Filmed in Howard and Frederick counties during fall 2016 and into the first few months of 2017, the movie “Fishbowl” tells the story of three sisters as they deal with the disappearance of their mother, their father’s preparations for the Rapture and high school. It had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival in 2018 and went on to film festivals in Red Rock, Anchorage and Annapolis.
On Tuesday, the movie will be launched on-demand via AppleTV/iTunes and, to celebrate, two showings of the movie will take place outdoors at Historic Savage Mill’s drive-in.
“It has been a long time coming. A four-year process for us,” said Alexa Kinigopoulos, co-director of the film along with her brother, Stephen Kinigopoulos, who also wrote it.
“We’ve been trying to find the correct home for it,” said Alexa, of Gravitas Ventures, the company that now owns the film. “We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it.”
The movie is truly a family affair, the siblings agreed, as production, editing and wardrobe were all done in the basement of the Kinigopoulos’ home in Ellicott City, where their mother, Janice Kinigopoulos, did hair for the cast and their father, George, would often prepare his “famous” spaghetti and meatballs for cast and crew members.
“A lot of people slept at our house,” Janice recalled. “They were all friends of Stephen’s and Alexa’s.”
Each location in the film has a connection to a member of the Kinigopoulos family, Stephen said, beginning with the home where the sisters live.
“That house on the corner of the street, when you’re going to school and have your headphones on and your head is leaning on the glass and it catches your eye,” said Stephen, who according to Alexa, one day just walked right up to the door, knocked and asked to see the house.
“Years and years later, to actually find out these amazing people live there, it’s pretty crazy,” Stephen said. “A lot of these places shaped us.”
Both Stephen and Alexa now live in Nashville, where they have been directing videos for various musicians including Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Chrissy Metz. Both hope to return to Maryland to film future projects.
“Maryland is so underused. It has so many different layers,” Stephen said. “We take great pride that we are from Maryland. To film a movie there ... means a lot.”
He and Alexa are planning to attend the two showings at Savage Mill.
“We’re excited it is finally coming out,” Stephen said. “You can escape for an hour and a half ... it is a great way to do it.”
The movie, while not a horror film, definitely has its unnerving moments, according to Rick Kain, an actor from Woodbine who played the father in the film.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Kain said. “There is a lot of teenage angst and supernatural things. You’re not sure if the dad is nuts or if the rapture is coming. There are also some pretty funny scenes in it, too.”
Kain was able to attend the premiere of the movie in Austin. He is excited to have the movie finally available for all to see both at Savage Mill and then through streaming.
“We wanted to do something for the local community so a lot of the local actors could come,” Kain said. “This will be the first time at a big venue where the whole cast and crew have access.”
To have the film arrive on a streaming platform now, during the coronavirus pandemic, could be seen as an advantage, Alexa said, as many people are now using streaming services for entertainment. It did make it challenging, however, to plan a premiere.
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“We had to get creative as a team to help promote it that was safe and festive format,” Alexa said. “The drive-in was a really good idea.”
There are enough spaces for 50 cars to attend each showing, according to Rachel Hoffman, social media strategist/film consultant for the event. Each person in a vehicle must purchase a ticket through AppleTV/Tunes at tv.apple.com in order to attend.