‘Ruined Wings’ film about addiction to premiere Friday at Chief Theater
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Behind the ski racing, beyond the typical life of a high school student in a quaint mountain town, another story unfolds in the independent short film, “Ruined Wings.”
The film is based on Ashley Fontainne’s novella of the same name, and it opens with 17-year-old Callie Novak racing in the final heat of the women’s 1600-meter high school state ski competition. She sets a new state record, but her family’s worst nightmare begins as Novak rollercoasters 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 and director of the film through her production company Confident Actor Productions.
What: Steamboat Springs premiere of “Ruined Wings”
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Stewart met Fontainne in 2013 when she was living in Los Angeles and was hired to narrate the voiceover for her award-winning book, “Number Seventy-Five.”
“Ruined Wings” was shot throughout Steamboat Springs utilizing local talent and crew members. Olivia Hobson stars as Callie Novak, and Jesse Miller plays Shawn Majors.
“Ruined Wings” will premiere at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at the Chief Theater. The event is free and donation-based, with proceeds benefiting Grand Futures Prevention Coalition and the Chief.
To find out more about this project, Stewart shared an inside look at the creation of the film and the story behind its conception.
Explore Steamboat: What was the original vision for this film?
Sabrina Stewart: Ashley (Fontainne) and I hope to influence and educate our communities about the enormous threat of opiate drugs. I speak to parents every day who have no idea how many deaths have occurred in the last few years because of heroin and opiate drug usage, especially in young adults.
ES: What was the inspiration for this film?
SS: Ashley in particular has had personal experiences dealing with people close to her who have suffered with addiction, and we felt that it would be a worthwhile project to try to center a film around this much-needed message.
ES: What are your hopes for the outcome of this film?
SS: Both Ashley and I agree, even if only one person is positively affected by this short film, it will be worth all our time and efforts.
ES: Why is this project important to you?
SS: I look at young adults under the age of 30 and compare their upbringing with those of us lucky enough to grow up during the pre-9/11 years. They have a hard time finding the spark of hope that is so necessary to a successful and enlightened life journey. No wonder they are turning more and more to the synthetic euphoria of opiates.
ES: What significance does it have to this community?
SS: This is a story that is repeated over and over in Steamboat, and I’m hoping that hearing it told narratively from local actors and production crew will make the warning of it real in a way that a film shot by the Hollywood film community wouldn’t do. It will also highlight the contrast between the natural beauty of our valley and the hellish nightmare journey of depression and despair that addicts are experiencing every day around us.
ES: To create this film around the topic of addiction, did you consult with an addiction specialist to create this film and will there be a discussion after the showing?
SS: We spoke with the Foundry and also Mara Rhodes about opiate addiction. There will not be a Q & A session after the film; however, the actors will be on stage at the end if audience members wish to ask questions one on one.
ES: Why was “Ruined Wings” selected as the title?
SS: The title was chosen by Ashley when, during the time she was writing the story, a butterfly with a broken wing landed on her papers as she was writing outside.
To share the film with the community, Stewart said it will be available as a live link on the “Ruined Wings” website for organizations and schools to access and help create conversations around addiction. The production team also plans on submitting it to a variety of film festivals.
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