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Seward is location for feature film

By Lauren Maxwell 7:24 PM April 4, 2014

50 Seward residents cast as extras for a day

SEWARD –

Seward, Alaska, may seem like a long way from Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood can’t come north. A production company with offices in Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, is currently shooting a feature film in Seward.

Director Richard Gray said his film, called “Sugar Mountain,” is set in a fictional Alaskan town and is about a young man who goes missing in the wilderness. The whole town comes out to look for him until the police figure out that not all is as it seems. Actor Cary Elwes stars in the film.

Gray said the independent film has a budget of $1.2 million and is heavily dependent on the Alaska Film Credit Program. The program can reimburse a significant amount of expenses if the film is shot here and hires locals. Gray said more than half of the crew members working on the film are Alaskans who are being paid.

Many consider the film credit an investment in a new industry for the state, but others say it’s an investment we can’t afford. There are two bills in Juneau that would do away with the program or change it substantially. Neither has had a full vote of the House or Senate.

“Sugar Mountain” has been shooting in Seward for several weeks and is expected to wrap up there within the next three weeks. Postproduction will be done in Los Angeles. The movie is scheduled for release in the summer of 2015.

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