* Currently in pre-production *
Freedom, WI is a dark comedy that follows Penny, a young woman obsessed with the dead and repulsed by the living. Her small-town life routine is disrupted when Ephram, a struggling writer from Chicago, gets a flat tire in front of her house during a cross-country bike journey.
With a book pitch due and a lack of inspiration, Ephram is on a mission to steal people’s stories and sell them as his own. Intrigued by Ephram, Penny allows him to camp outside of her house in exchange for fixing up her yard.
Has Ephram found a muse? Has Penny found a living friend?
I started the script for Freedom, WI ten years ago while I was living in Appleton, Wisconsin. Fresh out of college with a history degree, working at a coffee shop and a dance store, I wanted nothing more than to make films. I thought of the people that I knew, the places that I loved, my feeling of stagnation, and my desire for adventure, and started crafting a story.
After spending seven wonderful years in Wisconsin, I moved to Portland, Oregon, where I began working in film full time - first as a production assistant, and then an editor and producer. Ready to direct my first feature film, I started brainstorming different story ideas, and kept circling back to my work-in-progress script for Freedom, WI. I reacquainted myself with the characters, and the words started flowing.
With my experience helping other directors bring their visions to life (through producing and editing dozens of narrative films), I have seen what is successful when making a feature film. I have absolute trust in my crew, having worked with them closely over the past five years. I cannot imagine a better team to help me make my vision a reality.
We will be shooting the whole film on location back where it all started - Wisconsin. Not only is the landscape uniquely beautiful, but so are the people and the connections that I made there. Freedom, WI is a love letter to the place that I still consider home.
To me, the feeling of being in Wisconsin is timeless. Even though we are in the modern era of phones and technology, every time that I visit the Midwest, I am able to slow down and appreciate the immediate. And that is how I want viewers to feel when they watch Freedom, WI. Take a chance to slow down, be in the moment, and enjoy an old fashioned (brandy of course). I can almost taste the cheese curds.
- Molly Preston