October 24, 2010

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Film about female war veteran is shooting in Newburgh

NEWBURGH – A new movie is being filmed in the Hudson Valley, specifically in the City of Newburgh as well as smaller sets in the area.

The film, titled “Return” and written and directed by Liza Johnson, is the story of a young woman named Kelli returning from war in Afghanistan and, according to producer Noah Harlan, about how she returns to civilian life.

“The film is ostensibly set in southeastern Ohio where the director grew up and we wanted to find an area that had a lot of those qualities to it and Newburgh made a lot of sense for us,” Harlan said on why Newburgh was chosen for the film. “It’s got great proximity to New York City so we were able to get a lot of crew and equipment there. In particular, this area had that look that we were looking for. It’s a mixture of a kind of de-industrialized landscape with a lot of natural beauty and the river.”

The crew is currently three weeks into a scheduled five-week filming process at the Holden Home on Grand Street in the City of Newburgh. The 17,500 square foot property, which is owned by St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and currently for sale at around $610,000 was opened up to the crew for the film, according to Harlan and Jane Livingston, the director of Communications for the hospital.

“Our character in the film, she kind of hits the skids a little bit and gets busted for a DUI,” Harlan said. “In order to get her car back and be able to keep her kids, she has to go into a residential rehab program. We were looking for a gray, old facility that had that kind of communal living space and wasn’t ultra-modern, and had a lot of classical architecture.”

The film is intended to look at the way the war has affected female veterans upon their return, rather than the much more common stories of men returning from warzones and struggling to deal with what they have seen, according to writer/director Liza Johnson.

The film will star Linda Cardellini as Kelli, and actors Mike Shannon and Tim Blake Nelson.


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