"Farewell, Harry, hello, Bainbridge"
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:00 PM
"The twilight zone between memory and fiction is a place where creativity thrives.So, it seems, is Bainbridge - which is why writing director Garrett Bennett has chosen to set his film right here on the island where he grew up. My film has a timeless, magical feel, Bennett said. I'm familiar enough with the Island to know it will make the ideal fictitious setting. Bennett said he hopes to shoot his cinematic debut around local courtyards, harbors and old farm houses, amongst other locations. Drawing on his theater background and his experience of collaborative projects, Bennet says he views his film, Farewell to Harry, as a relatively low-budget venture as that will capitalize on the resources of all involved.Having trained at the American Film Institute, Bennett founded the Annex Theater on the Island in 1982; it later moved to Seattle. Three years ago, he began writing the film, which he says focuses on one man's dream to turn an old hat factory into a vaudeville production house, and charts a journey through the loves and losses that reconcile him to his past. Bennett describes the film as potentially classy and humorous. With the final cut scheduled for the end of this year, he intends to take the film to Paramount and Miramax and premiere it at the Sundance Film Festival next January.Total budget is expected to be under $500,000 for the film, with an anticipated running time of 100 minutes and a targeted rating of PG13. In the mean time, producer Neil Weinberger and cinematographer Peter Levy - an island resident who has worked on various Hollywood productions - share his keenness to stress that any community support is welcome. With casting scheduled for July, they are looking for islanders to fill the roles of extras and smaller roles. The company has set up a production office in the old Bainbridge Cleaners building on lower Madison Avenue.Thursday, as he settled down to work in the old building, which he is grateful to Mike Okano for allowing him to use, Bennett admitted that there is a lot to be done to make his dream film a reality.He is, however, pleased to be back on the island. This place is full of childhood memories, said Bennett. That's a fact.Help is needed with costume and art direction, Bennett said. The production office can be reached at 842-3567."