First time filmmakers Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton are ecstatic that their film YellowBrickRoad has been selected for the narrative competition at the prestigious Slamdance Film Festival. Now in its 16th year of championing the best emerging filmmaking talent, Slamdance will be held January 21-28, 2010 in Park City, Utah. Check out some new stills and the trailer below.
Many previous films that have played the festival have gone on to worldwide distribution including this year’s surprise hit, Paranormal Activity. Holland and Mitton would like to see YELLOWBRICKROAD catapult to similar success. “There were so many challenges we faced trying to make the film we wanted to make, that getting the call from Slamdance was like a dream come true. It was a very exhilarating and rewarding feeling,” said Mitton.
YELLOWBRICKROAD tells the story of an expedition that embarks on a mission to solve the mysterious disappearance of the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire, who, in the fall of 1940, walked together up a winding mountain trail and into the wilderness, never to be seen alive again. The only clue left behind was a single word etched into stone near the forest’s edge: YELLOWBRICKROAD. In 2009, the coordinates to the trail were declassified and a team of researchers sets out to find out the truth behind the town’s disappearance. The film stars Cassidy Freeman (Smallville, CSI), Anessa Ramsey (The Signal), Laura Heisler (Numb3rs), Michael Laurino (Past Life), Clark Freeman (Simulacrum), Alex Draper (Joshua), and Lee Wilkof (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead).
The film was the first ever to shoot in the remote forests of northern New Hampshire. The cast and crew had to overcome difficult terrain, sparse electricity and no cell phone reception “Andy and Jesse went to school at Middlebury College in Vermont and they knew these parts of New England really well. They wrote the script with that area in mind, so we had to use it. Basically, we produced a digital movie in an analog terrain,” laughed Producer Eric Hungerford. Despite the difficulties, the filmmakers are very pleased with the end result of using the remote area. “It really adds authenticity to the desolation and isolation that is prevalent in the film,” said Hungerford.
This year’s narrative competition includes 10 films, mixes of comedy, drama and sci fi. “We were inspired by the slow burn horror and suspense films of the 70`s, and really sought to capture a realistic, character driven story while delivering an intense visceral experience,” said Holland. “Slamdance is a great venue for this film and we hope film loving audiences will respond to it the way we do,” said Hungerford. To view the film’s official trailer, please visit the website http://www.yellowbrickroadthemovie.com. The film also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account @yellwbrickroad.