Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Here is a great new film release by writer and director Bethany Ashton Wolf. Please help me in welcoming our first theatrical release to this romance blog! Forever My Girl, a family romance with a touch of music and drama, releases in theaters tomorrow. How exciting!
That’s awesome! Congrats on your new release! 😉
Roadside Entertainment and LD Entertainment are giving us a look at their romance film, Forever My Girl, today.
Great movie cover! So romantic!
This is the info on Forever My Girl:
Forever My Girl tells the story of music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.
Roadside Entertainment and LD Entertainment are thrilled to debut the full-length theatrical trailer for the uplifting family romance Forever My Girl which will be released wide in theaters on January 19th. Forever My Girl is the 7th collaboration for the two companies including multiple Academy Award® nominee Albert Nobbs and Biutiful.
Written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, and based upon the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the film stars Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, Abby Ryder Fortson, Travis Tritt, Judith Hoag and John Benjamin Hickey. The film was produced by Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jennifer Monroe. Executive producers are Alison Semenza King, Nicole Stojkovich and Zach Tann.
Check out the movie trailer here!
We also have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak with the director of the film.
Marie Lavender: Hello, Bethany. Please have a seat.
Bethany Ashton Wolf: Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.
Marie: It’s such a pleasure to see you here! Please tell us a little about Forever My Girl, your latest feature film. What steered you toward working on this project?
Bethany: Female writer to female writer, I’m liking it already! I’m someone that if I read a piece of underlying material, or I have an original idea, and I see the whole entire vision of the film from its inception in my wildly creatively busy brain– aesthetically, audibly, all of its characters, their arcs, back stories, the details in every single scene from what they are wearing to what’s playing on the radio to what’s cooking on the kitchen stove, and I’ll see it in all three acts–I’M IN. I’M OBSESSED. YOU CAN’T STOP ME FROM WANTING TO WRITE AND DIRECT THE FILM. I’M IMMEDIATELY IMMERSED IN THAT NEW WORLD, AND I CAN’T STOP MYSELF OR MY IMAGINATION FROM SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS IN EVERY DIRECTION. It’s a thrilling moment when that happens as a filmmaker. It’s just how my brain naturally processes everything around me, since I was a little girl, and I didn’t know that was even a job growing up. I thought everyone’s brains were making their lives more fantastical around them, filming it in their head, editing it, and making it into something more magical. So, when I see all of that, I HAVE TO GO IN AND PITCH FOR IT, and I was inspired to that degree when I read Heidi’s book (Thank you, Heidi!). I saw the whole world and all of its characters and set pieces, everything that I mentioned above, I saw it for the film version, and I just had to write the screenplay, direct the movie, and develop all of the music for the soundtrack.
Marie: Awesome! So, what is your target audience?
Bethany: Everyone who loves romance, family, friendship, community, redemption, good music, the beauty of a town that has each other’s back in good times and in the difficult times, and likes to laugh, be deeply moved, and fall in love. It’s a romance at its core, but it is also a father/daughter story, a father/son story, a mother/son story, a brother/sister story, a story about finding your way back home to your true self. So basically LIFE. So if you like life and good music, this movie is for you!
Marie: Nice! Have you directed a film or written a screenplay such as this in the past?
Bethany: I have been hired by studios to write other screenplays that involve romance and love, and I’m grateful to say that I always have had something new to say and explore about love in each one. All of my work, screenplays, shorts and my directorial debut film are romances at their center no matter what the genre because love is all there is if we peel it all away and be truthful with ourselves. I’ve written and/or directed films that are epic biopics, sweeping romances, character thrillers, satirical humor, dramas, I’ve even been hired to write films about organ trafficking and time travel, but at the epicenter of all of my films and screenplays, all of the things that we experience in life really concatenates to love, if you think about it. Love is universal. We are either falling in love, seeking love, recovering from the loss of love, or trying to find peace in life without having love of another but just being centered with loving ourselves. Life and everything we do is all really about love, don’t you think?
Marie: Of course!
So, I am curious about something. What was it like working with the cast/crew?
