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Final cut of Athens-filmed movie to get 1st screening at ARTS/West

Although the movie industry might be known for revamps of classics, a local venue presents a film 100 years in the making.

Friday, ARTS/West presents a screening of the film “The Other House,” based off of the book by Rebecca Hooper Eastman.

The film, set in the 1800s in Georgia, follows a woman named Ruth, who is the daughter of a man who aided the Underground Railroad. After a young man is killed dueling for her love, she flees to New Hampshire to be with her older sister.

While at this “other house,” she falls in love with an architect named Elliot who seems to have stolen his deceased colleagues’ prize-winning plans as his own.

The novel, which was written sometime before Eastman’s death in 1937, was privately published by her granddaughter, Amy Abercrombie, after Abercrombie found the manuscript in the 1990s.

Abercrombie had the novel privately published and took a script writing course at the Ohio University School of Film to adapt the novel into a full-length independent film in 2008.

“The novel and the movie have dominated my life for nearly twenty years,” said Abercrombie. “And I am so grateful to all who contributed to making the movie so fine.”

The movie, which was filmed in the summer of 2008, was shot largely in Athens County, as well as Walpole, N.H., which Abercrombie said helped stay true to the setting.

“While we didn’t have budget to go anywhere else, the topography of Athens is very similar to the setting in the book,” Abercrombie said.

Though the film has had many rough screenings, this is the first viewing of the final cut, said Abercrombie.

“I didn’t want to wait, so that’s why we had earlier screenings, but this is the first look at the final product,” Abercrombie said.

Because the movie was filmed in Athens County, the premiere at ARTS/West is appropriate, said Ashley Johnson, program director at ARTS/West.

“One of the functions of ARTS/West is to provide facilities to arts organizations, individual artists and community residents,” Johnson said. “As such, we rent the facility to community residents for a myriad of art events, one being film screenings.”

Though Abercrombie admits the movie may be “old fashioned,” she said she does hope students will attend the screening.

“I know there are a million things to do every weekend, but it would be great to see some students come out to the film,” Abercrombie said.


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