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Local premiere Saturday for movie partially filmed in the Florence area

Marguerite Lanthier/Daily News photo Steve and Beth Zambo stand in front of Maxsells in Florence, Wis., during a return trip to the area in August to plan the premiere of their film “Stand in the Gap,” which was partially filmed in the area last February. The movie will have a local premiere on Saturday at Encore on Central.

By MARGUERITE

LANTHIER

Staff Writer

FLORENCE, Wis. — Last winter, Salty Earth Productions of Fort Atkinson, Wis., filmed portions of a Christmas movie in Florence.

Residents can now see the final product as the production company hosts a premiere of the movie “Stand in the Gap” on Saturday at Encore on Central in Florence.

Elizabeth Zambo photo Cinematographer Jessica Zambo sets up a shot for the film “Stand in the Gap,” with actor Simon Provan.

Tickets are $40 per person or $75 per couple, which includes a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., the showing of the film at 6:30 p.m., and Afterglow with Talk Back after the movie. Tickets can be purchased through the website, www.saltyearthpictures.org.

The film is a sequel to an earlier production, “The Author, The Star and the Keeper,” a Hallmark-type movie starring Simon Provan as August Star.

For “Stand in the Gap,” the community of Florence becomes Owl’s Point, and several prominent historical businesses are featured.

According to director and writer Steve Zambo, he and his wife, Beth, knew Florence residents Don and Rachel Egelseer through a mutual friend. Rachel invited them to come to the area and he was very excited by what he saw when they visited in last year in September. They decided they would film scenes in town for the movie in Florence.

The Egelseers retired to Florence and have been responsible for restoring several historical houses and buildings in town, including several featured in the movie.

Maxsells Suites & Celebrations, where many scenes were shot, became the Harbor View Bed and Breakfast. Other local places where they filmed include Encore on Central Ballroom, the Webb-Judge House, the Tiderman House Antique Shoppe and an area near the cemetery.

They will have a soft launch of the movie for the Christmas season, when it will be available on the company’s website. The movie will be available the following Christmas in stores and online.

Zambo said making Christmas movies is unique because there is often a long lag between filming and when the movie is available.

They wrapped up filming near Fort Atkinson, where they have a 30,000-square-foot studio. This is the seventh feature film by the non-profit company that formed in 2003.

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