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Midwestern Film Deals With Depression

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The death of actor and comedian, Robin Williams, has heightened awareness this week for mental illness and depression. Bringing that struggle to the forefront is the goal of a Midwest  film that explores the journey from depression to hope. The film, Belleville, shot in Belleville, Illinois, is headed for Wehrenberg Galaxy 16 Cine in Cedar Rapids.

The movie was created by Ted Trent Studios and Circa 87 out of Los Angeles. Trent and the film’s writer/director, Dan Steadman, both grew up in the Midwest, Trent in Southern Illinois, Steadman, in Michigan.  The film also features Midwestern actors.Trent happens to play one of the main characters, Neila, which is “alien” spelled backwards.

The film explores the journey of a farmer, Willie, who lost his wife who has subsequently become a recluse, emerged in depression.

"Depression is everywhere, it's not something that is just found in a big city,” Denise Austin who did photography for the movie said.

In the film, Neila helps Willie deal with his depression. He helps show Willie that he still has friends and helps bring him back into the community he’s been shying away from

“It’s incredible, it can give you goose bumps when you’re watching it," Austin said.

And Wehrenberg is now doing something unusual; giving an Indie film with Midwestern roots a run on the silver screen in 13 of its theatres

“Being a family run theatre, Wehrenberg loves the opportunity to focus on and be able to show local and regional films, support people who are making films in the area,” Wilcox said.

The movie begins playing at the Galaxy 16 Cine in Cedar Rapids on Septemeber 5th. Trent will be there that evening to meet audience members.

Additionally, the studios that created Belleville will also be casting for another Midwestern focused sports film on both the 5th and 6th of September at Wehrenberg.

Below is the information released by the studios on the casting:
The auditions will happen simultaneously, with casting directors on hand in all 13 cities Friday, September 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, September 6, from noon to 4 p.m. Participants need not be professional actors.
This event is open to anyone in the community, of any age, who would like to talk about his or her love of sports– or perform a monologue of their choice. “You can tell an interesting or funny story about playing a sport or
simply make up something to share about the subject,” says Trent. “You might even want to tell us how you aren’t good at sports. Remember, it’s acting!” adds Trent.
Participants are asked to limit their auditions to 2-3 minutes in time. Auditions will be held largely on a first come, first-seen basis.


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