GOSHEN — When Goshen native Jordon Hodges finished writing his movie, “Sand Castles,” he knew he wanted to film it in Goshen, his hometown. The problem? Everyone else wanted to keep the movie in Los Angeles.
But Hodges persisted and found a cast, crew and budget that would allow them to film for about a month in his grandfather’s house in Goshen.
The plot follows a family whose 5-year-old daughter, Lauren, disappears. She is found 12 years later, a mute. and struggles to reconnect with her family, who was torn apart by the tragedy. Hodges himself plays her older brother.
Producer Christopher Nickin said it’s the “story of family and tragedy.”
Most of the movie is filmed in Goshen, though other spots include Middlebury, St. Joseph, Mich., and Elkhart.
Hodges is a graduate of Northridge High School, and “at the end of the day, I just wanted to show the Midwest and where I grew up,” he said.
Hodges said there are no tax incentives to film a movie in Indiana, and he hopes that is changed so more filmmakers will film in the Hoosier state. Overall, though, people have been very supportive of the film, he said.
Sheriff Brad Rogers from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department let some of the actors playing police officers go on ride-alongs with members from the department. He also let them use some uniforms, and members from the department will be playing police officers during some key scenes.
Hodges said the rest of the cast and crew has embraced Goshen, especially the people and the character of the small town. Hodges chose to shoot the movie in October to capture the fall colors.
Anne Winters, who plays Lauren, and Daniella Grace, who plays Lauren’s social worker, said they’ve loved filming on location. It’s the first trip to Indiana for both of them. They said most movies shoot in L.A. to save money, but being in Goshen, especially in Hodges’ grandfather’s house, makes it easier to pretend that the actors are part of one big family, as they are in the film.
“It would be totally different if it was just a set,” Winters said.
The film’s post-production work will be done in LA and will take about a year to complete. Hodges hopes to debut the film in one of the top-tier film festivals such as Cannes, Tribeca or Sundance.
This is the first film that Hodges has filmed in Goshen, though he has premiered a movie at the Linway Cinema.
For more information on “Sand Castles” go to sandcastlesfilm.com.