PELHAM, N.Y. -- For Chance Mullen, the screening of his new movie, "Sun Belt Express" isn't just the culmination of a five year journey -- it's the first time he's worn the hat of writer, actor and co-producer in a feature film before.
"I've directed and acted and written some short films as well as things for theater," said the Pelham resident. "But this is my first full-length film, so it's very exciting for me."
"Sun Belt Express," to be shown at The Picture House Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a post-film discussion with Mullen and Director/Writer Evan Buxbaum, tells the story of a man bringing four undocumented immigrants across the border in his trunk and the ensuing chaos that develops.
The story, while fiction, is inspired by true accounts. According to Mullen, the story is funny, heartwarming and uplifting.
"It's amazing to hear how people go through these really difficult experiences and still maintain their sense of humor, optimism and sense of hope," he said. "By making the film a comedy, Evan and I were hoping to give people a way into the immigration conversation that they might not normally get."
Mullen and his wife, Francile Albright, who both serve as co-producers on the film, moved to Pelham two and a half years ago and the Kansas-born natives have been inspired by the sense of community in this pocket of Westchester. They plan to produce their next film, "Saints of Pelham," which is about the lives and struggles of those living in the "Big City's" shadow.
"This is such a beautiful, quaint town," said Mullen, who hopes to shoot the film in Pelham. "After filming 'Sun Belt' in the heat of the New Mexican desert, it will be great to shoot a block away from where I live."
Tickets to the special screening and post-film discussion are $12 general admission, $10 students and seniors, $6 members and are available at www.thepicturehouse.org or at the box office, 175 Wolfs Lane, 914-738-7337.