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New Movie Has Salem Locales, Staff Involved

A new film, Wesley, which will have its nationwide premiere on Saturday, November 14 in Winston-Salem, features close ties to Salem Academy and College. The film, by Foundery Pictures, tells the story of Methodist Church founder John Wesley and his brother, hymn composer Charles Wesley, and a portion of their...

A new film, Wesley, which will have its nationwide premiere on Saturday, November 14 in Winston-Salem, features close ties to Salem Academy and College.

The film, by Foundery Pictures, tells the story of Methodist Church founder John Wesley and his brother, hymn composer Charles Wesley, and a portion of their lives in Savannah, GA and England. Well-known actors in the film include Burgess Jenkins (Remember the Titans/The Reaping), June Lockhart (Lassie/Lost in Space), Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Keith Harris (Big Fish/Junebug).

There were 76 speaking parts in the movie and more than 160 extras, most of those roles filled by people from the Triad (including some Salem alumnae).

There are many local ties within the film. The director, John Jackman, is the senior pastor of Trinity Moravian Church in Winston-Salem and an award-winning filmmaker. One of the producers is Lovinder Gill (a former Salem College visiting professor). Almost 100 percent of the film was shot at Salem Academy and College, Old Salem, Graylyn and Historic Bethabara Park to recreate early Savannah, Georgia, 18th century London and Oxford. Several costumes used in the film came from Salem Academy’s theatre department. Liz May, Salem’s Fine Arts Center technical director, did the sound mixing on the movie and the post-production audio. This was a particular challenge as May had to spend hundreds of hours doing digital removal of "modern" sounds such as auto exhaust, airplanes and HVAC.

The world premiere of Wesley will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 14 at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. For ticket information, call the Center box office at (336) 721-1945.  A number of the actors who starred in the film will be present for a meet-and-greet and autograph opportunity after the screening.
 
Other screenings are planned for November 13-19 in Charlotte, NC as well as during January and February, 2010 in Atlanta and Savannah, GA; St. Simons Island, SC; Franklin, NC (Smoky Mountains/Lake Junaluska); Greensboro, NC; Fargo, ND; Nashville, TN; and Dallas and Houston, TX.

For details about Wesley, visit the film’s website at www.wesleythemovie.com.