EDWARDSVILLE — The producers of the family film “Marshall the Miracle Dog” announce a special screening of their movie at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, inside the Wildey Theatre.
The film just received the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the St. Louis International Film Festival.
Much of the filming took place in the Edwardsville area, including scenes at the Cleveland Heath Restaurant, Edwardsville Pet Hospital, Edwardsville High School, Leclaire Park, and Lewis and Clark Community College. Nearby Troy was also the backdrop for the several scenes.
“The locals were unbelievably welcoming,” said Cynthia Willenbrock, Marshall’s real-life owner and producer of the film. “The crew loved it when unexpected treats would appear every day, like homemade cookies from the sweet women at Abbey’s Sew and Vac, or treats from The Cup.”
Willenbrock said she was especially grateful for everyone who showed up to be in the film’s many crowd scenes.
“We needed hundreds of extras, and everyone arrived eager and willing to be on set hours at a time to help bring this incredible story to life,” Willenbrock said. “It could not have happened without them.”
St. Louisan Jay Kanzler directed this charming family film, which is based on the children’s picture book by Willenbrock. In the film, 12-year-old Finn (Lucas Carroll) endures daily torment from the bullies at his school, but his life begins to change on the day he encounters a Labrador retriever named Marshall. When Finn first finds Marshall, the dog is being held in deplorable conditions by an animal hoarder who keeps 60 dogs penned up on her isolated ranch. But Finn sees something of himself in Marshall — both are being bullied, but both are brave. Finn knows he must attempt a daring rescue to save Marshall from his plight, but ends up being rescued himself by Marshall.
Marshall the Miracle Dog stars Shannon Elizabeth, Lauren Holly, and Matthew Settle.
“The movie is not slated to have its national release until spring 2015, and we did not want the people who helped us make such a wonderful movie to wait any longer,” Kanzler said. “To preview the movie at an iconic location such as the Wildey just feels right.”
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.wildeytheatre.com/?nav=eventsDetails&num=1022. The Wildey Theatre is located at 252 N. Main St. in Edwardsville.