'Hushed,' parts of which were shot in Hagerstown, is debuting at Cannes Film Festival

May 17, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Two Man Island Production's "Hushed" tells the story of a fictitious religious group, Blessed Light Ministries, who are trying to convert others. Parts of the film were shot in Hagerstown. The film has been chosen for the Cannes Film Festival's Short Corner.
Photo courtesy of Two Man Island Productions,

A film set to debut in France at its Cannes Film Festival has taken a piece of Hub City with it.

The 24-minute short, "Hushed," will debut at the 2010 Cannes Short Film Corner. Director Vincent Brando said a third of the film was shot at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

Cannes Film Festival, which began Wednesday, is considered to be one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world. For 12 days, filmmakers, fans and the folks with the money to make your movie a blockbuster, converge in France for the yearly festival.

"No matter what level a filmmaker is on, you never know what's going to come out on the other end," said Brando, 29, of Frederick, Md., during a telephone interview. Brando chatted with The Herald-Mail from Ronald Reagan National Airport terminal while awaiting a noon flight that would kick off a long journey to France.


"Hushed" is a drama about a fictitious religious group, Blessed Light Ministries who are trying to convert others. But the film takes on an apocalyptic feel in the end.

Brando said the turning point of the film was shot at Hagerstown Regional Airport. He said he picked the Hagerstown's airport out of convenience.

The rest of the film was shot in Middletown, Md.

Greg Larsen, business development manager for Hagerstown Regional Airport, said the film's crew and cast were at the airport last summer during airport hours on a weekend. The crew, Larsen said, used a vacant counter and the public part of the passenger terminal.

"It was pretty quiet here," Larsen said.

He said he had seen a trailer for the film on the filmmaker's YouTube channel and was pleased. "Anyone who's been in our terminal recently will recognize it as Hagerstown Regional Airport," Larsen said.

Brando shot the film with long-time friends Mark Bell and Brian Chickerino on a $10,000 production budget. It was the group's first serious film venture, Brando said.

None of guys are full-time filmmakers.

Brando attended Brooks Institute, a photography and film school in Southern California. He said he moved to Maryland in 2007 and currently works for Delta Air Lines.

Chickerino is a special education teacher in Lancaster, Pa.

Bell is a neuroscientist in Rhode Island.

Brando said the three of them grew up in Mountain Top, Pa., which is about 2 hours and 20 minutes from Hagerstown. As high schoolers, they shot viral-style spoofs of the PBS kid's show "Mister Rogers Neighborhood." By the time they were 17, they had established their roles in the movie-making process, Brando said.

For "Hushed," Brando directed the film; Bell and Brando were the producers. Chickerino was the audio engineer.

Brando said the end result came out great after a year of taping. In fact, it was good enough to submit to Cannes, "fresh off the DVD burner," Brando said. The entry fee was only $90, Brando said, which they split three ways.

Worse case? The selection committee for Cannes Shorts says "no."

"We can't afford to go to the movies or play golf for a weekend," Brando said.

Watch a trailer for "Hushed" at

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