"Holler" poster crop

Film Shot in Jackson to Premiere at Tri-City Theatre

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Holler, a short movie that was filmed in the Jackson area last year will be shown at the Tri-City Theatre, also in Jackson, on April 5.

The writer/director/producer, Nicole Riegel, has Jackson County roots.
 Riegel, a 2003 graduate of Jackson High School and a graduate of Wright State University, received her MFA in writing from UCLA. In 2013, Riegel adapted Robert Boswell’s short story Smoke as part of an anthology produced by James Franco, which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival.

That same year she wrote her breakthrough script, Dogfight, which landed on Hollywood’s Blacklist. In 2014 she was a Sundance Institute Writing Lab Fellow for her original screenplay Lynch. Additionally, Riegel was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 Faces of Independent Film” and wrote a drama set in Africa for Justin Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment.

Last year, Riegel wrote a war film for 20th Century Fox, to be directed by Cary Fukunaga. She is currently expanding Holler into a feature film to be shot in southern Ohio, and writing and co-producing the HBO mini-series Soldier Girls with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

While making Holler, the people of Jackson, Wellston and Coalton came together to help the filmmakers tell their story. Part of the short was filmed at the local 4-H Camp, Canter’s Cave, where the camp director, Anita Harris, offered up her home and the surrounding grounds to film the climax of the story.

Coon (portrayed by Peanut Edmonson) and Blaze (Cody Oppel) star in Nicole Riegel's “Holler.” (photo provided)
Coon (portrayed by Peanut Edmonson) and Blaze (Cody Oppel) star in Nicole Riegel’s “Holler.” (photo provided)

Jeffrey “Woody” Wilson , the owner of Woody’s Towing & Auto Repair in Coalton, also opened his doors to the team, allowing them to transform both his business and his home into one of the key sets of the film.
Ron Osborne, who runs one of the two scrap yards in Jackson, made the opening shot of the film possible by cutting off pieces of an old fire engine so that the camera could be placed where needed.

“(Wilson’s) team also cleared out a whole section of 10-foot tall scrap metal so that our crew could move around the yard. In addition, Ronnie helped secure other locations,” said the filmmakers in a press release.
“Like Anita, Ronnie and Woody, many others lent a helping hand. For example, Tiny and John, who run the Rocky Creek Campground, let us film in one of their cabins, Debbie and Bob, local farmers and active community leaders, allowed us in their barn, and Nea Henry, a prominent real estate agent in the area, housed a large number of the crew in her own home.”

The locations in Holler show the history of these towns by juxtaposing isolated, decaying buildings and infrastructure with the beauty of the surrounding nature.

“Additionally, the people that inhabit this part of the country are some of the kindest, most generous and trusting that you will find,” the filmmakers added.

The film is as much an ode to the people and the spirit of small town Ohio as it is the story of Blaze and Coon.
Holler is dedicated to those people and that spirit.

The film tells the story of Coon and Blaze, who are two young brothers growing up in small town southern Ohio. Not only are they brothers, but they’re inseparable best friends. Their story is set against a rust belt town where jobs are disappearing, factories are closing and many young people are struggling. These are the children left behind, and while the world moves on, they must find a way to get by.

Holler will premiere in Jackson County on Tuesday, April 5, at 6 p.m. at the Tri-City Theatre, 972 E. Main St., Jackson. A meet-and-greet reception, with light refreshments, will follow at the Markay Cultural Arts Center, 269 E. Main St., Jackson.
Those attending the reception will have an opportunity to meet Riegel and producer Adam Cobb, as well as actors Cody Oppel (Blaze) and Andrew Herriage (Hark).

Tickets to the event are free, but must be reserved in advance by visiting the The Walnut Hills Neighborhood Box Office at the Markay Cultural Center, which is open Wednesday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. or by calling 740-577-3841. Tickets are also available via the Southern Hills Arts Council at 740-286-6355.

 Please note that the film has some language and violence.