December 25, 2012

Hallowell filmmaker plans gala for opening of short film

By Keith Edwards
Staff Writer

Hallowell real estate developer turned filmmaker Chris Walters wanted the premiere of his new short film to be about more than the film itself.

click image to enlarge

A scene from "Jim Jones Juice," a short film created by Chris Walters of Hallowell.

Contributed photo

So in addition to the debut of "Jim Jones Juice," which was shot with local talent in Hallowell and Westport Island in July, the Saturday premiere will also feature a local funk band, a comedian, a rapper, a disc jockey and displays by local artists.

Together, the film and performers will make up the first -- and Walters hope there will be more in the future -- Jim Jones Traveling Extravaganza Premiere Gala, at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Governor Hill mansion on State Street in Augusta .

"This whole event is intended to support art and entertainment in central Maine," said Walters, 35, who gave up his business as a landlord and construction company owner to pursue his childhood ambition of making films. "It's something that hasn't been done here before. It's the ultimate, awesome way to premiere a film and get exposure for other artists."

In addition to a showing of the approximately 30 minute long "Jim Jones Juice," the extravaganza will also feature Hallowell funk bank Scolded Dogs, Augusta comedian Cale Curlett, Scarborough rapper LOC Da American Bulldog, Hallowell disc jockey DJ Medicin and visual art on display from a local photographer, sculptor and other artists.

Walters wrote, produced, and acted in "Jim Jones Juice," which he describes as a psychedelic comedy that has an environmental message.

The movie, Walters said, has no connection to Jim Jones, the cult leader who ordered the mass suicide of 914 Peoples Temple followers in 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana.

The film stars Augusta actor Dave Benner as an oil-industry lawyer who inadvertently ingests Jim Jones Juice, which Walters said is slang for a beverage made from psychedelic mushrooms. The lawyer has a hallucination-filled adventure in the woods before emerging with a new-pro-environment outlook on life, according to Walters.

Tickets are $15 and available at the door or, in advance, at Hallowell Seafood and Produce.

"Jim Jones Juice" is Walters' second movie. His first, the feature-length gangster movie "SRQ State of Mind," was also shot locally and is currently in post-production. Walters plans to submit that film to film festivals.

Keith Edwards -- 621-5647

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