Saturday, February 7, 2015

Grandpa, The Movie Star

Tonight, in Liberal, Kansas, writer-director Joel Trujillo will premiere his ninth feature. But this one is extra special.

Per a report by local radio station KCBS, Blue Harvest - a horror thriller with Native American and supernatural overtones - features Trujillo's grandfather Johnny B. Lopez in a main role. Lopez is a descendant of the Zuni tribe.

From the KCBS write-up:

"My grandparents are my biggest supporters and have cheered me on from the beginning,” says Trujillo. “My first Dracula movie, being creative, playing and my first zombie movie. As a child in the 1940s Grandpa was a fan of Westerns and cowboys and Indians."
"When I mentioned the storyline of Blue Harvest to Grandpa, he asked if he could to play the part of the Native American. I already had him in mind and couldn’t think of anyone else to play that part. Grandpa helped immensely with the dialogue in the movie.”

Star Wars fans may recognize the title. Trujillo got the title idea from the pseudonymous decoy of the same name used for the filming of Return of the Jedi.

Trujillo made a fan trailer in 2007 and now, after more research, has a feature-length movie. There's another family connection running through the movie, about a family of upstanding farmers possibly dragged down by a 19th century Native American curse. The cast is filled out by Chris Beltz (father Glenn), Talon Beltz (son Tyler) and Dale Beltz (ancestor Sam Walsh). Chris works for the local Stevens County Sheriff's Department.

[JFT Film Productions]

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