LIMA — More than 700 residents RSVP’d for the executive sneak peek of the movie “A Walk With Grace,” Wednesday evening at Veterans Memorial Civic Center, but more than that showed up. People were waiting on the preview of the movie made in Lima, by a Lima man, featuring Lima people and businesses.
It was a scene one would expect in Hollywood, with the red carpet and drinks in the foyer, balloons set up on tables and a line of people waiting for a seat. Nick Kellis, a 1984 graduate of Shawnee High School is the writer, director and producer of the film.
“It’s been a challenge. I think it’s the dream. I went off to Hollywood and I learned to be a filmmaker and I got to come back and make a movie in my hometown. That is, I think, every filmmaker’s dream and I’m living it today. I started writing it in the summer of 2014. It’s not a true premiere — it’s a sneak preview, because we haven’t sold the film yet. What I wanted to do was organize this sneak preview with the cast and crew, stakeholders and certainly investors of mine and give them a chance to see the movie on the big screen. Because it might never end up on the big screen, you might just be seeing it on your computer in the months ahead.” said Kellis.
While the film hasn’t been picked up by distributors, Kellis is sure that it will be seen in some way.
“So the challenge is it may take a while. None of the distributors care that it’s an Easter movie. They want to distribute it when it’s best for them. So we’re at the mercy of people that will put it out on Hulu or Netflix or Dove Channel, when it makes the most sense to them,” said Kellis.
Maria Sanko of CCR Realtors sponsored the exclusive sneak peek event.
“The movie — actually the indoor scenes, the house scenes — are at my house. So we gave our house to Nick and crew to film. I support anything for Lima, and look at this, it’s amazing. What’s so cool about the movie is that there’s so many of these people in the movie. Like you look and you see your neighbor in it,” said Sanko.
Jeremy Patterson and his band mate, Joe Swora, were in attendance. Their band, Sunset Junkies, played a role in the film.
“I’m curious to see it. We were there for over 12 hours filming. I’m curious about how that translates into scene time,” said Swora.
Sunset Junkies and Stedic and The Groove combined for another scene in the movie that was filmed at Vino Bellissimo’s.
“It was awesome doing the scene at Vino’s. It was the climax of the movie, and I’m very excited to have a part in the movie,” said Chris “Stedic” Henderson.
Kellis’ movie will bring recognition to Lima, and hopefully more movies can be made here.
“I think it’s a great sign of the creative talents and resources that we have here, certainly the expertise that Nick has brought,” said Lima Mayor David Berger.
To Kellis, the preview was a celebration for the community.
“It’s a community celebration and that’s the most gratifying thing,” said Kellis.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.