A gathering of actors, independent filmmakers and enthusiasts gathered at East Hampton High School on Saturday, July 13 for a reading of Montauk Highway, the screenplay for a new film project by Brooks Elms and Greg Cantwell.
Elms and Cantwell, both EHHS alums, made a number of short films that played on LTV during their high school and college years—and Elms has since directed several indie films, while Cantwell has written several screenplays. The duo is planning to shoot the feature-length film in East Hampton next spring.
“We want the film to have as authentic a feel as possible,” Cantwell said of the film, which the creators are calling a teen love story set in East Hampton that explores the dynamics between the summer crowd and the locals who live here. “Nobody has ever shot a movie out here that is told from the perspective of the locals. Our hero’s last name is Bennett, and he and his friends are Bonackers through and through,” Cantwell explained.
The reading was held after a week of auditions and rehearsals, all of which were held at the high school.
“We were really thrilled with the turnout. We had over 200 submissions for the auditions, and we managed to find some really promising young actors, including Marley Ficalora, Sam Yarabeck, Sage Gibbons, Dan Becker and Mike Lavin, who are all from East Hampton,” Elms said.
“The school was very supportive. We told them that we wanted to cast as many locals as possible, and we felt that there was an opportunity to mine the area for talent, to find people who not only have acting chops, but who really understand East Hampton,” added Elms, a graduate of NYU Film school, where his classmates included Hollywood heavyweights like Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and Ehren Kruger (The Ring).
Now that the reading is over, the duo plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign and hope to lock in a big name soon for the lead adult role.