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Film shot in Hot Springs, Black Hills

HOT SPRINGS – A film, “Until Forever,” much of which was shot in Hot Springs according to the film’s producer, Carolyn Linn, is coming to the Mueller Center on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.

This screening – the third and final screening of three planned events, the other screenings took place in Yankton and Rapid City late last month – is open to the public and there is no admission charge. This is the producer’s way to say thank you to the city and all who helped in its production, Linn says.

“This movie is not what you’d expect,” Linn said.

Yes, she said, it’s a faith-based film, and yes it’s based on the true story of Michael Boyum, an Inver Grove Heights, Minn. student.

The basic story line goes like this: Michael and his childhood sweetheart, Michelle, have a relationship filled with love, laughter and bonded by strong faith. They’re planning their futures together.

However, in the midst of this, Michael is diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.

While Michael struggles to live; his brother, Matt, tries to help his sick brother but fails, and as a result he struggles with depression, even tries to end his own life.

However, from all this turmoil, love in the midst of fear, the endurance of hope in the midst of loss, and the reality of faith in the midst of doubt emerge.

The not what you’d expect part, according to Linn, is the humor and how the movie ends up hopeful.

“Without the brother (Matt) in it, it’s not the same conflict, the same irony,” she said. “This is what sets it apart.”

Linn said the previous two screenings were well-received. She heard comments -- from some pastors-- that this was a faith-based movie that wasn’t “cheesy,” that it was something they would take their kids to and their kids don’t like cheesy.

“We’re also hoping it might open a door to discussion on teen depression,” Linn said.

Another incentive, especially for Hot Springs residents is how much of the movie – more than half, says Linn -- was shot here in the city and throughout the Black Hills.

For example, the film crew spent eight days filming at Fall River Hospital. They were looking for a modern hospital for cancer treatment.

“They were so good to us,” Linn said, “it was magical, great.” The crew used three rooms and nurses station for filming.

Hot Springs High School was also heavily involved in the film. The film crew shot scenes representing the movie’s prom during the school’s homecoming dance, as well as football game scenes, which had the football team and cheerleaders dressing in uniforms representing both the Spartans, Boyum’s home team, and the Bison, a team Boyum’s school played against. The Hot Springs team and cheerleaders used the real uniforms of the Inver Grove Spartans and the opposing team Bison, Linn said, to add authenticity to the production.

According to Linn, other locations in the Black Hills came into play during the cabin scene, filmed at Angostura Reservoir; the doctor’s office, Black Hills Regional Eye Institute; the chapel, Westminster Presbyterian in Rapid City; the gift shop, Gold Diggers; the honeymoon suite, the historic Alex Johnson Hotel.

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Other things adding to the authenticity of the film included:

•Filming the Boyum and Larson homes in Inver Grove.

•The notes Michael tapes to the hospital walls are the real notes he received during his hospital stay.

•His karate clothing

•His Bible.

•And the Meridian Bridge in Yankton.

Local filmmaker Justin Gausman was very helpful in the production of the film and finding locations, Linn said.

For more information about the film, visit its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/UntilForeverTheMovie/timeline or the website, http://www.untilforeverthemovie.com/

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