Feature Film to be Shot on Iron Range

Posted at: 11/15/2012 11:42 AM
Updated at: 11/15/2012 10:53 PM

nullA feature film called "Thanksgiving at Denny’s" is set to be shot on the Iron Range early next year.

The plans were announced Thursday by Minnesota Film and TV, a public/private film commission.  The movie will be produced by Washington Square Films and Griffin Productions.

"As the son of an Iron Ranger, I’m particularly proud to produce 'Thanksgiving at Denny’s' in my hometown," said Griffin Productions president Jerry Seppala in a prepared statement. "The film production will have a positive impact on the local economy and I’m excited for Hollywood A-Listers to experience the most beautiful place on earth."

Seppala's father was from Virginia. He has since passed away. But Seppala said many family still live in the region.

The announcement described the film as "a dramatic adult comedy about a bi-polar, 6’4” overweight computer programmer who gets laid off from his job in Chicago. He returns to his hometown on the Range to win the heart of a trailer park vixen with whom he has been obsessed since high school."

Seppala said there's several reasons they're going to film on the Range. "One, it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. Two, there's a willing workforce. Three, it will expose people to this area. And four, it makes financial sense for us,"

The film's actors were not immediately announced.  It will be the directorial debut for Josh Blum of Washington Square Films.

Minnesota Film and TV said Washington Square Films and Griffin Productions are also in talks to produce other films in the state. Seppala said there's the possibility of 12 films in the next 3-5 years.

The last time a major movie was filmed on the Range was during the "North Country" days. That was released in 2005.

Seppala said that the budget for "North Country" is similar to theirs for this film, and that "North Country" made a $6 million dollar impact on the region.