Montana-made indie Winter In The Blood, directed by Montana natives Alex and Andrew Smith, will premiere at this year's Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) on June 14 and June 19, 2013. It will be one of the 12 features lined-up for the international festival's Narrative Competition. LAFF is a world-class film festival featuring the best in new American and international cinema.
The Smith brothers filmed Winter In The Blood during the summer of 2011 along the Montana Hi-Line in Chinook and Havre — staying true to the authentic settings of James Welch's novel on which the movie is based.
"We are thrilled and honored to debut our film at LAFF," said Andrew Smith, who's also an associate professor at the University of Montana's School of Media Arts. "This has been a labor of love that stretches back a generation. At every stage, from early grants to open casting calls, from raising money to location scouting, from shooting on location to our extended post-production phase, we are grateful for the support of countless Montanans to keep us going strong. Now we can start showing this uniquely Montana film on the world stage."
Winter In The Blood tells the story of Virgil First Raise as he "embarks on a wild and darkly comic odyssey to retrieve his renegade wife— and the beloved rifle she stole." The role of Virgil is played by Chaske Spencer (the "Twilight Saga") who actually lived in Idaho and Montana when he was little. Spencer also spent a few years living on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation so making this film was almost a "coming home" experience to him.
"Alex and Andrew's award-winning projects epitomize the film talent we have in Montana. Their vision for bringing Montana stories to the big screen has been extraordinary," said Deny Staggs, Montana film commissioner. "It's been a pleasure for the Montana Film Office to work with them on this project and others."
In addition to over 100 extras from Montana, the indie film casts 21 Montana actors, many from the Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy reservations. The production also employed 60 Montana crew members and 40 service providers.
Winter In The Blood qualified for Montana's tax credits offered through the Big Sky on the Big Screen Act. For more information on filming in Montana, visit the Montana Film Office (a Reel-Scout client).
LAFF runs from June 13 - 23, 2013.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Above movie still from Winter In The Blood via Google.