By Michelle Gentile
JUPITER - The Jupiter Cobb Theatre screened "All Roads Lead Home," a family movie with a powerful cast and a compelling message.
The screening was part of the Palm Beach International Film Festival that took place April 10-17 in Palm Beach County. Jupiter was the location for the "family" film genre.
"All Roads Lead Home" that screened on April 12 was sort of a cross between "Because of Winn Dixie" and "Flicka" and had a very strong "no- kill" message.
Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary and Hospital, a Jupiter-based no kill facility, was on site at the theatres to raise awareness and also had a few dogs available for adoption.
"I thought it was an incredible movie," said Kay-Lynnette Roca, Safe Harbor founder. "I was raised on a ranch with a gruff uncle, like the grandfather in the movie, and his animals were income. I could totally relate to this film. It was like looking into my past. It's where I got my love for animals."
The main character of the movie is 12-year-old Belle, played by Vivien Cardone, who was in "A Beautiful Mind."
At the beginning of the film, Belle's mother dies in a car accident and she confronts death for the first time. Being in a state of mourning and rebellion, Belle is sent off to work at her grandfather's farm.
Peter Coyote plays Hock, Belle's grandfather, who has trouble communicating with Belle because she reminds him too much of his daughter. While she is there she learns more than just manual labor. She realizes her grandfather has no use for animals that can't help maintain the farm. If they are bred wrong or can't turn a profit, they are exterminated. She sets out to change things and ends up mending a broken family.
The film was directed and produced by Dennis Fallon and also stars Peter Boyle, Patton Oswalt, Jason London, Vanessa Branch and Allan Kayser.
The work on the farm teaches immeasurable lessons and Belle's presence on the farm that transpires all the characters. The story is intertwined with lessons that the audience comes away with.
"The story works on so many levels," said Mr. Fallon. "I was asked by our distributors to do another family-style picture and I really wanted to make a film that had meaning. With such a great cast we were able to pull it off."
"All Roads Lead Home" won the Best Feature Drama in the International Family Film Festival and also debuted at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January 2008. It will be out in theaters later this year.
Ms. Cardone and Ms. Branch ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "Wild Child"), were at Cobb Theatre in Jupiter immediately following the movie and answered questions for the audience.
"I've never had a main role before, so I was a bit nervous," said Ms. Cardone. "But it was so much fun to do. The movie just has a great message and I'm a big animal lover so it wasn't a stretch for me."
The movie, dedicated to Mr. Boyle who died last year, was filmed in and around Kansas City, Miss. It was the last movie Mr. Boyle did before he died.
"He was so wonderful to work with," said Mr. Fallon. "Unfortunately, he wasn't able to see the movie completed before he died."