Friday feature: Badsville

Courtesy photo
Badsville creators and lead actors Benjamin Barrett (left) and Ian McLaren.

Don’t be fooled by the title: “Badsville” — Friday night’s opening feature of this weekend’s much-anticipated Film Festival at Little Washington — has something for everybody.

“It is a captivating story,” says Theresa Wood, now in her second year as director of a festival that has grown rapidly in prestige and popularity. “It also has a certain degree of heart to the story.”

But wait, isn’t Badsville considered a dark if not borderline violent film about gang life in the forgotten outskirts of LA?

“It’s a double-edged sword,” explains filmmaker Ian McLaren, who with Badsville co-writer and fellow lead actor Benjamin Barrett “approached the film as a love story. But enthusiastically we wanted it to be gritty.”

To that end the pair succeeded — and in a big way.

Courtesy photo
Friday, April 7, night’s cutting-edge “Badsville” movie.

The 2017 Canadian Film Fest’s “Best Director” and “Best Costume Design” awards both went recently to Badsville. And talk about timing: on the heels of the Canadian high honors the film is making its East Coast premiere right here in Rappahannock County, of all unlikely venues.

Indeed, the pair of aforementioned filmmakers is now making their way to Gay Street in Little Washington.

“I’ve never been to Virginia,” McLaren points out in a phone interview. “I can’t wait to get out of this nefarious city of Los Angeles.”

Spoken like a true independent filmmaker.

“Ben and I created Badsville from scratch,” he says of going their own route away from the supervision of Hollywood. “We said let’s get out there and get it done, let’s just do it ourselves.”

Making Badsville, as McLaren tells it, “was probably one of the hardest and one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. It is so close to my heart. It was something that we were both so involved with and compelled by, the entire creative process — there is so much that goes into it.”

And, he teases of the film: “There’s a nice little twist in there for everybody.”

Badsville will screen at 7 p.m. Friday at the Theatre at Little Washington, 291 Gay Street, Washington, Va. It runs 97 minutes. Street parking.

Third Annual Film Festival at Little Washington tickets are now on sale at EventBrite.com. Details surrounding the festival schedule can also be found via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and at filmfreeway.com/festival/TheFilmFestivalatLittleWashington.
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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at editor@rappnews.com.