Bethany: I have such immense love for my actors and crew. I would go to the ends of the earth for them. I am by nature, a nurturer and protector. I am a lover, gusher, hugger, but I am also a leader, collaborator, visionary, communicator, and most of all an artist who stands in my truth. I go to great lengths to create an environment where we can all stand in our truth together, a safe haven for all of our artistry to shine together as we step into our pilgrimage of making a film together. I am an actor’s director but I am also a crew’s director. I love my whole team; they become my family, and I will advocate, protect, shield, and move mountains for them all. I’m their leader, and I take that job very seriously. I lead with love, and my goal is to have that love permeate through the whole set and all of production, on through all of my post. I’m a mama bear and they are all my cubs!
Marie: Sounds like quite a family!
As a fiction writer myself, I know location is everything in a story. Is there any special significance to the film’s setting for you? Was this filmed on story location, or on a set/in a different place?
Bethany: Ohhh, this film is a love letter to the place that I was born and raised, Louisiana. I did change the location in the film to Louisiana because I felt that in that whole vision I first saw for the film, this was my opportunity to show the world the beautiful, loving, gracious people that I was raised by and the homespun values I was raised on. The friends, family, and community that I paid witness to growing up, and still witness now when I go home to visit, they are a safe haven of love that truly has each other’s backs in good times and in the extremely difficult. And I think it becomes a love letter to all small towns and communities in our beautiful country of ours. And not just small towns, but the communities within bigger cities. It’s triumphant to witness how we take care of our own in this country in the good times and in the extremely difficult. I think it’s a beautiful reminder for us how wondrous and magnificent we are as a country in the light of all that is going on in the world right now. We have each other’s back, no matter what. We are of light and love in each of our communities; even when faced with great adversity and tragedy, take notice of how communities take care of each other and love each other all over the vast tapestry of our Americana.
Marie: Without giving away any spoilers, what message do you hope our readers might glean from this movie?
Bethany: Forever My Girl is a celebration of love, life, family, friendship, forgiveness, the power of music, and community. I want people to feel that they can always go back home, and that doesn’t necessarily mean literally home. It can, but it can also mean finding your way back to your own truth. That no matter where you are in life, you can always find your way back to your true self. Your authentic self. It’s never too late. And that you can laugh a little, cry a little, and sing a little on that pilgrimage home to self-discovery. And most of all, enjoy the ride! Sit down on your front porch with your family and friends and watch a sunrise together, take in a sunset. It’s there, every day for all of us to witness, no matter where we are in the world.
Much love ♥♥ Bethany
OMG! This looks perfect for ILRB readers.
Thank you for telling us about your new film! It looks great! 🙂
Bethany Ashton Wolf, born and raised in Louisiana, has been a screenwriter and feature film director for the past 15 years. She began her career in the indie world of filmmaking co-writing the controversial short, Don’s Plum, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. She wrote and directed 2 award-winning short films, The Burgundy Room, and Wait, followed by her first independent theatrical feature, the Cajun drama, Little Chenier, which won 21 awards on the festival circuit, including 10 Best Picture Awards and 6 International Best American Film Awards. She has had numerous screenwriting assignments for both independent companies and studios, including, On the 12th Day (Radio London Films), Bullrider (Free To Be A Filmmaker Entertainment), The Pilgrimage of Layla (Riche Productions), along with Other People’s Love Letters (CBS Films & Laurence Mark Productions) and Time Between Us (CBS Films & Schorr Productions). Wolf recently completed a festival run of her short film, Love Scene, based on her screenplay of the same name that chronicles the 25-year love affair of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. The short, in which she wrote and directed, won Best Short and Best Screenplay awards all over the world. Her current feature film that she wrote and directed for LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, Forever My Girl, will be in theaters in January 2018, accompanied by the release of a country star soundtrack that Wolf developed for the film. Wolf is currently in development on another feature film for LD Entertainment, along with writing and directing her next feature film based on the best selling novel, Archer’s Voice.
Writer/Director’s Filmography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0039192/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
Book Link: http://amzn.to/2tXS9G9
Thanks again, Bethany and LD Entertainment! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, perhaps with your next film release.
Happy viewing, everyone!🙂