A movie based on Pamela Parker’s play “Second Samuel” and filmed in the Dothan area recently won two awards at a London film festival and is a finalist in a Florida film festival.
“Second Samuel,” directed by Dothan resident Wayne Patterson through the IHYSM Studios he founded, received the award for Best International Narrative/Fiction Feature Film at the London International Motion Picture Awards held last week in England. One of the movie’s stars, Bethany Anne Lind, also won Best International Actress. Lind appeared as a pastor’s wife in the first season of the Netflix series “Ozark.”
Set in the 1940s in the small Georgia town of Second Samuel, the story unfolds through the eyes of a young man named B-Flat, played by actor Hamilton Sage, as he corresponds by letter with President Harry S. Truman. The story delves into themes of intolerance and community as the town’s residents react to the death of Miss Gertrude – a beloved piano teacher who had a secret.
The movie is a finalist in the Southeast Regional Film Festival to be held this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida. Netflix and Amazon Prime are both listed among the production and distribution partners with that festival. “Second Samuel” has also been accepted for film festivals in Nashville in June and Philadelphia in July.
“I think it connects on a human level,” Patterson said of the film and the play behind it. “With this film, you laugh, you cry, you recognize your crazy family members. Then, it ultimately reminds us that all of us have a secret here and there and that, regardless of that, we’re supposed to love our neighbor.”
The movie was shot in locations in the Wiregrass, including Dothan’s Landmark Park, and featured many locals in the cast as well as behind the scenes. Along with Patterson, local photographer Scott Kennedy was the director of photography on the movie and Chord Buddy founder Travis Perry was the movie’s musical director. Enterprise resident Stan Houston, who appeared in “Selma,” also stars in the movie, along with Patti Rutland Simpson, who founded Patti Rutland Jazz in Dothan.
“Second Samuel” has not been shown locally because filmmakers did not want to hurt chances for distribution since most film distributors want to set a movie’s release.
Patterson said nobody involved thought about winning awards when they submitted the movie to film festivals. It’s just part of the process for independent filmmakers looking for a distributor for their projects, he said. Awards, of course, can bring attention to a film.
“Right now, we’re submitted for film festivals from Nashville to New York to San Francisco to Austin, Texas, and just about everywhere in between, including Toronto and Australia,” said Patterson, who will be at the Jacksonville festival this weekend with about 80 Wiregrass residents who were involved in the movie’s making.
It’s exciting to get recognition for the film, Patterson said, and to show the Wiregrass has talent to offer the film industry along with Alabama’s larger cities.
“Birmingham and Mobile are doing a lot of exciting things with film – and Huntsville – but nothing in this corner,” Patterson said. “I’m excited about the possibility of moving forward and doing future projects.”