Film raises awareness of domestic abuse
By Claire Colby, a Mayo High School graduate and a Post-Bulletin summer intern.
For filmmaker Aaron Potter, age is just a number.
At just 19, the Rochester native already boasts considerable filmmaking experience, including his latest film, "A Heart Under Shadow," which screens June 24 at Assembly of God Church in Rochester.
"Some people have been doubting of my skill or experience when I tell them my age," he says, "but I always try to use examples of my work to show my talent, rather than my age."
Potter got his start directing plays with his sister and cousins before transitioning to filming parodies of sitcoms. "After a while, we moved away from those
(sitcom parodies) and began pulling other people in," he says. "Before I knew it, I had something going on."
His current team includes cast and crew members from Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
Potter, founder of Solid Ground Studios, has six productions to his name, including "Marooned," "Letters and a Rose," "Angels to Spare Us," "Pursued," and "Finding My Father."
" A Heart Under Shadow " is his first contemporary piece. "I love history and believe that it provides valuable insight," he says. But he felt this story could be best told through a contemporary lens, so he and his team decided to "try some new waters and go for a modern setting with this film."
The screenplay for "A Heart Under Shadow" was written by Rachel Dougan, the star of Potter’s previous film, "Finding My Father."
Dougan, who is passionate about helping victims of domestic abuse, felt this movie would be a perfect platform for raising awareness. The film tells of Cassi, who was abused by her father at a young age. As the film opens, Cassi is in the beginnings of a new relationship. She must choose to face her fears and uncertainties about the relationship, or let them define her future.
Potter, who cites Stephen Kendrick as a major role model, recognizes his audience up to this point has been largely Christian. "I have received a great deal of positive support from that crowd," he says. However, his marketing team is currently focusing on broadening the studio’s horizons and appealing to a wider audience.
Though Potter is currently working several part-time jobs to support himself, he plans on pursuing filmmaking as his primary career. After this premiere, he plans on working ideas for other films.
In addition, he plans on expanding his experience by "working for other directors, and on other types of projects, such as documentaries and educational projects."
If you go
What Premiere of the film "A Heart Under Shadow"
When 7 p.m. Friday June 24
Where Assembly of God Church, 4240 18th Ave. NW, Rochester