Award-Winning, Locally-Shot Film Belleville to Play at Wehrenberg Theatres



Ted Trent Studios and Circa 87 announced an exclusive new distribution deal with Wehrenberg Theatres to showcase their award-winning, local film Belleville.

Ted Trent Studios and Circa 87, two Los Angeles-based film production companies, have collaborated to focus future projects on America’s Midwest. “It makes sense,” says producer and actor Ted Trent. “Writer/director Dan Steadman grew up in Michigan, and I was raised in Southern Illinois. We started sharing our vision for telling important stories from the Heartland in modern, contemporary ways and that led to a change in focus for both of our companies.”

The duo was in Palm Springs, launching Hidden Hills, an early 60s homage to Rock Hudson and Doris Day, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. “I got to talking about my upbringing in Belleville, Illinois,” explains Trent. “I challenged Dan to go back to my hometown and write a fictional tale of loss and hopelessness – that eventually leads to redemption and joy that can be found in community.”

“The fun for me as a writer was to take my comedy background (Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jesus People) and mix it with my Midwestern values and my desire to tell stories that matter,” explains Steadman. The team got excited about bringing filmmaking to the Midwest and discovering local actors in the Heartland. Belleville did just that for St. Louis actress Cooper Shaw, who just discovered she had won the American Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress in this Midwestern-made indie film.

A full scale publicity campaign was launched in St. Louis, with two articles in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, radio interviews, in-studio TV interviews on CBS and FOX affiliates, and live red
carpet coverage on NBC. “The excitement in the room was palpable from the moment guests entered the historic Lincoln Theater, all the way through to the end credits,” writes Bethany Rose in InFlux magazine. “It’s no surprise that a large round of applause accompanied the film’s end.”

Ronald P. Krueger, Chairman and CEO of Wehrenberg Theatres, said, “Our family and our business grew up in St. Louis and the Metro-area. A film of this quality which highlights local
communities and talent is something we strongly support. We’re proud to showcase Belleville to our guests. We know they’ll support these local filmmakers.”

“We are thrilled from the support from Wehrenberg and we are excited about sharing this redemptive tale of hope and community throughout four states,” says Ted Trent. “We hope to reach people who seem to yearn for a different type of movie from Hollywood. The positive feedback we’ve received from the thousands of people who have already attended the film really indicates we’re on to something here. People have been touched by our little tale of a depressed farmer whose life is changed by a stranger visiting from another world.”

On September 5, Belleville will open in Ronnie’s 20 in St Louis, MO, Town Square 12 in Dardenne Prairie, MO, O’Fallon 15 in O’Fallon, IL, Mid Rivers 14 in St. Peters, MO, Galaxy 14 in Chesterfield, MO, Arnold 14 in Arnold, MO, St. Charles 18 in St. Charles, MO, Des Peres 14 in Des Peres, MO, Galaxy 14 in Bloomington, IL, Cape West 14 in Cape Girardeau, MO, Campbell 16 in Springfield, MO, Galaxy 16 in Cedar Rapids, IA and Galaxy 14 in Rochester, MN.

Wehrenberg Theatres currently operates sixteen cines in Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

Having celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2006, St. Louis-based Wehrenberg Theatres is the oldest family-owned-and-operated theatre circuit in the U.S. Ronald P. Krueger, 3rd Generation, Chairman and CEO of Wehrenberg Theatres. William E. Menke, Executive Vice President of Wehrenberg Theatres.

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