Local actors, production crew start work on new Steamboat Springs film
April 28, 2017
Steamboat Springs — This is not your typical Steamboat Springs film.
Behind the ski racing, beyond the endless mountain vistas, another story unfolds, behind closed doors, hidden from the rest of the world.
The story of the independent short film, "Ruined Wings," based on award-winning author Ashley Fontainne’s novella of the same name, begins as 17-year-old Callie Novak races in the final heat of the women’s 1600-meter High School State Ski competition. While she sets a new state record, her family's worst nightmare begins as Novak roller-coasters her way through a tumultuous turn of events.
"When I first read the story, and when I learned about how commonplace opiate abuse is, I was shocked and felt the need to do something," said Sabrina Stewart, executive producer of the film through her production company Confident Actor Productions. "There are deaths happening in Steamboat because of opiate abuse, two in the last few months, that I know of alone. "
Stewart, an actor and producer originally from Los Angeles is known for 2014’s “Salt, Liquor Lime” and “Eternal,” and 2017’s “Foreseen”. She said she hopes seeing this story told from a Steamboat perspective — contrasting the natural beauty of the valley with the nightmare of addiction — will make the warning of opiate abuse real in a way a film shot by the Hollywood film community couldn't.
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"This film certainly doesn’t tip-toe around the opiate and heroine problem that is a growing presence in mountain towns," said Van Wampler, founder of the Boulder production company CinemaRaven, who will serve as technical director and editor for “Ruined Wings.” "When people watch the film, I hope they come to understand how easily anyone can become a victim of circumstance."
The 22-minute independent film is currently in production utilizing local talent and crew, such as main actor Olivia Hobson as the film's Callie Novak.
To kickstart the project, Stewart was awarded an initial grant from the Steamboat Springs Arts Council's Re-Grant, given by the city of Steamboat Springs to SSAC, then re-granted to individual artists who apply. But in order to complete the film, the production budget requires $7,000.
Affected by a loved one who became an addict, Fontainne translated the agony and hopelessness of addiction into her novella.
"People always think, ‘This will never happen to me,’" Fontainne said,” and then, it does. It happens so fast, and it changes all aspects of life, touching upon everyone who loves you."
Stewart and Fontainne hope to share this film at no cost, both with educators and organizations in Routt County and with Fontainne's hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is hoped the film will be played at schools, churches, civic meetings and youth organizations, where it can target youth at-risk.
"Even if this affects just one person to have the ability to say, ‘No,’ then it's all worth it," said Fontainne. "It's a universal story and can happen to anyone. This is not about some celebrity or someone with a history of family drug addiction. It's about a normal, everyday person whose life got turned upside down. She had no clue what she was walking in to."
For more information on how to get involved or contribute to the film, contact Sabrina Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.