DECD: Moonshine at Midnight

Moonshine at Midnight

Did you ever notice how Park City, Utah at midnight looks a lot like Stafford Springs, Connecticut, at well, any time of day?  At least thatís how it is for Moonshine, first time filmmaker and Connecticut resident Roger Ingrahamís stylish vampire thriller.  Shot entirely in and around Stafford Springs with a local Connecticut crew, Moonshine debuted to an enthusiastic full house in the Midnight category at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.


Held each January in Park City, Sundance is the premier showcase for American and international independent film. Itís no surprise the competition is fierce for a spot in one of the Sundance screening categories including the unjuried Midnight section which offers a late-night mix of horror, over-the-top comedies, shocking tales, and surreal stories that defy categorization.


Director Roger Ingrahamís Moonshine tells the story of a young convenience store clerk whose passionless existence is altered eternally when a vampire steps out of the shadows.  In his first feature attempt the youngest director at this yearís festival (along with co-writer Lori Isbell) proved that he could add a fresh perspective to an otherwise overdone genre.  And at 22,  Ingraham had successfully leveraged the enthusiasm of his own hometown to make it all happen.  


ďThis production might not have been possible someplace else,Ē says Ingraham.  It was the small Connecticut town that  Ingraham grew up in that opened up the doors to make this possible. The town of Stafford lent him police cars, uniforms, even the town hall. His parents moved out of their house for a month; the camera crew moved in. For $9200 and the cooperation of friends, family and the good people of Stafford Springs, Ingraham shot his first feature film.


Ingrahamís true-life story is the kind of twist of fate plot that good indie- scripts are made of.  Not one to take a conventional approach, Ingraham dropped out of prep- school in favor of being home-schooled.  He then moved to California where he enrolled in Los Angeles City College and searched for work as a production assistant.  Two short films and a Production Assistant job later he returned to Connecticut to write and direct his own film, that was shot in 22 days in June 2004.


But after Moonshine was rejected by the Toronto International Film Festival last summer, Ingraham took it hard.  He hopped a bus to Montana with little more than a tent, a sleeping bag, and a wounded psyche.  Meanwhile, Craig Kestel, an agent for William Morris, happened upon the Moonshine trailer while routinely searching the internet.  He was so impressed that he made great efforts to find Ingraham, who was making great efforts not to be found.  But in the end, Kestel did find Ingraham, or at least a roughcut of the film, and sent it to his contacts at Sundance.  Moonshine was accepted.


Other Connecticut residents attending The 2006 Sundance Film Festival with Moonshine included Rogerís sister and the female lead, Sarah Ingraham, Rogerís parents Ella and Roger C. Ingraham, Production Coordinator Aaliyah Miller of Waterbury, CT, Casting Director Stacey Kline of Woodbridge, CT and publicist Laura Modlin of Easton, CT.



Written by Ellen Woolf, Project Manager

Content Last Modified on 4/27/2006 9:57:07 AM