THE ISSUE: The Louisiana tax credit for filmmakers draws them to the state, but not always outside of bigger cities like New Orleans.
LOCAL IMPACT: The crew chose Donaldsonville as the filming location because of the beautiful historic district. Almost every scene in the movie will be filmed in Donaldsonville, and crews will be hard at work for the next three weeks. A store on Railroad Avenue, the courthouse, and Gaston's Pub are some local spots that can be seen in the film.
It's lights, camera, action in Donaldsonville. Crews are currently at work filming an independent movie titled "Rightful." Screenwriter Stephen George said the movie tells the story of two black men who were wrongfully executed and come back from the dead to avenge their deaths and save the land they left behind.
The film is based in part on a true story. George said that two farmers were accused of murdering a Civil War veteran in 1913 and put to death by the electric chair. They were exonerated for the crime 100 years after their deaths.
That part of the story is true, but the movie picks up in modern times when the 138 acres the men owned is set to be sold as a site for a new superstore.
"So these guys come back to right the wrongs that were done against them and get that farm land back," said George, "It's a horror/slasher, but we're taking a true story and putting a little bit of a twist on it."
Although set in South Carolina, the crew chose Donaldsonville as the filming location because of the beautiful historic district. Almost every scene in the movie will be filmed in Donaldsonville, and crews will be hard at work for the next three weeks. A store on Railroad Avenue, the courthouse, and Gaston's Pub are some local spots that can be seen in the film.
Director Andre Alfa said many of the crew members working on the film are actually south Louisiana natives. Over 80 percent of the crew are local hires from Gonzales, Donaldsonville, New Orleans, Hammond, and other places. The entire cast and crew are staying in Donaldsonville until filming wraps up.
Alfa said local officials, including Mayor Leroy Sullivan, have been a huge help in getting permits approved and coordinating filming locations and housing.
"They have just welcomed us with open arms, open hearts. They've just been incredible with everything we needed, even things we didn't know we needed that they anticipated," said Alfa, "It was above and beyond."
Alfa said that's another reason D'ville won out over other potential locations. He said they considered filming parts of the movie in Baton Rouge. That was until a few weeks ago when their first location scout met with local officials who helped ensure the operation runs as smoothly as possible.
Once filming is complete, the movie will air in local theaters as well as in film festivals across the state. It will also be available on digital platforms like iTunes. Hard copies can also be purchased, which will include a documentary on the making of the film called "Making it Right."
For more information on "Rightful," visit RightfulTheMovie.com.
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