Hoosier independent filmmaking comes to Greencastle

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Pigasus Pictures’ “The Good Catholic” to screen at Ashley Square

If asked “What is your passion?” what would you say? For Daniel in “The Good Catholic,” defining his passion is much harder, especially when a single decision makes him question his calling to serve after dedicating his entire life to Catholicism.

Director of the Film Studies program, Seth Friedman, worked with production company, Pigasus Pictures, to bring the independent film “The Good Catholic” to Greencastle this Friday.

Friedman is excited to have the producers and filmmakers in Greencastle promote the film’s theatrical release.

“Here we had a unique opportunity to screen an American Independent film that is seeking broader distribution, that might not get out to theaters unless it does really well,” said Friedman. “It is a rare opportunity to see a non-blockbuster, non-franchise film in the theatrical setting.”

“The Good Catholic” stars Greencastle native and Indiana University alumnus Zachary Spicer alongside legends Danny Glover (“Lethal Weapon”) and John McGinley (“Scrubs”).

Writer and director Paul Shoulberg loosely based the screenplay off of his parents’ relationship when they both stepped down from their roles as priest and nun in the Catholic church to get married.

After connecting during their time at Indiana University, Spicer, Shoulberg, John Armstrong, Kaitlyn Smith, and Bryan Guadagno came together to create the production company Pigasus Pictures, LLC.

“Paul wrote the script, but he’d written the script and we had wanted to produce it,” said Spicer. “But, we all realized that there aren’t movies that are coming out of Indiana anymore.”

After Shoulberg wrote “The Good Catholic,” major stars Danny Glover and John McGinley joined the project. Six months later, the film began taking shape.

During the winter of 2016, Shoulberg and Pigasus Pictures shot the film in Bloomington, Indiana thanks to the financial backing from much of the community.

“We’re a very low budget film, even for independent film standards,” said Spicer. “We were going to have to get as many favors as we could, and the [Bloomington] community rolled out the red carpet for us.”

Broad Green Pictures, an American independent film distributor, picked up “The Good Catholic” after the film won Best Independent Feature Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Best Screenwriting at the Milan International Film Festival.

The film has had a theatrical release throughout Indiana and a limited national release, but “The Good Catholic” is gaining a larger awareness through online streaming services.

Pigasus Pictures’ COO John Armstrong believes that streaming services have created a space for more independent films alongside big-budget blockbusters.

“The online platforms have opened up this middle market where independent films can reach a wide audience,” said Armstrong. “It was so cool to me that, on the Friday we opened, on the top banner on iTunes it was ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘The Good Catholic’.

Despite the benefits that streaming services give to independent films, Pigasus Pictures and Friedman believe the theater experience is the best way to watch films. For that reason, Friedman helped bring “The Good Catholic” to Greencastle. He says having the producers of a film in front of students brings an incredible opportunity.

“A lot of [students] tell me they want to get into the film business...and to see people who have made it independently, [who] have been able to entice stars to perform in their movies and get them actually made and distributed theatrically, [and] to be able to hear [those] people talk about those things live and in-person, I think is a tremendous opportunity,” said Friedman.

“The Good Catholic” has already toured around central Indiana after premiering in Bloomington last week. As a Greencastle native, Spicer is excited to screen his first feature length film in the very place his love of movies began.

“Coming back, it’s going to be awesome having a screening at Ashley Square because that was the first movie theater I ever went to,” said Spicer. “That’s where I saw every major film of my childhood. It’s where I saw ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Titanic,’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’.”

The film studies department will be hosting a talk with Spicer, Shoulberg and Pigasus Pictures at 3:30 p.m. in the Emerson Room at the Inn at DePauw. The 5 p.m. screening of “The Good Catholic” will follow at Ashley Square Cinema.

Immediately after the film, there will be a Q&A with the producers. All events are open to the public.