Local indie film tearing up silver screens

by Wynce Nolley

A Sort of Homecoming is gaining momentum on the indie film festival circuit.

A Sort of Homecoming

It’s been nearly a year since A Sort of Homecoming wrapped up production in Lafayette, and the film has been gaining momentum in the independent film festival circuit, having recently received an honorable mention at the Omaha International Film Festival — the second highest recognition the festival can offer. The film had two screenings over the weekend at the World Film Fest in Houston on Saturday, followed by the Boston International Film Festival on Sunday.

“We’re trying to strategically find the festivals that we thought were a good fit for an independent film with a niche market with festivals or areas that had a featured debate culture,” says Marcus Brown, who co-produced the film with his wife Yvette.

A Sort of Homecoming tells the story of a woman who left her small hometown 20 years ago after a life-altering event surrounding her high school debate partner. According to Brown, the film received a widely positive reception from audiences during Q&A interviews for its authentic story and relatable characters.

“Audience members were very intrigued and some of the more interesting comments that the interviews provided was that they were very pleased to see a story about real people and real events that people actually go through,” says Brown. “It was really nice to hear a level of appreciation for that type of story telling.”

“There were also comments about speech and debate, too,” adds Yvette Brown. “A lot of kids don’t realize that that’s a competitive outlet for some of the kids who are not athletes. So it was nice to see some of those kids being represented in the film.”

After last weekend’s screenings, the film will be featured in the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 27. From there Brown says they hope the film will have its own sort of homecoming with a special screening at Southern Screen Film Festival in the early summer once they've finished their festival run.

Brown is also producing two more locally shot projects set in Acadiana.

The first is Dirt Road to Lafayette, which features a director, producer, cinematographer and writer who all hail from Scotland, and tells the story of a father and son who come to America and find their way to Lafayette during Festival International, which greatly impacts the son and his desire for independence.

The second is Forked Island — a film focusing on social responsibility and how the energy industry is just as much a part of Acadiana culture as the preservation of French Heritage.

And while Brown is mostly pre-occupied these days with his duties as a producer, he's also getting serious exposure as an actor having just landed a supporting lead role on the film Beyond Deceit starring Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins and Julia Stiles. It's currently shooting in New Orleans.

“I play Anthony Hopkins’ head of security,” says Brown. “So being able to work with Anthony Hopkins in almost every one of my scenes is great and it’s just a great learning experience. I also had a scene with Al Pacino, which was nice as well.”

According to Brown, the film was just picked up by Lionsgate Entertainment and is set to release sometime in 2016.

“We’re really excited about where it’s going to go,” he adds. “And so I’m just happy and pleased to be a part of it.”