Area residents are invited to participate in an upcoming film production starring actor Chris Mulkey being directed by a former local youth.
Strack Azar, son of local country star musician Steve Azar, and Michael Stevantoni have written and are co-directing an original feature film titled, “The Banality.”
“The Banality,” they said, is a supernatural drama about a small town priest who attempts to console a couple whose son was killed under suspicious circumstances, all the while struggling to decipher a series of inexplicable visions.
Azar said he initially wanted to make a short film in the Delta to “take advantage of all the beautiful scenery.”
They did just last summer that when they filmed a short film featuring local residents, including Wade Chambers and Woody Wilkins.
Azar was born and raised in Nashville and graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School in Greenville before moving to Los Angeles to study at Chapman University’s film school. It was there he met Stevantoni, of Vancouver Island, Canada, and the two have been writing and making movies together ever since.
Having recently graduated from film school, Strack said he wanted to return to the Delta to direct his debut feature film, having been inspired by the region’s lush scenery and the award-winning short film he directed in town last summer.
For the feature-length film, Azar said actor Chris Mulkey, who is known for his roles in “Twin Peaks,” “Whiplash” and “Captain Phillips,” has signed on to play the lead role of Father Moss, which was portrayed by Chambers in the award-winning short-film.
Azar said he became acquainted with Mulkey during his several summer visits to Greenville for the annual Delta Soul Celebrity Golf and Charity Event.
“He’s a really recognizable actor, and a really good one, so were excited to have him in the movie,” Azar said.
The film is set to be filmed in the Delta region from July 29-August 25, and the directors are looking for local talent to participate in the process.
“We’re really excited to bring a production to the area where I started it in the first place,” Azar said, noting they wanted to expand their film into a longer piece and utilize even more of what the Delta has to offer.
Once “The Banality,” which is excepted to run about 90-minutes, is completed, the two said they have their eyes set on featuring it at film festivals and later hope to upload it online so more people can watch it.
How to get involved
Azar said he and his team are still casting a number of roles and are seeking interested people of all experience levels.
“The Banality” is casting for characters of all ages, with a high number of roles available to youth ages 16-23.
Additionally, they are seeking help from anyone interested in being an extra or has a unique asset they can offer the production is looking for locations — including but not limited to farmhouses, abandoned property, and pre-2000s vehicles — as well as individuals with guest homes or other spaces who are interested in lodging crew during the shoot.
The directing pair said anyone with unique assets or out-of-the-box talent is encouraged to reach out.
“There are a lot of people who are naturally charismatic,” Azar said, noting they want to take advantage of as much local talent as possible. “We really want to shine a light on the local region this way.”
To get involved, Azar can be reached at email@example.com or 662-379-1050. For more information about the film, visit thebanality.com.