Chad Blevins has been working hard since last August on his first full-length feature film, “West African Stowaway,” which will be shot here in Louisville.
National buzz for the film likely will be high as Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy) will be the lead, his character the estranged father figure, “Frank.”
(Just in case you haven’t seen Oldham’s hilarious work with international comedic superstar Zach Galifanakis, as the two mimicked Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”:)
Frank is alienated from his son Milo – played by rising actor Evan Sennett – and has dived into a career as an ethno-musicologist. Blevins said the film will feature a song by Oldham that was first heard on a trip to Liberia he went on three years ago.
The film is to be a family comedy of sorts, though a dark one as Sennett’s character attempts to strengthen his relationship with his global music loving father. The film is from the 15-year-old Milo’s perspective.
Blevins’ childhood friend Tamba Foyah, is playing Tamba the West African teaching assistant.
Born in Liberia, Tamba left Liberia due to civil war.
Blevins on Foyah’s wild story to success in America:
His family moved around to different parts of West Africa, as missionaries. They moved over to the states several years ago. Tamba has recently moved out to LA to further his acting career, and since April, he has been getting a lot of great work.
Blevins is excited to take a diverse cast back to his hometown. “I am a Louisville boy through and through,” he said,”I had to come back here to shoot the movie.”
The crew and cast is nearly entirely local and music will play a large role in the film as Jamey See Tai is another local musician involved with the film, as he produced a “shoe gazey dance track” for the film, according to Blevins.
The film’s locally loaded cast and crew and Blevins’ background in film may be a boost for a growing Louisville film scene.
While Blevins has been away earning his Masters in film at Temple University, he said the scene “has really come about in the last three or four years” with Louisville Film Society’s Ryan Daley being a key figure in the scene’s growth.
“West African Stowaway” could use a little bit of help from you and I via Indiegogo.com’s Kickstarter-like fundraising initiative.
“Filmmaking is a communal effort at all levels,” said Blevins and any donations will help compensate people for their time, transportation services and production purposes. The film is set for production regardless whether it raises its $2,500 goal, but assistance would stimulate businesses and individuals prepared to dive into the project.
Here’s Blevins on why you should invest in the film, (aside from free merchandise giveaways such as a feature copy of the DVD):
This film will be a part of our growing film scene. And, it is important for all of us to support art and culture that exists and comes from the places we live. Buy Local, or something like that. I also hope to represent Louisville in this film.