Original crime drama ‘Above the Trees’ is Joma Films’ fifth feature film
Ashland independent film studio Joma Films has completed principal photography on a new feature film about a murder in a small Oregon town and a local boxer charged with committing the crime, according to a news release.
“Above The Trees,” written and directed by Gary Lundgren, was filmed “chronologically across the Rogue Valley over many months in Southern Oregon,” the release said. It tells the story of “a mosaic of people connected to the crime” who become intertwined by fate as the film unfolds.
“COVID-19 shut us down more than once,” Lundgren said of wrapping production. “Overall, the process was less predictable, but so exhilarating and satisfying. Our shoot days were often short, and they were spread out over the seasons. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Actor and producer Luis Rodriguez plays Gustavo Rojas, owner of a local boxing gym.
“Playing this role was challenging and captivating — the kind of character I’ve always wanted to portray on screen,” Rodriguez said. “On the production side, I was so thankful for the help and support we received from the community.”
All on-screen talent is local, the release said.
“It was so exciting and refreshing to see Joma cast the entire movie locally,” said actor Danielle Kelly, who plays town DJ Coral Quinn. “It’s the first time they’ve done this, and it really shows how our little acting community can accomplish big things.”
“I have a real desire to work closely and organically with some of my talented friends in Oregon,” Lundgren said. “So I wrote these characters for actors I know and love.”
The film also stars Julian Remulla, Danforth Comins, and Barret O’Brien.
Other Joma Films productions include “Phoenix, Oregon,” which received a solid score of 82% on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site and was the number one movie in America for three weeks in 2020 “when producers shared streaming profits with shuttered cinemas,” the release said.