Two students, Laurie Thomas, writer/director, and Carmen Jimenez,
producer, have decided that Lutz, Florida is the perfect place for their
coming of age film piece.
Graduate students in Columbia
's MFA film program, Thomas and Jimenez are currently
residing in Tampa and are in pre-production for the movie, Prima Donna.
After a visit to her brother who lives in Tampa, Thomas found that she
really liked the atmosphere and environment. Thomas says she found Tampa
Bay to be very cinematic and they decided that it'd be the ideal
location for Prima Donna.
Described as a tragic, coming-of-age
is a about a 13-year-old African American girl who is an
aspiring country music singer. The young girl's love for country music
is inspired by her father. The father/daughter team set off on a road
trip toward a singing competition. On the way, the girl's gambling
father convinces her to stop at a gambling party, "... and that's where
their relationship falls apart," says Thomas giggling, as she doesn't
want to give away the juicy bits of the film.
The short-piece Supertwins
is a sample project and an exploration of the film, working in the
themes and ideas that Jimenez and Thomas are exploring for Prima Donna.
and Jimenez thought the most difficult part of the film would be
casting a 13-year-old African American girl who sings country music,
however, that turned out to be the easiest part of the project. Working
with local Tampa and St. Petersburg middle and high schools, they held
casting calls with the drama departments and found their lead. Actors in
the film are: Sabri Morgan, Ronald Graham and Vincent Stalba.
pre-production, Prima Donna is in team-building stages, finding
resources like locations and equipment, and holding rehearsals with the
actors. The shoot dates are August 7-11, 2010, and they'll be finalizing
the last of their production needs before going into the five-day
for more information
about Prima Donna, or here
to contribute or donate to the Prima Donna film project.
Laurie Thomas, Prima Donna