'Raven's Blood' opens

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 1997

The neighborhoods and people of Juneau hit the big silver screen when ``Raven's Blood'' opens Friday night at the Gross Alaska 20th Century theater.

The movie was filmed and produced in Juneau in 1996.

``We had hundreds of people working on the project,'' said Lynette Turner, first assistant director. ``People from literally every walk of life in the community participated in the filming, both in front of and behind the camera.''

``Raven's Blood,'' is a murder mystery adapted from the book ``Death of an Alaskan Princess,'' by Bridget Smith. It was filmed on the streets of Juneau, in local homes and businesses, on the Juneau waterfront and on area trails and beaches.

Los Angeles-based actors Lynnda Ferguson and John Walcutt star in the film, which features a host of Juneau talent and local extras. Juneau police and fire departments assisted with the production, and Juneau filmmaker Chuck Keen served as cinematographer.

``This was a high profile community effort, and it's the community's movie as much as ours, '' said Turner.

Final production of the film was completed in March of this year. The movie was shown just once in Juneau this spring at a special screening for cast, crew and volunteers.

The 90-minute film is unrated, but Turner said it is appropriate for all ages. ``Raven's Blood'' will show downtown at 7:20 and 9:20 nightly, with matinees at 2:20 and 4:20 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It is expected to run for two weeks in Juneau. It opens in Anchorage and Ketchikan later this month.

Molly Smith, director and co-producer of the film, said the process of selecting a distributor and setting up national and international distribution of an independent film can take up to four years.

The movie was produced by Perseverance Films, a completely separate entity from Perseverance Theatre. Smith is the artistic director for Perseverance Theatre, and pursued the movie project outside the parameters of the theater company.

``We decided we wanted to self-distribute the film in Alaska,'' Smith said.

Turner said Perseverance Films is working with their entertainment attorney to select a sales agent to distribute the film nationally.

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