Two OS screen their film - Doonby -at Stonyhurst
Two OS brothers, Michael and Daniel Mackenzie (OS98 and OS00) have been involved in the production of a new film, Doonby, which was written and directed by their father, Peter Mackenzie. First shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it was shown at Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall on Wednesday 23rd November to a large audience. Mike and Dan introduced the film and took questions from the audience afterwards. (It is rated PG 13.)
The film is described as a “pro-life film with a mainstream approach”. Doonby, stars John Schneider from hit 70’s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard and (more recently) Smallville; Ernie Hudson from the cult comedy hit The Ghostbusters and Robert Davi, the often-typecast villain from The Goonies and Licence to Kill. Michael was one of Doonby’s producers and Daniel was the camera operator, working alongside top cinematographer Peter Field, of Cold Mountain and Troy fame. Doonby is due for release in the US in early 2012 and is likely to follow in the UK soon after.
The film is about Sam Doonby, a mysterious and handsome drifter, who steps off an interstate bus and quickly becomes the talk of a small Texas town. After finding work at Leroy’s Country Blues Bar, his musical talents make him a small-town star, attracting the attention of Laura, the beautiful but spoiled daughter of local doctor Cyrus Reaper. Sam seems always to be in the right place at the right time to prevent disasters from happening in the town before he disappears as quickly as he materialised. Soon, everyone realizes that there was more to Sam than they understood, especially Cyrus and his family as the doctor’s past comes back to haunt him.
What makes this new low budget movie interesting are not just the stars that agreed to appear but also its overall faith-orientated message hidden in its devastating final twist, which the Mackenzies are keen to keep under wraps!
“The fact of the matter is, small films like this have to do a lot to get noticed in Hollywood, especially as week after week you are competing against some pretty big budgets.,” explains producer Michael. “But what my father wrote and directed is something special that brings to the big screen a debate that we hope will send shockwaves across America and beyond”.
Michael said: “I was interested in doing a presentation of the film at my old school not only because it’s a great story of two OS’s getting recognition (albeit tiny!) in the film business, but most importantly, the subject matter of this very important film is perfect for a Catholic school such as Stonyhurst and Daniel and I would be proud to screen it there.”
Professor Lord Alton of Liverpool, a Stonyhurst parent and Governor, has already screened the film at the Houses of Parliament where it was well received. He describes Doonby as "a thought-provoking and clever film which raises profoundly important questions. It takes its audience by surprise, challenges them, and leaves them thinking and considering who and what we have lost: a question faced by so many who have ended the lives of an unborn child. Brilliant cinema.”
For more information and to see a trailer, please visit the website www.doonby.com