Valley filmmakers Ben Deutscher and Jeff Bowman have created a short film for the holidays. Their “The Fare Before Christmas” will be screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Maya Cinemas, 3090 E. Campus Pointe Drive.
A slacker cabbie picks up his last fare on Christmas Eve, and his life is changed forever. The 25-minute film is described by Bowman as “a parable for modern times set in the backdrop of urban Fresno.”
A Fresno State Media Production graduate who taught filmmaking at Roosevelt School of the Arts until his retirement last year, Bowman wrote the script as an item on his “bucket list.” He was inspired to write the story based on a performance of “Silent Night” by Judy Bixler. She was a singer with the local band Wild Blue Yonder that also features the writer.
The film was shot two years ago on a tiny budget that included Bowman’s own money plus a few donations. All of the cast and crew were former students of the former Roosevelt teacher who volunteered their time for the five-day shoot. The film was shot at Christmas as a way to save on having to dress sets for the short holiday film.
It features performances by Erica Hau and Kyle Jeffrey Bowman. Both the filmmakers and actors have ties to Roosevelt School of the Arts. The soundtrack also features performances by Fresno musicians.
Along with the screening, the actors will make an appearance and co-directors Jeff Bowman and Deutscher will be on hand to discuss the production.
“We will try to give people an idea of what it is like to make movies on a shoe string budget,” Bowman says.
Admission is free, but seating is limited. For more information, call (559) 367-8151 or visit The Fare Before Christmas’ Facebook page.
This screening is sponsored by BowKay Productions, which is working to achieve peace and understanding in our troubled times. BowKay is screening the film as an example of how art can transform and give hope when we need it most.