Jobe Publishing, Inc.
The saying it’s “Better in the Barrens” and film production companies American Cinema Inspires and BTF Media believe that to be true after choosing Barren County for a movie set.
Film work for “Finding Love in Sisters” began in October where locations in the county set the scene in the movie for the small community of Sisters, Oregon.
The film features a cast that includes Puerto Rican born Laura Carmine, Miami-based Marielena Dávila, and U.K. model actor Nick Hounslow.
The movie is being predominately filmed in Glasgow and with it brings many positive factors for the community and local tourism.
“Projects like this not only allow our town to be highlighted, but they also bring huge economic impact with them,” said MacLean Lessenberry, Executive Director of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission (GBCTCC).
A cast and crew of over 50 people “spent a month here residing in our lodging, dining in our restaurants, browsing our shops, visiting our attractions, and doing standard life activities such as working out at a gym or utilizing the local laundry mats,” Lessenberry said, adding that purchases of props, costumes, and more were all done right here in Barren County.
GBCTCC is one of nine Convention and Visitors Bureaus that make up the Southern KY Film Commission whose purpose is to bring more film projects to Southern Kentucky.
Bringing more film projects happens by marketing the area to location scouts and producers, promoting the State of Kentucky’s reimbursement tax credit for the film industry, and assisting in the coordination of filming, lodging, etc.
“The filming of Finding Love in Sisters is a successful example of those steps being taken and a project coming to fruition,” Lessenberry said.
Feedback from those with the film crew provided feedback for their experiences in the community. Lessenberry shared with the Barren County Progress some of their top favorite local spots in Glasgow Drink N Game, Extreme Fitness of Glasgow, Ralphies, Garcia’s, and Shogun Bistro.
“We want to publicly thank all of our elected officials and locals for being so supportive and hospitable while this production was filming,” Lessenberry said.
The film, written by D.F.W. Buckingham and helmed by Jeff Day, is a romantic drama that centers on Esperanza (Carmine), a successful lawyer whose dream life is starting to show cracks. She chooses to stay at her job after her mother suggests she visit their hometown of Sisters to recharge. When Esperanza’s mother dies, she returns home, although she is wary of reuniting with her two sisters, Caridad (Davila) and Faith (Valentina Izarra).
“Finding Love In…” is a series of films featuring strong, empowered, and confident female figures who are willing to overcome life’s circumstances to achieve their goals,” said ACI President Chevonne O’Shaughnessy.
For Francisco Cordero, CEO of BTF Media and co-producer of the film, reflecting Hispanic culture in the U.S. is vital in addressing a community that makes up the largest minority in the country, now at 19%. “It is important that there is audiovisual content that brings us closer to our values and customs to find ourselves as a community,” he said.
A September 2022 report by non-profit LDC (Latino Donor Collaborative) has revealed that little has changed over the past decade or more in terms of Latino representation in the U.S. media. Given this lack of representation, more Latinos are resorting to tapping social media platforms and brands for content, led by YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat, the study revealed
Latinos represent a quarter of potential American TV and film viewers and help generate 20% to 30% of the industry’s revenue and more than 50% of its growth, according to the LDC report.
The study found that Latinos accounted for 5.2% of leads in films, 5.1% of co-leads/ensemble actors, 3.5% of screenwriters, and 2.6% of directors. Of the lead roles, there was an even 50-50 split of positive and negative representations. The ‘Finding Love’ franchise hopes to tip the balance towards more positive portrayals.