LMC alum screens film for locals

Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre was the venue Saturday evening April 8 for a special showing of “Forgotten Evil,” the latest film from Director Anthony C. Ferrante of “Sharknado” fame.

Ferrante, an Antioch native and Los Medanos College alumnus presented the film —which was shot mostly in Antioch — along with cast members to a theater full of cheering and supportive fans, friends and Antioch locals.

“Forgotten Evil” is a thriller filmed for the Lifetime network, which tells the story of Renee (Masiela Lusha) who suffers amnesia after a traumatic near death experience. After waking up in a hospital Renee befriends her attending nurse Mariah (Angie Teodora) while she attempts to regain her memories and simultaneously navigates a budding romance with a young man visiting his sick mother, Randy (Kyle McKeever). In quintessential Lifetime fashion love interests are suspect and peril ensues.

The audience was lively and during the films climax cheers erupted for the film’s heroine along with jeers for the villain. After the screening, Ferrante and the cast answered questions from the audience, some of whom were extras in the film.

Along with Antioch locals, north Antioch and the marina are featured prominently in the film — even the El Campanil Theatre makes an appearance. Ferrante described the film as, “a love letter to Antioch” and as “one of the most enjoyable movies to make.”

“Movies meant a lot to me and this was kind of paying it forward,” said Ferrante of filming in his hometown. “It was about making the best project we could and connecting with an audience.

“It came out good!” yelled out a voice from the audience followed by resounding cheers and applause.

The cast spoke highly of their involvement with the project and of the city and community that had so graciously provided the backdrop for the film.

“It was exciting having locals be part of the fabric of the film,” said Lusha.

“It was amazing shooting in a town that felt so welcoming and accommodating,” said Teodora.

“There were so many extras and they were so excited to be here,” said McKeever, “the enthusiasm elevated our performances.”

McKeever and Teodora playfully recounted the minor injuries they received while filming a scuffle between their characters in which the actors’ physical struggle was palpable.

Ferrante described his time shooting “Forgotten Evil” between “Sharknado” sequels as a passion project with its own set of challenges.

“Editing was terrifying because I had never edited a full-length feature before,” said Ferrante. “I wanted to do something where I could worry about characters, not sharks and special effects. This was a story about being a survivor and coming into one’s own.”

After the question and answer segment came to a close, Ferrante and the cast met with adoring audience members in the theater lobby for photos and autographs to the delight of all in attendance.

Ferrante who is set to begin work on “Sharknado 5” after his latest feature knows his audience and believes in his passion for film.

“It’s not about being the best, it’s about doing your best job and you know what?” said Ferrante, “people like the silly movies.”