Belleville, Ill. is the setting of a new movie premiering April 22 in the city’s historic Lincoln Theatre. The film, also titled “Belleville,” was produced by the city’s own Ted Trentman, known professionally as Ted Trent.
“I moved away 23 years ago, and everywhere I’ve lived—Nashville, Gatlinburg, Los Angeles—I’ve always said I’m from Belleville. And the longer I’ve been away from home, I’ve wondered what that meant to me,” said Trentman. “So this is somewhat an exploration of my memory of Belleville…. And I think what we capture in this film is a childlike perspective of a Midwestern town.”
In addition to producing the movie, Trentman plays the role of outsider Neila (alien spelled backwards). As the name implies, the film could be considered science fiction. But with a cast and crew made up of 95 percent local people, Neila is the most out of place element in the movie.
Trentman wanted screenwriter/director Dan Steadman to write a movie that would demonstrate a path of reconnection for Trentman and his father, who is a farmer. What he came up with was a bit different than what Trentman expected.
“This is completely not in any direction I ever imagined the movie would go, but it’s a happy ending for a story that I’m still trying to work out,” he said, describing the film as a combination of “Star Man” and “Forest Gump.”
So far, the movie has runs scheduled at the Lincoln Theatre in Belleville, the AMC in Carbondale and the Ronnies20 Wehrenberg in St. Louis. But Trentman hopes those bookings are only the beginning.
“This is a dream of mine. And in L.A. everyone puts stops in front of me, saying ‘you need me,’ ‘you can’t do that,’ and I’m living outside of the box on this project,” he said.
Cityscape listeners may be interested to know that St. Louis Public Radio host and announcer Steve Potter makes an appearance in the film.
Runs of “Belleville” in area movie theaters
April 22 –May 8, 2014
various times, various locations
For more information, visit the movie’s website.