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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Locally-shot movie to premiere

By Matt Shortall - staff writer

Contributed Photo
Tom Hanley, left, who played Tommy Collins in “On the Waterfront” and Michael Sorvino in a scene shot at the Weissmann Farm in Callicoon Center.
"Hunting Season” is a film shot on location in Callicoon Center that will premiere at the Hoboken International Film Festival (HIFF) in Middletown on May 30.
Actor and writer John Bale came up with the story based on personal experiences. He wrote the story while reminiscing about the time he was 18 and fell in love while spending his summer in the country.
“It was based on pure personal experiences, destiny, and letting my imagination run wild,” said Bale.
Bale was searching for a house in Sullivan County when he stumbled upon the hillside house owned by Keith Olsen, a vintage property on Keller Road in Callicoon Center sitting on a sprawling 85-acre property.
“Hunting Season,” takes place on a farm where father and son grapple with the future fate of their business.
It was originally written as a screenplay, and later adapted to film to provide for more artistic freedom.
“When I wrote my screenplay, it was for four characters. With a play, there's limited space, because [there's] only one set. However, in film, I can develop the set, characters with more locations and more suspense,” Bale said.
The film was directed by Tom Balsamides, who joined the project after going to see a play of Bale's at the Central Stage in New York City.
After reading the script for “Hunting Season,” the director immediately jumped onboard.
Bale plays a small role alongside actors Nick Mahoney, Michael Sorvino, Tom Hanley, and Helen Bentley.
Hanley had been retired from acting since he had a role in the 1954 Academy Award winning film, “On the Waterfront” opposite Marlon Brando.
Sorvino, brother of Oscar-winning actress Mira, will be on hand to watch his father Paul accept the 2015 HIFF 10th Anniversary Award for Excellence in Film & the Arts on May 29. Paul has had a long and distinguished and awarded film career.
“We're all very excited about the festival,” said Bale, “It's been a long road since we wrapped up filming and undertook the whole editing process.”
“This is the first time the film will be premiering in New York,” said Bale. “We filmed in upstate New York so returning to the area for the film festival feels like everything has come full circle.”
For the third year in a row the HIFF will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Middletown from May 29 to June 4. For info about the HIFF, visit

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