PORTERDALE -- Volunteer camera crews, actors and production staff will be busy in Porterdale over the next several weekends making a film they hope will raise thousands of dollars for Habitat for Humanity of Newton County.
The one-hour film centers on a pair of men who con a single mother out of money she is saving for Christmas presents for her children, and then decide to steal gifts from the homeless shelter where she works. One of the men develops fond feelings for the mother, derailing the potential crime. He is remorseful for his wrongdoings and tries to bring his partner to the same realization.
The film is written and produced by Newton County native Travis Breedlove and Atlanta-based Bren Allison, who will direct the film. Allison is a full-time writer, director and acting coach. Breedlove owns a Newton County business, Vision Equipment and Auction Company, and in his spare time is an actor, screenwriter and film producer.
The two conceived of a movie script first, said Allison, and then attached a charity to it. To have the film benefit Habitat for Humanity in Newton County seemed a logical choice, as the theme of the film, which will be called "I'll be Homeless for Christmas," centers on charitable giving.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit that builds low-cost homes for families through donated materials and volunteer work hours.
Breedlove said independent filmmakers seem to be preoccupied with making movies about vampires and zombies, and he wanted to take a different direction.
"I wanted to do a film that the whole family would watch in hopes that every year at Christmas they would pull it out of their cabinets and watch it as a family. We all have those types of movies," he said.
The primary conduit for raising money for the project will be the collection of donations through an IndieGoGo link on the website, www.homelessforchristmas.com. Donations will also be accepted at the community screening, due to take place at a yet-to-be determined location in Newton County some time before Christmas.
The goal is to raise at least $20,000, said Breedlove, though any money the project generates beyond the $10,000 required to cover expenses for the film will be given to Habitat for Humanity in Newton County.
Breedlove said that so far, over $2,000 has been raised, with much of the publicity for the project taking place on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Breedlove said he's "been very blessed" with the success of his auction business, and he typically gives back to the community at the holidays. This year, the film is his charitable project.
"Due to the current economy, more and more people face homelessness every day and this is our way of preventing that," he said.
The project involves about 30 primary cast and crew members, and 60 extras, which are still being sought. Filming takes place in the Julia A. Porter United Methodist Church in Porterdale and at various locations in Porterdale every weekend over the next eight weeks.
To learn more, visit www.homelessforchristmas.com.