* Filming August - September 2021 *
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 her local bartender, and only friend, Shelly, introduces Penny to her nephew, Ephram. A struggling writer from Chicago, Ephram is on a mission to steal people’s stories and sell them as his own.
Penny hesitantly lets Ephram into her world and they begin to navigate life in Freedom together.
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