The psychological thriller “Geist,” filmed on location at the former Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, has its Fergus Falls premiere on Halloween weekend at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
M State rolls out the red carpet Friday, Oct. 30, for showings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in Legacy Hall on the Fergus Falls campus.
The film, featuring Danny Lopez and Brian Sterling, tells the story of a man who wakes in an abandoned insane asylum and remembers only pieces of what led him there. As he wanders the maze of corridors and rooms searching for answers, a group of paranormal investigators arrive seeking to release the trapped spirits of children bound to the building by a long-ago mass murder. While they hunt for elusive answers, they begin to realize they have been joined by a dark and sinister entity.
“Geist” was filmed and produced by ECTOFi Productions of Great Falls, Mont. Thirty-three of the 46 production shoot days in 2012 and 2013 were spent in the historic RTC site known as the Kirkbride Building.
The local premiere is also a fundraiser for the Student Life department on M State’s Fergus Falls campus. Seating is limited, with 280 tickets available for each of the two shows. Tickets are $5 and available by calling 218-736-1537.
Arrival to the red carpet and photo opportunities begin at 4:45 p.m.
Producer Eric Dunn said the cast includes many area residents, including former M State students Brad Muckey and Amanda Collins, who has a lead role.
Dunn, a native of Great Falls who attended Concordia College in Moorhead, chose the Kirkbride location at the urging of local residents. With family in the area, he and his wife moved to Pelican Rapids in 2011 and soon began hearing tales of the Kirkbride Building.
“Once they found out I was a filmmaker, people kept telling me, ‘You need to make a movie using the old asylum,’ ” Dunn said. “At the time there was a strong possibility they would be tearing down the Kirkbride complex … so we fast-tracked a production, got permission from the city and began shooting.”
Dunn worked for four years in the Pelican Rapids School District as a film and video instructor and a paraprofessional before he and his wife returned to their hometown of Great Falls. He calls “Geist” “my favorite mistake” because filming for the movie most likely would have been delayed if there hadn’t been talk of demolishing the Kirkbride early in 2012.
“We had plans for another project in Montana,” he said, “and if they hadn’t been threatening to tear down the building, we wouldn’t have made it when we did.”
“Geist” is his second feature film and, following the local premiere at M State, Dunn will be working with distribution companies on the film’s release.
For more information about “Geist,” contact Ne Tia Bauman at firstname.lastname@example.org.