Hometown Pride

Dallas independent film receives big-screen treatment in limited run

Dallas independent film receives big-screen treatment in limited run

A film hitting theaters on December 2 has deep Dallas ties. Called Three Days in August, it was written, directed, produced, and edited by locals, and it has a special limited run at Studio Movie Grill for one week only.

From many of the minds that created Occupy, Texas, Three Days in August is inspired by the life of Texas painter Shannon Kincaid. It tells the story of an adopted Irish American artist who has always wanted to paint a family portrait of her birth mother (Meg Foster), stepfather (Edward James Hyland), and adoptive parents (Mariette Hartley and Barry Bostwick). Shannon (Mollie Milligan) secretly invites her biological and adoptive family to a weekend retreat at a ranch in Mineral Wells, and chaos ensues.

“She’s painting this family portrait as a metaphor for putting all the pieces of her life together,” says Ubiquimedia’s Johnathan Brownlee, who director, produced, and co-wrote the film. His other producer credits include Decoding Annie Parker, starring Helen Hunt and Samantha Morgan.

Along with a slew of Texas actors, producers, and writers, the film was edited at Lucky Post in Oak Lawn. It also includes many Dallas and Texas culture references; try to spot all the Four Corners Brewing Co. beers when you watch. But it isn’t just the Texas roots that make the movie special.

When Kincaid first came to Brownlee with the idea for the film (the two met when Brownlee shot Occupy, Texas at Kincaid’s house in Dallas), Brownlee suggested they turn the idea into a part creative, part business venture. So they created the Sionna Project — along with David Kiger, who would go on to co-produce the film — a contest package in which a winning script would get resources, funds, and connections to produce a full-length film in less than a year.

Dallas natives Chad Berry and David Langlinais won the script-writing contest and hit the ground running with producers Brownlee, Kiger, Kincaid, Allen Stringer, Adam Donaghey, James Tumminia, and Jeff Berlin. By the time the film premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival in April 2016, a theatrical release with Studio Movie Grill and deals with iTunes, VOD, and Netflix were already in the works.

“We couldn’t have done this film in any other city but Dallas,” Brownlee says. “All of these different aspects of the film just came together, and it’s been a labor of love.”

Three Days in August runs through December 8 at 18 Studio Movie Grills nationwide — including the locations on Northwest Highway and Spring Valley and in Lewisville, The Colony, and Plano. Tickets can be purchased on the movie theater’s website.

If you miss it in theaters, the film releases on iTunes on December 20.

Three Days in August - Johnathan Brownlee
Dallasite Johnathan Brownlee co-wrote, produced, and directed the film.  Photo courtesy of Jeff Berlin
Three Days in August - Maureen(Mariette Hartley) and Shannon(Mollie Milligan)
Maureen (Mariette Hartley) and Shannon (Mollie Milligan) in the film Three Days in August Photo courtesy of Bongani Mlambo
Three Days in August - Johnathan Brownlee
Three Days in August - Maureen(Mariette Hartley) and Shannon(Mollie Milligan)