It may not have been a blockbuster hit, but an indie thriller shot in Baton Rouge in late 2017 will be screened at the film festival during Austin’s SXSW, which kicks off Friday.
“Darlin,’” which tells the story of a feral teenage girl taken into strict Catholic care and prepared for her First Holy Communion, according to a blurb on the SXSW website, is the sequel to 2011’s “The Woman”, another indie horror film. It stars and is directed by Scottish actress Pollyanna McIntosh, who has gained some acclaim for her role in The Walking Dead. It also features New Orleans actor Bryan Batt, well known for his role as Salvator Romano in the early seasons of AMC’s Mad Men.
Whether viewers will recognize any familiar scenes from around Baton Rouge isn’t clear. But the movie was shot at various sites around the city and its production crew was based at the Celtic Media Centre. Its estimated production budget was just over $750,000, according to its application with Louisiana Economic Development.
Aaron Bayham, director of studio operations at Celtic Media Centre, says having the flick make the screening at SXSW is a bright spot for the local movie industry, which has yet to recover from legislative changes to the state’s movie industry tax credit program in 2015.
He is hopeful, however, that 2019 will prove busier than the past two years. Currently, the studio is waiting to hear back from the producers of a television series interested in filming in Baton Rouge. Bayham says he does not have too many details about the proposed series and that Baton Rouge would not be written into the storyline, as, say, New Orleans is in NCIS: New Orleans. But he says locals would recognize familiar sites used in the filming.