“Daddy? It’s Corrie. Mom put me in a halfway house,” begins the trailer for the film “Dancing on the Edge.”
The Highland Light Productions film, directed by Alexander Mackenzie, was shot in familiar places around Vancouver including Columbia Dance which is highlighted in the trailer along with recognizable venues near Esther Short Park. The cast and crew came from a pool of local talent to create a gripping film.A wave of teenage emotions rushes the audience through the movie as the main character struggles with parents, friends and the law in her search to find the connections she needs to grow into a successful young woman.
“I’m starting to move away from those people I thought I really needed,” says the main character Corrie.
The full-length feature is about a teenager’s battle against substance abuse and restoring relationships. Underlying themes demonstrate parallels with dancing and drug use, “it shuts the whole world out,” and characters learn that finding redemption is not something that can be done alone, “we need each other.”
The film’s production company approached this project with a unique local perspective — rather than generate revenue for out-of-state studios, the mission of Highland Light Productions is to create feature films and family television shows from start to finish within Washington.
If their first film is any indication of future success, Washington can be proud. The film has won aclaim at the New York City International Film Festival, the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival and the Indie Fest. The festival experience netted them 14 major awards including: two for best director, three for best leading actress, award of merit for best supporting actor, most motivational/inspiration film, best overall post-production.
Working in Vancouver was a good experience. “Vancouver is home,” says director and Navy veteran Alexander Mackenzie. “I first visited the northwest in 1966 when my destroyer got invited here for the fourth of July.” Later, in 1994 he wrote for an NBC television show in Portland. “Everything came full circle and brought me back.” He met a Vancouver girl, fell in love and stayed.
Now with 44 years of filming making under his belt he counts his blessings.
“This whole thing is unbelievable,” says Mackenzie. “It was supposed to be just a training picture for me, I’ve never shot in digital before, but the way everything just came together was nothing short of amazing.”
Showtimes: Dancing on the Edge
1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Friday – Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
Sunday 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday 7:30 p.m.
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