Tonight, SCARY NORMAL is go!

Yet another Champaign-Urbana independent film project makes its way into the history books as Hot Diggity Productions’ feature SCARY NORMAL takes a bow this evening, Thursday, February 21, at both 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Art Theater Co-op, 126 W. Church St., Champaign! The quirky coming-of-age story highlights both triumphs and tribulations experienced by high-school senior and budding arts whiz Chelsea Hart (Laura Welle) as she expresses feelings for witty outcast Danielle (April Cleveland), much to the surprise of everyone around her. Filled with honest touches and hopeful resolutions, SCARY NORMAL is written and directed by Jennifer Bechtel and also stars Mike Trippiedi and Chris Taber as Chelsea’s parents Joe and Ginny, Finn Dallas as Chelsea’s super-eager younger brother Matthew, and Jaysha Dunn Lowery and Cece Hagen as neighborhood kids Kannetra and Emily. Chris and Anne Lukeman co-produced the good-humored indie with Bechtel, Tim Meyers acted as a production advisor, and Kyle Loughrin served as director of photography. You can find the entire cast and crew credited at the SCARY NORMAL Web site, along with an initiative encouraging communities to book NORMAL as a fundraising opportunity for local LGBT-friendly programs and organizations. Here is a peek at the film:

Tickets for the Champaign premiere will cost $8 at the door, with all profits being split between The UP Center of Champaign County, the Urbana High School GSA, and the (Champaign) Centennial High School GSA, once the theater rental fee is covered. Brief question-and-answer sessions with Bechtel and other cast and crew will conclude each show. This follows the film’s world premiere, which took place before an enthusiastic crowd two weekends ago at the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference in Lansing, MI.

Bechtel tells C-U Blogfidential that she hopes to see SCARY NORMAL screen far and wide during the next few months prior to a fall DVD release; can she hit her goal of playing all 50 states and Washington, D.C., by then? Dearest readers can help the cause by attending tonight’s shows – don’t let Old Man Winter threaten you to get off his snow and ice-covered lawn, y’hear? – and liking the Facebook Page, where fans can follow the filmmakers’ progress, add screening suggestions, and share their NORMAL news!

Be sure to check back at CUBlog in the next week or so for exclusive comments from director Bechtel and lead actress Welle about the movie and its potential to touch many an audience member.

~ Jason Pankoke

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