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Independent short film is shot in county

June 12, 2007

Award-winning film writer-director Josh Slates has completed an independent short film (less than 30 minutes long) in Washington County. Upon completion of final editing, the film will be entered in the international film festival circuit in 2008.

Slates is a producer, director and journalist based in Baltimore. His most recent film, "Ponkutsu Park," premiered at the Maryland Film Festival and was screened in the Short Film Corner at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

His new short-film production is a portrait of nuclear geopolitical thought among the heavy-metal rock 'n' roll set in the last weeks of 1989. The project was filmed on location in Washington County and also in Baltimore, and is now in post-production. The production company is called Mobtown Shank.

The lead of the short film is Hari Leigh, who has several movie acting credits, and also is an up-and-coming stand-up comedienne.

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"We had a great experience in this film-friendly environment," Slates said. "We had heard that Hagerstown and Washington County was a good place to bring TV and film productions, and we can certainly testify that it was easy to film our production here."

Much of the filming took place in Washington County's High Rock Park, near Cascade.

"I was a correspondent for WYPR for this year's Cannes Film Festival, and I'm looking forward to coming back with the film we completed in Washington County," Slates said.

The production company headquartered its project at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel.

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