In June, the West Virginia-themed feature film "Angel's Perch" made its Elkins debut to packed audiences and positive reviews. Now, after a national tour and several celebrity endorsements, the film is coming back to the area.
The movie, shot almost entirely on location in Cass, is the story of a man who comes back to his childhood home in West Virginia to care for his grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. J.T. Arbogast, who wrote and stars in the film, based much of the events on his own experiences in Cass, even incorporating local people as characters or extras in the film.
Arbogast and his wife, Kimberley Dilts, who was a producer of the film, have been traveling across the nation thanks to the Alzheimer's Association, which helped provide funding for "Angel's Perch." The association was impressed with the movie's realistic depiction of the disease and those that are affected by it.
"Angel's Perch was by far one of the most moving films I've seen depicting Alzheimer's and the struggles that exist for both those diagnosed and the families who love them," said Susan Galeas, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Southland Chapter. "The story resonates because it blends the reality of the disease with the reality of life: incorporating humor, love, fear, anger, and sadness all the emotions that families experience on their journeys through this disease.
"The incredible score brings it all together in a way that transports the viewer to rural West Virginia," Galeas said. "Its release is timely as we try to prepare our communities and our nation for this epidemic."
Since its last showing in Elkins, the film has been featured in 24 cities across the country, including New York and Los Angeles. There was also a pleasant surprise from an unexpected guest at the L.A. premiere, as Kaley Cuoco from the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," attended. Cuoco's appearance gave the film some extra attention by being featured on the Perez Hilton and Just Jared entertainment blogs.
The film was also endorsed by Maria Shriver, who described it as "an Alzheimer's film project worth supporting," and Leeza Gibbons who collaborated with her organization, Leeza's Care Connection.
Dilts said that, after so much feedback from the various locations across the country, and 20 more coming up through October, including dates in North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia, it will be good to return to the Mountain State.
"We're thrilled with the reception we've been getting," she said. "People across the country are connected to Cass. This has been a fantastic couple of months and we are over-joyed. The film is really touching people."
The film will be showing in Elkins at Elkins Cinema 8 on Sunday and Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. Other screenings are featured in Ripley at the Alpine Theatre, South Charleston at Marquee Cinemas, Marlinton at the Pocahontas County Opera House, Lewisburg at the Lewis Theatre and Bridgeport at the Cinemark 10.
For a full list of locations and dates, go to www.angelsperch.com.