‘Believe in Me’ to be released in March

By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers

A movie about an Oklahoma high school basketball coach filmed mostly in the Clovis area is bound for a big-screen debut in March, according to movie officials.

Filmed locally in October 2004, “Believe in Me” is being courted by several distribution companies, according to its director, Robert Collector. He said a company will be chosen to distribute the film within the next few days.

William Wright, the movie’s set decorator, said the movie will make its theatrical release March 2 or March 9 in conjunction with the annual NCAA basketball tournament known as “March Madness.”

“The movie will be released in six or seven cities in the Heartland,” Wright said.

Wright said the movie is also scheduled to be shown next month at the St. Louis Film Festival.

Liz Eisenbraun, film liaison for the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce, said the movie’s release to the big screen is definitely good news.

“It’s exciting,” she said.

According to Wright, the movie has been well-received. “Everybody loves this movie,” he said. “Robert (Collector) did a great job.”

The movie is about an Oklahoma high school girls basketball coach in the mid-1960s. It is based on a true story of a coach’s dream to take a rural high school girls basketball team to the top.

The film stars Bruce Dern, Jeffrey Donovan, Samantha Mathis and Bob Guntun, according to www.imdb.com.

The championship game of “Believe In Me” was filmed at Rock Staubus Gymnasium, and other scenes were shot at various locations throughout the Clovis and Portales area. Many residents were extras in the movie, and some locals even landed small parts.

Wright said Paula Silver has been hired to market the movie. Silver was the marketing strategist behind the surprise 2002 independent hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

“A lot of times independent films go straight to video,” Wright said. “It depends on the project, and it is all about timing.”