‘Lost’ Film Comes Home
Next Thursday, an award-winning independent film will show what two country boys from Woodlake can accomplish when they follow their dreams.
Directed by brothers Ian and Eshom Nelms of Woodlake, “Lost On Purpose” will make its Tulare County debut during a premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at Tulare Galaxy Theaters. The film has garnered critical acclaim at some of the film industry’s most prestigious festivals, including Best Film at the Beverly Hills, Reelheart and Trindie Fest film festivals and a Best Film nomination at the Hollywood Film Festival. The brothers themselves received the Best Directors award at the Firstglance Film Festival.
Getting noticed at such prestigious film festivals isn’t easy. The notoriety of the film was greatly enhanced by its star power. Veteran television and film actors such as Jane Kaczmarek and C. Thomas Howell gave the film instant credibility. Kaczmarek is best know for her role as mother Lois on the hit TV series Malcom In The Middle and is a three-time Golden Globe nominee for the show. Howell is best known for his role as Ponyboy Curtis in “The Outsiders” (1983).
Perhaps the biggest name in the movie is Academy Award winning actress Octavia Spencer. Spencer won the Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Minny Jackson in The Help (2011), which was nominated for Best Picture at both award shows. Spencer plays Nurse Keller in Lost On Purpose.
For those not familiar with the filmmakers, the Nelms brothers began writing the script for ‘Lost On Purpose’ in 2007 while living in Hollywood. It’s a story about five renegade ranch hands hired by a gin-drinking, third-generation dairy farmer who is determined to operate outside the region’s domineering dairy co-ops. Unfortunately, women, booze, and fisticuffs can only lead to one outcome: trouble.
The narrative is driven by Mrs. Liz (Kaczmarek), whose dairy farm is reporting its third straight deficit year, and her volatile feud with Delbert Furgeson (Howell), owner of the co-op, who is pushing to buy her out.
Sharing the narrative are the ranch hands. Randel and Rooker Lee are brothers caught in the crossfire of their parents’ separation. Leslie Williams and Jackie Remmington are aspiring musicians trying not to get caught up in their own success. Wade Kitchanski is striving to find his own path outside the family paint business. The title of the movie is derived from the ranch hand characters, who are essentially “Lost On Purpose” because they don’t want any commitments or responsibilities getting in the way of having fun.
Randel is played by Clovis native Aaron Hill, whose credits include a lead role in the TV series “Greek.” Hill’s on-screen brother, Rooker Lee, is played by TV star James Lafferty of One Tree Hill. Wade Kitchanski is played by the Nelms’ brothers longtime friend and actor Tom Fugedi, who has appeared in Nelms’ last movie, ‘Night of the Dog.’
The ranch hands are rounded out by Mike Lawson, who plays the role of Leslie Williams, and Peter Donovan, who plays Jackie Remmington. As the boys struggle to find direction, Ms. Liz and Delbert Furgeson launch into a full-blown war.
The movie was filmed at locations throughout Tulare County in spring 2011, including the lobby of Buckman-Mitchell Group as the dairy co-op headquarters, the Runway Café at the Woodlake Airport, the Pumphouse Bar in Visalia, etc. In fact, all but two scenes in the movie were filmed entirely in Tulare County over 35 days of shooting. To learn more about the movie like them on Facebook or check them out on Internet Movie Database at IMDb.com.
After graduating from Mt. Whitney High School, Ian and Eshom decided to move to Hollywood in 2002. Along with four friends they began working on scripts and making short films. They shot their first film in the Sequoia National Park for only $1,500 over seven days. But their first real break came in 2006 when “The Six” directed a series of four short films that all took place at a movie theatre in the span of one night and each dealt in its own way with the common theme of men dealing with women. The movie, “Night of the Dog,” won the Gold Vision Award for best independent film at the Palm Beach Film Festival in 2007. A trailer of the movie can be seen on YouTube.com.
But making a feature length film took a little bit more capital. Last May the brothers launched a fund-raising campaign on KickStarter.com, a site where people can donate toward an artistic project. The all-or-nothing website requires you to raise the money before the deadline or none of the donor transactions go through and the artists get nothing. The campaign helped the movie raise $41,000 needed to finalize the movie for digital film and theatre surround sound.
Now that Hollywood critics and peers have seen the film, Ian and Eshom friends and neighbors will finally get a chance to see it next week. The Red Carpet Premier at Tulare Galaxy Theatres cost $25 per person and includes a ticket to the screening and Q and A session, a Digital Download of the film, an 11×17 signed poster and admission to the catered after party to hang with cast and crew.
The after party will also feature a live performance from actor/ musician Peter Donovan of “All The Real Girls” as he plays signature tracks from the film, and listen to a comedy set by renowned comedian and actor Sean Carrigan. The after party is hosted by Bravo Farms and the Tulare County Film Commission, with catering By Bravo Farms and Rosa Brothers Ice Cream at Bravo Farms in the Tulare Outlet Center, 1691 Retherford in Tulare. Unfortunately the event sold out of all 218 tickets. For more information on the screening, visit http://www.tugg.com/events/7451 .