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New community film highlights towns along the Great River Road

Diana Vaicius and Mike Slyth star in a new community film shot along Wisconsin's Great River Road. Photo submitted.
The Great River Road, voted the prettiest drive/ultimate summer road trip, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. It is also the backdrop of a new community film shot in Pepin, Stockholm, Maiden Rock, and Bay City 
Filming recently wrapped up on “River Road Romance” which tells the story of two single people, played by Mike Slyth and Diana Vaicius, both from Pepin, who meet while grocery shopping and begin dating. Rounding out the cast is Steve Anderson, Lu Lippold, Remy Ceci, Linda Harding, David Meixner, Paul and Fran Reisgraf, Nancy Wolfe, Wayne and Diane Gelhar, Jennifer and Ilana Lindahl, Karolina Stark, and a host of extras including the story's author Mary Logue. Around 50 local people took part in the film. The Production’s creative team includes Pam Larson, Steve Anderson, Louie Fisher, Daniel Lindsay, Griffin Larson and Deb Claxton.  Production assistants include Lulu Vaicius and Karolina Stark.
In 2008, Rick Vaicius founded the Flyway Film Festival in Pepin. The idea for a community film came about while he was attending a film festival in Alabama and watched their community film. He approached Pam Larson about the possibility of creating a local film to be shown at the 2012 Flyway Film Festival. That’s when “Dinner At The Lake” was born. In the film local farmers, cooks, and trades people prepare a banquet for a legendary guest. Last year's film was produced by Flyway Film Festival via a committee with Pam Larson at the helm and a host of volunteers. Following the success of “Dinner At The Lake,” Flyway Community Films Inc., a non-stock corporation, was formed to produce a 2013 film (and hopefully future ones). 
“River Road Romance” will be shown at the 6th Annual Flyway Film Festival Oct 17-20Making movies is an expensive undertaking. The production crew had to rent a camera, lights, dolly and other film equipment.  Efforts are now underway to help with the costs. “Movie Money Jars” have been set up at Flat Pennies in Bay City, Gelly’s Pub and Eatery in Stockholm, Smiling Pelican in Maiden Rock, and Paul and Fran’s in Pepin.  
Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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