After filming the majority of its scenes in Eastern Washington this spring and summer, locally-produced East of the Mountains filmed at two Seattle locations in Ballard and Wallingford during it’s last week of production in late June.
Based on the best-selling novel by Bainbridge Island’s David Guterson, East of the Mountains tells the story of retired doctor who goes back to his roots in Eastern Washington to end his life on his own terms. The film is directed by Seattle’s SJ Chiro (Lane 1974), produced by Jane Charles and Mischa Jakupcak, and stars Tom Skerritt as the doctor, and Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, who plays his daughter.
According to producer Jane Charles, over 50% of the East of the Mountains crew is female, defying film industry norms (the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found women comprised of 20% of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 domestic grossing films during a study last year). “We are looking forward to the day when we don’t have to be proud of that, when it is just a given that there are as many women on set as men,” Charles told KING 5 during the filming.
The production hired over 80 local cast and crew for the four-week production. The production was financially supported by Washington Filmworks’ groundbreaking Local Lens incentive program, which prioritizes its film incentive funding exclusively to locally made film productions.
Office of Arts & Culture Director and interim OFM director Randy Engstrom visited the film set in Wallingford, and met with producer Jane Charles ($5 Cover: Seattle, Grassroots), location manager Dave Drummond (Twin Peaks), and assistant location manager Vicky Berglund Davenport (Northern Exposure).
East of the Mountains is slated for release to the film festival circuit in early 2020.