If all goes according to one local woman’s plan, Liberty County scenes will appear before an international audience at France’s Cannes Film Festival in May.
The post-Depression-era film, “Promise,” was filmed over five days from Friday to Tuesday and features locations from Isle of Wight, Riceboro, the Retreat community and more, according to director and scriptwriter Samone Norsworthy.
“I’ve always liked the post-Depression era,” Norsworthy said. “It’s a time of struggle and renewal for a lot of families.
“Why I wanted it set in this area? This is my home, and I think it’s the most beautiful area to film. We have all these great oak trees, the Spanish moss. It’s coastal, so it gives a lot of flexibility for filming.”
Norsworthy and Deanna Dasher are executive producers of the film, produced by Wonder Worthy Films, a division of Wonder Worthy Productions in collaboration with Reindeer Productions.
They spoke in between takes Friday as a 1930 Ford truck swerved by for an establishing shot on Cay Creek Road.
The story focuses on a young boy, Daniel, who will try to save his father’s life and, in doing so, becomes a man of God, Norsworthy said.
Her son, Liberty Elementary School fourth-grader Tillman Norsworthy, plays Daniel.
“He’s very adventurous because he’s going on kind-of this treasure hunt with his dad for this thing that his mom left him when she died, and he’s very concerned about his father,” Tillman Norsworthy said about his character.
Dasher helped secure the locations.
“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the county commissioners and the families of Liberty County,” Norsworthy said.
“Most of the families I’ve known for a long time, and when Samone was just looking for beautiful trees, I said, ‘OK, well, I know beautiful places,” Dasher said, adding that location hosts offered their backdrops without requesting compensation.
The production budget for the film is $20,000, Norsworthy said, though she anticipates it will be greater in post-production.
“It will end up being a much bigger film,” Norsworthy said.
Also included in the cast are Dasher’s niece Madeline Russel, Melvin Joyner, Mondie Gagliardo and Richard Cheely. The entire crew contained almost 30 people, Dasher said.
After the short makes its festival rounds, Norsworthy said she intends to turn it into a feature film in 2015.