Sunday, February 27, 2011

Third Movie to Be Shot at Notre Dame Will Be an Indie

It is a very rare occurrence when the University of Notre Dame grants permission for a movie to be shot on campus. Even rarer when that movie does not involve football.

On the spiked heels of 1940's Knute Rockne All American and 1993's Rudy will soon follow the tentatively titled Two Miles from Home. Based on the 2008 book What Though The Odds: Haley Scott's Journey of Faith and Triumph, by Haley Scott DeMaria and Bob Schaller, the drama will recount the tragic aftermath of a January 1992 bus crash near campus that paralyzed DeMaria and killed two of her Notre Dame swim team members.

A chronicle of courage and determination

It's a remarkable story. Told she would never walk again, DeMaria rehabilitated herself over the next two years and eventually came back to win a 50-yard swim heat. She tells the South Bend Tribune she thinks she knows why her Alma Mater decided to give the film the rare on-location green light:

"Notre Dame is almost a character in the movie," DeMaria said. "There is no movie without Notre Dame, and I think the school recognizes that. The university knows this is a Notre Dame story and not just a movie someone wants to film at Notre Dame....”

"One of the things I love about the script — and one of the reasons we are doing this film independently rather than going with a major studio — is because we want to include that faith aspect and not shy away from that part of the story," DeMaria said.

The strands of film and faith are clearly something Notre Dame believes in. This very weekend, for example, the Department of Film is hosting a two-day Films and Faith event featuring titles such as Vision – from the Life if Hildegard von Bingen, a documentary about 12th century female advancements in the Catholic church brought about by Benedictine nun Hildegard von Bingen.

The current plan is to begin shooting Two Miles from Home towards the end of summer and release in 2012, the 20th anniversary year of the accident. Although the film is being independently financed, producer, Robert C. Thompson is no stranger to Hollywood. He helped guide John Houseman to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in the 1973 drama The Paper Chase and has worked as a TV director on shows such as Silk Stalkings, Fame and The Greatest American Hero. Two Miles was written and will be directed by Dan Waterhouse. It could certainly prove to be a great launching pad for some lucky, up-and-coming actress.

[Two Miles from Home Facebook page]

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