Roanoke– A film made by a Cave Spring High School graduate, which stars his brother, is hitting the big screen in Roanoke next week. “Blue Ridge” will be shown at the Grandin Theatre in Grandin Village on Thursday, June 14. Writer and director Vincent Sweeney, who filmed it in 2008 in what looked like an abandoned mobile home park near New Castle, is scheduled to be at the Grandin and to answer questions after the 7:30 p.m. showing of the movie.
His brother Eric Sweeney, who graduated from CSHS in 1993, plays bad boy J.T.
The film is billed as “a rural tale of love and hate.” Sara’s grandfather, her last living relative, dies, and she falls in love with the troubled J.T. who lives in the trailer park in the country. They dream of running off together to work at an amusement park at the beach.
In the opening lines from the trailer (preview) of the movie, Sara says to J.T.:
“I love you and I don’t have nothing without you. I know you love me, too.”
“Felt like one of those love stories I’d always hear about and how it fills you all warm with fuzz, like when I was a little girl in my Daddy’s arms, I felt like my life was just starting…”
“Ever thought about moving somewhere? J.T. asks. “Ever been to the beach?” Sara answers, “I’ve always wanted to see one.”
“Blue Ridge” is scheduled to be available on DVD on Amazon.com in July. The movie’s Facebook page is at www.blueridgemovie.com.
Sweeney, who grew up in the Cave Spring area of Roanoke, explained he is “mostly living in LA right now because of the nature of dealing with film production, and I feel like I’m sort of a dual citizen.” He declined to say exactly how old he is, but admitted he is in his 30s.
Sweeney graduated from Cave Spring High School and was a volunteer firefighters with the Cave Spring Fire Department for 10 years, starting when he was 16. And yes, Eric Sweeney is his brother and graduated from CSHS in 1993. Their dad, Jerry Sweeney, still lives in the area.
Although the film is not yet rated, there is some “light R-rated material,” Sweeney pointed out, “and it is considered a dark comedy/drama. It won an award at the Virginia Independent Film Festival the year it was shot. Since then, Sweeney and others have worked to tighten up the formerly 97-minute movie, added the music that starts with “I’m Just a Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger,” and made other changes.
“The bulk of the film was shot in Craig County,” he said in an email interview last week from Los Angeles where he is currently living. “There are some shots in Giles such as the covered bridge near Mountain Lake, in an adult book store in Roanoke, Sissy’s Flea Market in Bassett, Va., Virginia Beach and Baltimore,” he added. And at one point, Sara and J.T. are crossing a swinging rope bridge Craig people will definitely recognize as being in the county.