Told through the eyes of the nine year-old titular character, a new independent film works on one level for children and a deeper, allegorical level for adults.
PORT HENRY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, September 5, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Academy Award-considered director Richard Rossi and his casting associates are searching the country for what he calls the “next Shirley Temple,” a young girl to play the lead role of nine year-old Lucy in Rossi’s new feature film “Lucy and the Lake Monster.”
The film is based on an upcoming children’s book series, written by Rossi and Kelly Tabor, loosely based on her childhood. Tabor is a South Carolina fourth grade teacher who has regaled her students for years with stories of Champ, the Lake Champlain sea serpent, dubbed “America’s Loch Ness.” The lake borders New York and Vermont.
Tabor grew up in Crown Point, New York, where she heard eyewitness stories of Champ’s mysterious appearances from family and friends. Tabor won numerous “Teacher of the Year” honors from the state of North Carolina, Channel 4 News, Papa John’s Pizza, and Kilwin’s. Her accolades were in part for her unique storytelling abilities.
“My students were fascinated,” she said in a front-page interview with the Press Republican newspaper. “I love telling them Champ stories.”
FROM CLASSROOM TO NEWSROOM TO SCREENING ROOM
Her storytelling caught the attention of local news stations which gave her the Golden Apple award for outstanding teacher, and also caught the attention of her college friend, Hollywood filmmaker Richard Rossi, whose last film ‘Canaan Land,’ made the Academy Award’s finalized list for consideration for the Best Picture Oscar.
“I’ve written and directed three feature dramatic films,” Rossi said. “After visiting with Kelly’s class to speak about writing and play my music, I felt renewed by the children’s joy. I want my next film to be something special for children.”
In writing the script, Rossi and Tabor have interviewed eyewitnesses, of which Tabor herself is one among 300.
“All my young life I looked for Champ when I was on the lake,” Tabor said to the Press Republican. “One day we were at my dad’s camp on the lake and we used binoculars.
There was a stirring in the water, a wake. It was a ‘V.’ It came straight at us, then made a 90 degree angle turn and went away. It went up and down, not side to side. I saw the effects of Champ.”
Tabor has been telling her Champ stories over thirty years, and some of her former students are now adults, passing her stories on to their children.
“They return to visit Kelly to hear more about the legend of the lake,” Rossi said. “One former student, a Harvard graduate, said her stories were the best he’d heard.”
“I’m known as a storyteller,” Tabor said. “Kids will come back and visit and say ‘I miss your stories.’”
SEA SERPENT SONG
Rossi composed five songs for his last film ‘Canaan Land’ that made the Oscars list for Best Song consideration according to Hollywood Reporter and Variety. The songs were produced by Rossi and his youngest brother Peter at their recording studios in Pittsburgh, PA.
Peter passed away from an overdose of fentanyl. ‘Canaan Land’ was dedicated in part to Peter’s memory and Richard started a nationwide support system “Families Fighting Fentanyl” to help other families who’ve lost a loved one due to fentanyl.
Another Rossi brother, Joseph, is soldiering on running the recording studio and producing a new title song Richard composed for the Lucy film entitled, “You, Champ, and Me.” A solo version of Rossi performing the song on acoustic guitar can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuCSLoKKyYw
“My sweet lake lady, we’ll live on our boat upon the sea, just you, Champ, and me,” go the lyrics.
“The book series and film is eagerly anticipated in schools across the country,” a representative from BookPals said.
The first book in the series is slated to be released at the end of the year.
“It is a family film children will love,” Rossi said. “But it is not just a children’s film. Adults will love it on a deeper level. It is an allegory for faith, told through the innocence of Lucy. A little child shall lead them, as Isaiah says.”
For more information on the film, visit and like the Facebook Official Film page: https://www.facebook.com/champmovie
To have your child audition for the part of Lucy, visit https://www.backstage.com/casting/lucy-and-the-lake-monster-424335/
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