Fairlee, VT., -- Executive Producer Nick Charyk in collaboration with Big Heavy World announced today the production and release of their new film, The Ballad of Ethan Alien. Filming of The Ballad of Ethan Alien began on October 1st and will wrap up production on October 15th. The 75-minute film features the music of Charyk’s band the Western Terrestrials as well as other prominent Vermont artists. The film is directed by J Nicholas Mees, a native of the Northeast Kingdom, and produced by his collaborative partner Priya Ghosh. The two recently collaborated on the international award-winning film A Heist of One’s Own.
“Our aim with this film is to elevate the creative powers of multi-generational Vermont artists with diverse backgrounds,” said Charyk. “The pandemic has upended the arts and entertainment world, and most of these artists have found themselves out of work. We wanted to create purposeful work for them here in Vermont and to speak to critical concepts such as inclusivity, collective action, diversity, anti-racism and the importance of artistic expression.” The film features a cast and crew of both veteran entertainment professionals and newcomers to the industry. Audiences are certain to recognize at least a few faces such as Rusty Deewees who is best known as his character “The Logger”, and Bow Thayer among others.
The Ballad of Ethan Alien is a musical film based on the song Ethan Alien which appeared on the Western Terrestrials’ sophomore album Back in the Saddle of a Fever Dream released in July. This past March, Ketch Secor, fiddler and singer for Old Crow Medicine Show, reached out to the Western Terrestrials on their Instagram page to propose an interesting idea: "y'all gotta cool vibe. let's co-write a song. I'm gonna give you the title and u take from there: Ethan Allen Wuz An Alien." The Western Terrestrials jumped at the chance to collaborate with Ketch, and the song was born. Read the Seven Days story of the song’s origin and production here.
Combining alien sci-fi with Vermont State history, the film will highlight human connection and the importance of coming together in challenging times. It will feature Vermont-based actors and personalities and will be produced by local lighting, sound and film production professionals, many of whom have struggled to find work during the pandemic.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this meaningful project, which will give much-needed work and support to some of Vermont’s struggling creative community. It’s a perfect vision for this moment,” said James Lockridge, Executive Director of Big Heavy World, a volunteer-run organization supporting Vermont-made music and musicians. “The film will highlight and rely on Vermont talent while sharing important themes beyond our borders."
Vermont audiences will be able to screen the film at several outdoor events beginning Halloween Weekend. Details of the premier will be announced shortly.
The production is still actively soliciting financial donations. To donate to this project, please visit www.westernterrestrials.com/balladofethanalien
Or Contributions may be sent to:
Big Heavy World
P.O. Box 428
Burlington, VT 05402-0428.
Write “Ethan Alien” in the check memo please!