Boise High grad Tony Blahd’s first feature, “Rover,” a comedy about a wacky, sci-fi based-religious cult, will screen at Slamdance, an alternative film festival started by filmmakers who were rejected by the Sundance Film Festival.
“We’re very excited,” Blahd, 24, says. “It’s a good fit for the movie. We had hopes for Sundance but it isn’t the kind of movie they choose. It’s a little too out there; there are no stars.”
Slamdance is held during the Sundance Film Festival. (Slamdance is Jan. 18-24; Sundance is Jan. 16-26 in Park City, Utah.)
“Rover” tells the story of members of a disillusioned cult awaiting the sign to kill themselves. To quell infighting and give them a purpose before their deaths, their hapless leader Dave fakes a prophecy instructing them to make a movie and share their story with the world.
Blahd moved to New York City after graduating from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2011 to get into the film business. He wrote and directed “Rover” and shot it in 17 days, mostly in an abandoned church in Brooklyn. Blahd and a few friends, including Boise’s Matt Uhlmann, leased the church, rented space to artists and produced events there to raise capital for the film. They also ran a Kickstarter.com campaign that brought in the final $20,000 for post-production costs.
“Rover” also features another Boise High grad, actor Reggie Gowland, who recently returned to Boise to perform in “Red,” a play about artist Mark Rothko at Boise Contemporary Theater.
Blahd is the son of artist Liz Wolf, who is known for several public art pieces in Boise including the terrazzo map floor at the Boise Airport, and Bill Blahd, an emergency-room doctor and painter.
Currently, Tony is doing freelance film work, including directing music videos and creating visual effects for films. Another creative project he has in the hopper is a 55,000-square-foot parking lot at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, which he and other artists transformed into a temporary park. Starting in the spring, the project, called Havemeyer Park, will be used for outdoor events, workshops, movie screenings, pop-up art spaces, urban farm dinners and more.
Click here to watch “Rover” trailers and more.