A movie about homelessness in America will be shot next month in Atlantic City, and city officials hope it will bring more filmmakers to the area.
Mayor Lorenzo Langford was in attendance at a news conference Wednesday. The city is allowing the film’s creator, Harris Haith, to use a vacant lot for much of the filming.
“We just created a Mayor’s Film Commission,” Langford said. “And one of the things we want to do is send out the message that Atlantic City is open for business. And any producer, director, promoter, anybody that has any projects, we want them to know that Atlantic City is ready to play host as a site for a movie, for a video production, music, whatever it is.”
Haith, a former Pleasantville resident, wrote the script in the early 1990s and plans to begin production Feb. 18. The news conference was held at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, which will be featured in the film, “The Starks Coalition.”
Haith plays a Wall Street broker who loses everything and ends up homeless on the streets of Atlantic City.
John DeMario, associate director of development at the Rescue Mission, lauded Haith’s script for its realism. He said the Rescue Mission is the perfect setting.
“This is not a Hollywood set,” he said. “This is not make believe. This is the real deal right here.”
Haith said several factors contributed to his choosing Atlantic City.
“When I was creating the story, I was thinking that this is a casino town and the character is going to lose his money,” he said. “Since I’m from the area, Atlantic City is the perfect backdrop. I’ve got a lot of support here, too.”
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