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Chilson tale becomes film; Ti showing set Nov. 2

TICONDEROGA A bit of Hollywood is coming to Ticonderoga. Zach Donohue, a Ticonderoga native, will show his award-winning movie Bitter Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Ticonderoga Community Building. The works of other local filmmakers will also be shown. A 2004 Ti High graduate, Donohue is a film student at New York University. Last winter he brought a crew to Chilson to make a film based on a true story. The showing will be a nice celebration of all the efforts put forth in making Bitter a successful project, Donohue said. The Ticonderoga Film Festival promises to be an entertaining night filled with great movies, special guests and refreshments. The film recently won the Oliver Stone Screenwriting Award and was screened at The Ed Wood Peoples Film Festival in Albany where it received positive reviews from Pulitzer-Prize winning author William Kennedy. Bitter was shot on location last year during one of the worst snowstorms to hit our area, Donohue said. Bitter tells the haunting true story of Alice Sherm, a hardened Adirondack woman who lived outside the law in a world of abusive and violent men, he said. The film stars Mystic Rivers Tori Davis as the lead role of Alice Sherm. Writer VJ Mochel stars as her oafish suitor, Albert Smith. Josh Folan, independent horror movie star and guest actor for All My Children and As The World Turns, performances as a local detective. Chilson resident Jim Davis also has a role in several scenes. Along with a crew of 10 from New York City, Donohue was aided by members of the local community. Lois Gunning, author of the book Up On Chilson Hill, housed the cast and helped with meal preparation for three days. Charles and Polly Gonyea wrangled their horse for several blustery night scenes. Jim and Jean Treadway volunteered the use of their cabin for the set. Trapper Jim Hebert offered all of his furs for art design and local artist Bryan McCormack helped to dress the cabin to compliment the late 1800s setting. When the snowstorm hit late in the night, Jim OBryan helped to plow a path to the set for the crew and actors. The directors parents, Dave and Shirley Donohue, were on-call with production assistance to keep the shoot moving smoothly for a total of 72 hours. Donohue also acknowledged the contributions of local investors, Reale Construction, DeFranco Landscaping, Treadway Fuels, and RA Films/RA Press. Donohue plans to send the film out to more film festivals, and is currently planning for his next project, a comedy about a high school reunion gone sour. Filming for this production will begin early this coming spring, with the location yet to be decided. As a soon-to-be NYU film graduate, Donohue hopes his two short films will be the gateway to a future career in directing and screenwriting.

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