PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

June 10, 2014

Hellion fans pack theater

PORT ARTHUR — Familiar places such as Larry’s French Market, Port Neches Little League fields and a neighborhood in Groves hit the big screen with the showing of the independent film Hellion on Tuesday.

Alma Cantu and friend Dorene Stimac, both of Groves, were some of the first of hundreds of eager movie goers in line at Central Mall’s Dickinson Theater. Last summer Cantu noticed strangers in her neighborhood and thought maybe some youth from a local church were tending to one of the homes. A few weeks later she learned that Hellion was being shot in the area and decided right then that she was going to see the movie.

“I went online and the first showing was sold out but I came up here anyway. That’s when they opened a second theater for the movie. I couldn’t wait for today,” Cantu said.

Hellion was written and directed by Kat Candler of Austin and produced by Kelly Williams, a Port Neches-Groves High School graduate. Both Candler and Williams mingled about the mall, shaking hands and giving out hugs as well as interviews. Co-producer Andrew Logan, who was also in attendance, was seen periodically taking cell phone photos and video of the crowd.

Some of the fans in attendance were there in support of Williams and Candler. Jeanne Brandenburg’s husband John grew up next door to Williams and the couple drove from Houston to be at the movie screening, she said.

Lynn and Wayman Williams, Kelly Williams’ parents, mingled with the crowd as well.

“We enjoyed all of it. And we fed them all,” Wayman Williams said with a laugh of his time working with the cast and crew.

Mom Lynn explained that her son is following his dream.

“He’s been making movies since he was little bitty,” Lynn Williams said. “This (support of community) is very special to see.”

Candler, who spent many days in the area doing research, met with locals such as refinery workers and hung out at Larry’s while penning the movie.

“Working with the community is phenomenal,” Candler said. “We couldn’t have made this movie without Southeast Texas. Everyone rallied around us.”

Kelly Williams said coming home is special.

“It’s amazing and quite an experience to be able to shoot here,” Kelly Williams said. “And to come back to screen the movie in a theater I grew up going to.”

Williams and Candler met in 2001 at the Sundance Film Festival — Williams was a volunteer and Candler was watching movies. The duo have come full circle having screened the movie at Sundance to a theater with 1,200 seats, he said.

Hellion stars “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul and Academy Award nominee Juliette Lewis. The movie follows the actions of motocross and heavy metal obsessed 13-year-old Jacob whose delinquent behavior results in the authorities placing his little brother Wes with their aunt. Jacob, and his emotionally absent father must now take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home.

Because of the interest in the movie, Dickinson Theater will have a one week showing of Hellion beginning June 27.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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