The Woodward News

March 20, 2014

Movie to premiere in Buffalo and Woodward

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — An upcoming new film screening is more than just a great film you can take your family to see, it is a great way to support a new and increasingly successful industry for Oklahoma and Kansas, said Wichita based film producer, Ryan McGuigan.

The western/thriller "Wichita", produced in the town of the same name, will be open to the public at Buffalo Theatre for a one night only screening slated for April 7 at 7 p.m., according to McGuigan.

The film will then come to Woodward on April 25 at 7 p.m. for a screening at the Woodward Arts Theatre, according Charlie Burns general manager of the Woodward Arts and Theatre and Arts Council.

Co-produced by McGuigan and Laura Ashley Weir of Kentucky, the film is considered one of the largest, locally funded and locally made feature films ever produced, McGuigan said.

"The whole movie was done around here (Southwest Kansas and Northern Oklahoma)," McGuigan said. "This sort of thing can happen in this part of the country and If you look around more films are being shot in this part of the country and that is good for this area."

Indeed, according to writer of the screenplay and director of the feature, Nicolas Barton, the western genre is a quickly fading type of film because the kind of actors and locations needed for their production are difficult to find in Los Angeles where many films are produced.

"But that wasn't a problem here," McGuigan said. "We co-oped with the Old Cowtown Museum and the Flint Hills National Preserve and had plenty of area to film and plenty of cast talent."

Shot almost entirely in rural south central Kansas, Wichita is a story of a drifter, Jesse (played by Justin France of Wichita), who seeks revenge against the person who landed him in prison.  His tracking skills lead him to sleepy cow town Wichita and a farmstead where he takes up residence, all which appear on the surface to be a safe haven for him.

But as in many small towns, there is more than meets the eye going on in this community.

According to Barton, the cat and mouse action in the film is sure to thrill audiences.

He said it should specially appeal to locals who understand and recognize the background of the Flint Hills National Preserve, Historic Old Cowtown Museum, various locations along Walnut River and several cattle ranches along the Flint Hills.

The film cast and crews were almost entirely hired from the local Wichita and Northern Oklahoma regions, according to McGuigan.

And since they are from the area, he said, "Cast and crew will be available to visit with people after the (local) screenings."

McGuigan added that locals who come to see the film are also supporting a possible growth of the film industry in the region, opening doors for local actors, writers, producers and other numerous professions.

Tickets for both screenings will be available at the door, with seating for both venues in Buffalo and Woodward available on a first come first serve basis.

For more information about the film, including a preview of the movie, visit http://wichita-movie.com/.