RANGELEY, MAINE – The Guide, a new independent feature movie filmed entirely on location in and around Rangeley and Rumford, will receive its official Maine premier at the prestigious 16th Maine International Film Festival (www.MIFF.org) on July 14th in Waterville. The film tells the story of a distraught Maine woodsman who reluctantly agrees to guide two New Yorkers on a buck hunt in the frozen wilderness of northwestern Maine and finds his sanity slipping away as the wreckage that his hunting set in motion a year before catches up with him.
“I wanted to tell a story about my neck of Maine that captures the people and landscape up here that are unique to this part of the state,” says the film’s writer-director, John Meyers, of Rangeley. “The hero of the story, Maine Guide Joe Dawkins, embodies the quiet nobility that comes naturally to so many folks who live in these isolated mountains.”
After a sold-out world premier at the Manhattan Film Festival on June 21st, the 90-minute dramatic thriller lands at MIFF poised to demonstrate to audiences what is possible with a relatively tiny budget and a ton of heart.
Rangeley businesswoman Nancy Aggers Bessey served as the project’s executive producer and pulled together a cadre of local residents who together raised the film’s entire budget because they recognized in Meyers’ screenplay and vision a Maine story that deserved telling. “What a joy it is to be joined by like-minded folks willing to pool resources to help create this project,” says Bessey. “We all share a great love for this region and its incredible inhabitants and are so gratified that others will soon come to see and feel how special it is to be here.”
Meyers cast the film out of Los Angeles and New York except for one character who was portrayed by emerging Rangeley actress Ashley Quimby. With just a crew of eight, Meyers managed to squeeze what most independent films take four weeks to shoot into the 12 shortest days of the year in December’s waning daylight. “I wanted a winter’s film, and that we surely got,” says Meyers. “Zero degree temps and two feet of snow made the filming a constant and often dangerous challenge for everyone. The payoff for the collective sacrifice, however, is a movie that feels as cold to audiences as it actually was for all of us. I believe it gives the film real heart.”
Next up for filmmaker Meyers after promoting The Guide is his film adaptation Being Dead – the award-winning novel by esteemed British author Jim Crace. The Maine-filmed movie is slated to begin shooting in July of 2014.
This article was written by Rangeley News Hound