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October 11, 2012

Home Movie: City native’s film getting big-screen treatment at Westgate Cinemas

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County native Chris Pappas moved back to New Castle from Los Angeles to make movies.

No, that’s not backward.

After years of living in New York and, more recently, L.A. — plus having roles in more than 25 feature films and guest spots in another 25 to 30 television shows — Pappas came home to where it all began.

His first effort will have its New Castle debut at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Westgate Cinemas in Union Township.

The film, “Tunnel Vision,” was shot entirely in New Castle, and many local sites make appearances in the story.

“This movie was never written to be filmed in L.A,” said Pappas, who goes professionally by the name Cristos. “It is a gritty, raw film like ‘The Deer Hunter.’ It was written for New Castle.”

Pappas says the film, which he co-wrote with Scotty Barry, was begun in 1994. They would meet at a Starbucks out in L.A. and write three pages a day.

“It’s taken 18 years to get it to this point,” Pappas said.

The film had its world premiere last month as one of only nine films selected for the Urban World International Film Festival in New York City. Urban World is sponsored by BET and HBO, and showcases films with urban themes or settings selected from among thousands of entries.

At the festival, the film received a full red-carpet world premiere, as well as public viewings in a Big Apple theater. Since then, it has garnered notice by New York reviewers and even Variety Magazine.

Pappas describes the film as a suspense thriller about a motorcycle mechanic whose family is murdered by a serial killer. It follows his search for justice. According to Pappas, “This is not just another typical revenge tale. It is twisty-turny, a real cat-and-mouse game with suprises at every turn.”

The film already has a distribution deal, and will make its way to video after limited theatrical runs, which are beginning this weekend at Westgate. DVDs of the film will be available nationally Jan. 22.

Pappas can’t say enough about the support he has received in New Castle from all his backers. From the mayor and police chief, to the average citizens and local actors who all came out to be a part, he is grateful for all the support and assistance. He hopes residents will flock to see the film this weekend on the big screen.

“Once this one is out there and starting to see some returns, I plan on starting my next project,” he said. “It will also be shot in New Castle, but it is all about quality, not quantity.

“It may be another couple of years —  but it won’t be another 18 years!”

 

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