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04/12/2024 11:47 AM

Movie Shot Locally to Head to Film Festival Next Year


It’s not just the locals who are enchanted with the region’s charm. Recently, a short film called Shoulder Season was shot on location in Westbrook, Old Saybrook, and Deep River. The film is due out sometime next year.

According to a statement from writer and executive producer Anna Clare Kerr, “Shoulder Season is a narrative short film that follows Mayellen, a lost and recently divorced woman in her late 30s, who has been tasked with packing up her late grandmother’s beach cottage before it is listed for sale. When a neighbor with dementia brings up old memories, Mayellen has no choice but to confront her grief directly.”

Kerr explained that the idea for the movie came to her while mourning the loss of one grandparent who passed away from Alzheimer’s when a second grandparent passed away suddenly.

“It was hard with one loss that was mourned over a long period of time, and then I was thinking about the differences in grief when mourning a loss that’s more sudden,” Kerr said.

Kerr explained that she got serious about writing the film about two years ago.

“For a while, it lived in my head during 2021-’22. Then eventually, I brought a director on board and really started writing it,” Kerr said.

The film was shot over the course of about three days in Westbrook, Old Saybrook, and Deep River. In particular, Kerr said most of the filming took place at two properties near Old Kelsey Point Road in Westbrook.

Kerr was visiting her mother, who lives in Westbrook, and said she was intrigued by what it would be like to live in a place that is more popular in the summer but still has year-round residents.

“I just love the signs in the windows that say like ‘see you all next season’ and things like that,” Kerr said.

Kerr said the best part of filming for her was seeing the idea that had lived in her head for so long finally come to fruition in front of her.

“It was such a whirlwind and such a joy. It was a really cool experience,” Kerr said.

Of course, there was one scene that was a little difficult for her.

“I wrote a scene for the character I play to go swimming, so last week, when it was 47 degrees out, I went and jumped into Long Island Sound. So that was tough, but I did it to myself since I wrote it,” Kerr said with a laugh.

Kerr said the film was shot using mostly a local cast and crew, including Producer/Unit Production Manager MJ Bernier, Producer JJ Maley, Director Sierra Schnack, Assistant Director Hollye Swine Art, Director of Photography Emu Haynes, 1st AC Joseph Scott, Key Grip Larisa Salazar, Gaffer Farhan Hamdar, Sound Engineer Spencer Emanuel, Production Coordinator Karen Madasci, Production Assistant Calvin Bemis, and Hair and Makeup Artist Kadaejah Muhammad.

“Everyone was great and a joy to work with,” said Kerr.

With filming now over, Kerr said the movie will enter post-production. Kerr said the plan is to submit the film to film festivals in the tri-state area in the fall and winter and said she hopes folks will get to see the film then. In the meantime, people can follow @shoulderseasonfilm on Instagram for updates on the production.