‘Mother’s Day’ will be screened at the Reg Lenna Center today at 7 p.m. | News, Sports, Jobs

Travis Carlson listens to members of the production team during ‘Mother’s Day’. The film, shot locally, will be screened today at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. Photo by Cole Bielecki

GERRY— “Mothers’ Day,” the locally produced feature film set in Gerry, will screen at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. today.

Following its 2021 premiere in Buffalo, New York, the two-hour film won, “Best of the festival” and, “Best Actress,” at the Queens World Film Festival in New York. The film aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

“It’s based on a true story” said local writer and director Travis Carlson. “The story of my mother and I and a slice of our life in Gerry just a few years ago.” Carlson and his production company, Pan-American Film Division, chose to tell this story because they felt depictions of mental health in movies could be rare and unrealistic. “Every decision was based on, how can we honestly describe this event?”

“Mothers’ Day” filmed at family homes and local properties, including Heritage Village, where the real events took place.

Community support meant everything, opening their doors, allowing us to fly drones in their skies, especially during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Carlson remembers.

After graduating from Cassadaga Valley Central School and SUNY Buffalo State for film, Carlson continued to produce video content for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabers, but sought to return to his hometown to narrate his first feature film.

“It’s not just set in town, but it’s about characters who have truly lived and breathed here, with the rodeo, local jobs and attitudes towards the world. It’s not every day that Chautauqua County characters are on the big screen,” Carlson said. “All secondary character names are based on local street names.”

“Mothers’ Day,” differs from Carlson’s childhood films shot in Gerry in that he was shot in one continuous, unbroken shot. The cast, Lisa Ludwig and Michael Charles Wagner, along with several Chautauqua Country extras, performed as if on a live stage without any breaks for the duration of each day of filming. The film was shot over six days in August 2020.

Since then, Carlson and Pan-American Film Division have created a short film, “Blind spot,” who won “Second Best Film” at Filmapalooza in Washington, DC This international competition allows its 10 best films, including “Blind spot,” screened as part of the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

“We are delighted to be recognized with such honor and to be allowed to attend such a prestigious festival,” commented Carlson. This will be the third time he and Pan-American Film Division have been invited to Cannes, France, after short films, “The ride of your life” and “To have and to hold,” won similar competitions.

These projects and “Mothers’ Day” will be available to stream or purchase online at PanAmericanFilms.com.

Tickets are still available for today’s screening of “Mothers’ Day” at the box office of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts or on RegLenna.com.

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