BUTTE - If Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then filmmakers are beholding something beautiful about Butte.
“This place, to us, can be a Mecca of filmmaking. We had a few filmmakers down in L.A. that came up for the festival this year and by the time they were leaving they were calling Butte ‘Hollywood North,’” said Covellite International Film Festival co-founder Don Andrews.
Filmmaker Raj Amit Kumar discovered Butte two years ago when he showed his film Unfreedom at the Covellite International Film Festival. He has returned to make his second feature-length film in the Mining City about an immigrant living in Butte.
“The story is very poignant from the place of where we are as contemporary society, right, what’s happening in America right now, the question of immigration and the question of illegal immigration,” Kumar said.
The filmmaker said the city enhances the story he wants to tell.
“The cold atmosphere, the snow, the topography definitely adds to that feeling, right, a feeling of loneliness, solitude, being by yourself,” he said.
Organizers of the Covellite Film Festival say there’s something about the town of Butte that makes artists like Raj want to come to the Mining City to make their films.
“There’s just something about this place that makes people want to tell stories here and it’s the buildings, the topography and to me most of all it’s the people here,” Andrews said.
Kumar added, “It’s amazing how local businesses help support, thanks to them, they help sponsor and they help from behind projects. Thanks to local communities who open their doors for filmmakers to come live in their houses, eat their food.”
Raj hopes to start filming through December and January. Anyone wanting to help sponsor the film or provide in-kind services can contact the Covellite Theater.