Local filmmakers’ first movie to debut in Alabaster, Alabama this week

Published 7:25 pm Saturday, October 22, 2011

By KATIE MCDOWELL / Lifestyles Editor

“October Baby,” a movie directed by two Shelby County residents, will debut in Alabama on Oct. 28.

Jon Erwin, who directed the film with his brother Andy Erwin, said the movie will be shown at the AmStar 14 in Alabaster and Rave Patton Creek in Hoover as part of an early limited release in 15 theaters in Alabama and Mississippi.

“We’re really excited for Alabama as well as for us,” he said. “To be able to film our first feature film here and debut it here as well is really cool.”

October Baby was filmed at locations around the state, including Helena, the Birmingham airport, St. Paul’s cathedral in downtown Birmingham and Mobile.

October Baby is a coming-of-age story about a young woman who is adopted and finds out her birth mother attempted to abort her. The story developed after Erwin heard a speech from an abortion survivor named Gianna Jessen.

A co-worker of the Erwins’, who own Erwin Brothers Motion Pictures in Calera, spent months researching both adoption and abortion survivors.

Jon Erwin, who said he is pro-life, said the film was not made with a particular political viewpoint on the subject of abortion.

“It is my hope that it will get people talking,” he said. “I think a lot of the time we avoid big issues … The message of this film is that every life is beautiful and every life should be celebrated.”

However, Erwin said the heavy subject matter made finding a distributor for the film an “uphill battle.”

“I didn’t really expect the level of controversy surrounding it,” he said.

Provident Films eventually picked up the film, and it will have a nationwide release in the spring of 2012. Erwin said the scope of the release will be decided by how it plays in Alabama and Mississippi this fall.

So far, Erwin said they have received a very positive response from early screenings.

“It’s blown my expectations how well it’s played,” he said.

While the Erwins’ schedule will remain busy through the nationwide release next year, Jon Erwin said the brothers hope to follow up their first feature film with other movies shot in Alabama.

“Our dream is just to develop films in Alabama,” Jon Erwin said. “We don’t ever want to leave.”

For more information, visit Octoberbabymovie.net.