The red carpet was unrolled, the lights were turned on and the screen was dropped as local film maker Dan Steadman premiered his latest film, “The Shoe,” at Durso Hills Winery and Bistro on Dec. 2.
Although Durso Winery has hosted wedding, anniversary parties and various other events, Saturday was the first time a film premiered in this quiet little hamlet in Marquand. Steadman wanted to express his gratitude to everyone who helped make this film.
“Holding the premiere here was just of gratitude in many ways,” Steadman said. “I just had a really good experience working with the people of the Parkland area. Also, I wanted to say 'thank you' to everyone for the time it took them to learn their lines, staying up all night getting nervous and helping find great vintage clothing. The payoff was this evening.”
“The Shoe” is an anthology, telling the story of a pair of shoes and all of the people who have ever owned them over the last 80 years. The original storyline came to Steadman when he came across an old pair of boots while shopping at a thrift store in Farmington.
Although the entire movie was not shot at Marquand, the final scene - which braids the movie together - was filmed at Durso Winery and Bistro. According to Steadman, the local establishment was made to look like MGM Studios in the 1930s.
As the evening got underway, many of the local actors took time to pose for pictures on the red carpet, talk about their part in the film and how excited they were not only to have made the film, but to be the first ones to view the film.
“This is the first time anyone gets to see it,” Steadman said. “The extended release will be held in Belleville (Illinois) next weekend. So this is a little bit of a sneak peek – an advanced screening.”
One of the first people to cross the red carpet was also one of the youngest actors in the film. Keelie Underwood, a 9-year-old from Farmington, was only in the film for a short time, but was still very excited about working in a scene set in 1930s.
“I thought it was really cool to be in a film for the first time,” Underwood said. “I really like dressing up in the clothes from the 30s.”
Another Farmington actress who made the final cut was Raimie Hasenstab. The inspiring actor, who attends Farmington High School, had a brief encounter with the school’s theater department and has found a new passion after being in the film.
“It was a great experience, and I am looking forward to another opportunity to work with Dan,” Hasenstab said. “I was in theater, but didn’t think much of it. But when I saw the call for auditions, I decided to take a chance.”
Another actor from the Marquand shoot was Linda Miller, who plays an aging actress in the film. Although she had been in theater before, “The Shoe” was her first film.
“This film was great for me,” Miller said. “I actually collect vintage clothing, and I have always been drawn to the 30s and 40s.”
The film was a bit of a surprise for Miller who had not heard anything about the auditions. Her being cast was pure happenstance.
“I had no idea they were having auditions,” Miller said. “I just happened to be at the winery enjoying some wine when a person asked me if I was here for the audition.”
After being asked again, Miller decided to take a chance and audition for a role - a chance she was pleased to have taken.
For Nick Cassimatis, working on the film was interesting. But in addition, there were other things he found just as interesting.
“I like anthology films, like Twilight Zone, and they are not something you see a lot of these days,” Cassimatis said. “When I was watching the film this evening, I found it a bit weird to see yourself and hear yourself. I kept thinking, 'do I really sound like that?'”
For more information about the film, or to purchase tickets for the extend release performances, visit Steadman’s company website at circa87.com.