Crime-drama set as one of 22 to compete for Golden Lion Award
“Road to Nowhere,” an independent motion picture filmed in 2009 in Western North Carolina, was selected to premiere in competition at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, running September 1-11 in Italy. The film is one of 19 selected to represent the United States in the annual event, along with others by such notable directors as Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola, Ben Affleck and the late Dennis Hopper, and is one of 22 competing for the festival’s “Golden Lion” award.
Directed by veteran helmer Monte Hellman (“Two-Lane Blacktop”), “Road to Nowhere” was written and produced by Steven Gaydos, who is also the Executive Editor of Variety. The film stars Dominique Swain (“JAG,” “Ghost Whisperer”), Shannyn Sossamon (“How to Make it in America,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), Tygh Runyan (“Battlestar Galactica,” “SGU Stargate Universe”) and Cliff De Young (“The Young and the Restless,” “Grey’s Anatomy”).
“Road to Nowhere” is about a young filmmaker who gets wrapped up in a crime while shooting his latest project on location. The real filmmakers spent two months in 2009 shooting in several areas of North Carolina, including Jackson, Graham, Buncombe, Haywood and Swain Counties
“Filming in Western North Carolina was a wonderful experience,” said the film’s Los Angeles-based co-producer Peter R.J. Deyell. “We were welcomed by friendly communities and had enormous cooperation by local business, government, and law enforcement. We hired very professional local crew members and were supported by film students from Western Carolina University.”
The spirit of cooperation extended both ways, according to Larry Lerner, first assistant director.
“We received a lot of help from the local, state and federal level,” Lerner said. “The Waynesville Police Department provided us with picture vehicles and off-duty police as extras, which greatly added to the ease of production. They even dedicated a plainclothes detective car to the show, which was available wherever and whenever we wanted it.”
Locations included Fontana Lake and Fontana Dam, for which the filmmakers were required to obtain special permits from The Tennessee Valley Authority. The Federal Aviation Administration granted permission for the filmmakers to fly a small airplane over Fontana Dam. And the Great Smoky Mountains National Park allowed the company to shoot the actual Road to Nowhere and the tunnel at its end, specific locations that Hellman wanted, as described in the script.