Bellarmine Hall Hosts Movie Project, Dustin Hoffman
It all started last November with a call from location scout Frank Trotta to Martha Milcarek, assistant vice president for brand management and public relations and University liaison for film production on campus. “Could I come tomorrow and scout your campus for an independent film I’m involved in?”
Four months, and many, many “scouts” later, Fairfield University is hosting Informant Media’s production of Boychoir, starring Academy Award-winning actors Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates, and directed by François Girard (The Red Violin).
The film portrays the story of a troubled and angry 11-year old boy from rural Texas who is admitted to a prestigious East Coast choir school. Completely out of his element, the chorister finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding choirmaster (played by Hoffman), who recognizes a unique talent in the young boy and pushes him to find his creative self in music.
The production company will be filming for 28 days in Connecticut, three of them on campus in Bellarmine Hall the first week in March.As part of the location agreement, Hoffman and Girard discussed Boychoir and their careers in film, television, and theatre during an event on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The event was moderated by Fairfield Art History Professor, Philip Eliasoph.
The duo played to a full house of members of the University community, as well as more than 100 Town of Fairfield residents who submitted their names in a random drawing. The residents’ tickets were provided by the University in celebration of the 375th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Fairfield. On hand for the occasion were the representatives of the State Film Commission; Town of Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau; and Bob Hojnacki and Julie DeMeo, co-chairs of the 375th Anniversary Committee; as well as producers, and members of the cast and production team for Boychoir.
The event, billed as “An Award-Winning Conversation with Dustin Hoffman and François Girard,” received rave reviews from many individuals, including politics major Eric Lynch ’14, who said, “I was so moved by these humble geniuses. Hoffman’s inspirational thoughts on every person’s unique nature was a great compliment to Girard’s chilling reflection on the struggle to dedicate your life to beauty and art. Both men shared perspectives that I believe my peers and I needed to hear about hard work and integrity. The words of these men will certainly be guiding me in my final 100 days in Stag Country.”
Milcarek indicated that many individuals on campus are contributing to the efforts to make the filming here a good experience for all concerned. Staff from the Conference and Event Management Office have been integral to the planning process, and others from Public Safety and Facilities Management all play a role, Milcarek said.“It is a privilege to host these artists, and I hope the entire University community may join in the excitement that our beautiful campus has been selected for this project.”
The film release date is late 2014 or early 2015.