It started out as an idea to make a home movie in the small town of Sterling and now the kids and producers involved with the project are on their way to Hollywood to walk the red carpet at the International Family Film Festival. "It was actually the idea of our executive producer David and Verssa Walber. It was going to be an end of the school year project so we were looking for something new that wouldn't be re-doing another play or somebody else's script, but we wanted something that would capture the essence of the youth in Alaska, so we created a story about six teenagers and an Alaskan experience that turned their comfortable, self centered lives into a life threatening lesson of survival as an ill-prepared afternoon snowboarding trip turns tragic with injury and sub-zero temperatures. Thus the title '48 Below!" said Tina Wegner who wrote the screenplay.
Josh Butler of Sterling is one of the leads in the movie, "It was just going to be a home movie a small town thing until our producer flew down to Los Angeles and knocked on Archie Archambo's door and he agreed to come to Alaska and help us by directing the film and it turned into something much greater than the home movie type of thing and better than anything any of us had imagined," says Butler, who now works for PEAK Oilfield Services in North Kenai. Kaylee Brusven plays Sadie, the teen who gets injured in the film, "All of us get stranded while snow boarding, we think we know what we're doing but get really don't, just like real life, but we have to end up working together to survive," she said. Tina's son Keenan Wegener also stars in the movie and says there is a strong message in it for all young people, "It shows perseverance, faith, and encouragement through which the power of friendship and the power of God can build relationships. Good family values," said Keenan.
Sunday, March 6th "48 Below" was shown to a sell out crowd at the Ministry of the Living Stones Church in Sterling, with proceeds going to off set the troops expenses while attending the film festival March 14th -22nd. The movie is one out of fifteen that were chosen for screening from more than 100 entries received by the International Family Film Festival (IFFF). Immediately following the IFFF Youth Fest! Film screenings, an awards presentation will be held to include a Movies With A Message Award. The award will be presented by Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), in Emmy award winning TV series The Simpson's. The IFF was founded in 1993 as a "grassroots" non-profit organization to exhibit and advocate for the production of family films.
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