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January 06. 2013 10:32PM

R.I. student film to shoot in Lakes Region

MOULTONBOROUGH - A Rhode Island School of Design film student has chosen parts of Moultonborough as the setting for his senior project, a short film called "Donner Party, the Musical."

Film major Andrew Migliori successfully raised more than $16,500 for the film project through the online fund raising tool, Kickstarter. Last week the town's selectmen approved his request to use parts of Playground Drive; the school board previously approved his request to use the woods behind the athletic fields at Moultonborough Academy.

The film must be completed and turned in by May 2013.

Migliori describes the film on his Kickstarter pitch pages.

"As a senior in Film at Rhode Island School of Design, I'll be spending the entire year making this film, managing every aspect of the project from casting through final editing, and raising the necessary funds to produce it. This hilarious musical comedy tells the true story of ill-fated settlers, how they became snowbound and resorted to cannibalism," he stated. "At its heart, the film is a love story. As the hardships mount, the young lovers grow closer until they hunger for each other," he added.

Migliori grew up in Rhode Island but he has family roots in the Lakes Region. In an interview Friday, he explained that he spent summers at his grandparent's lake house in Tuftonboro. "We used to come up every year and hang out for the summer," he said. His grandparents, Julius and Gloria Migliori, still own the family lakeside retreat. One of Migliori's classmates at RISD, Christi Wakefield, is a Moultonborough Academy graduate.

Another reason Migliori chose a location in northern New England is because of the snow needed for the story.

The Donner Party was a group of 87 pioneers headed west in a wagon train to California in 1846. They were trapped in the snows of the Sierra Nevada and some of the survivors resorted to cannibalism.

Migliori saw the unlikely musical comedy version, "Donner Party, the Musical," performed on stage and asked the writers' permission to produce it for the screen.

The setting requires snow and cold weather.

"Certainly, the snow is a lot better, and there are mountains on the horizon," he said of the Lakes Region scenery.

Migliori and an 11-member film crew is expected to arrive in the area on Friday, Jan. 18 and film for two days, Jan. 19-20, in Moultonborough.

"I'll be writing, directing and producing the film. A friend will be operating the camera. This is my 'child' of a film," he said.

Covered wagon, anyone? Migliori is still looking for an antique-looking covered wagon, or a wagon he can modify with canvas to look like a covered wagon from the mid-1800s. He is willing to rent the wagon from the owner. If anyone can oblige, give him a call at 401-965-1910 or e-mail amiglior@risd.edu.

lmulkern@newstote.com

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