Local Filmmaker Brings Screening of ‘Cadia: The World Within’ to Alma Mater
After a sold out premiere last month at Gateway Film Center, the fantasy film Cadia: The World Within screens at Capital University’s Mees Hall — the very hall where some of the movie was shot.
Writer/director and Capital grad Cedric Gegel is thrilled to be able to share his film this Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. in such an important location.
“I attended Capital,” says Gegel. “I was there when I started writing it. The DP (Director of Photography) and editor (Daniel Stemen) went there and works there. The sound mixer and sound recordist for the film (Nik Englehart and Quinton Napier, respectively) both went there. Head of hair and make-up (Sarah Gegel), who is my wife, also went there. And we also filmed on campus.”
Says Gegel, the film, “Follows triplets as they discover the mystical world of Cadia. They’re forced to choose sides in a battle of good versus evil. But in Cadia, as in our own world, good and evil aren’t clear. They aren’t set standards, and they decide for themselves what that actually looks like.”
Gegel says the idea came to him several years ago when he was working on the stage play Addams Family Values and trying to keep some energetic fellow actors, triplets Matthew, David and Renee Sells, occupied during their down time. One of his strategies was to make up stories in which the three were heroes. Cadia sprang from one of those tales about triplets entering a magical house.
It took some time for the idea to blossom into a feature film, though.
“I moved to Arcadia, Michigan, right after I graduated college,” he says. “My college experience was one of wrestling a lot with my own faith journey and kind of dealing with that and what my relationship was with God. I went up to the shores of Lake Michigan to work at a family camp I used to go to. I worked 16 hours a day 6 days a week, and on my day off I’d go to a coffee shop and write. “
Here’s where the story began to really take shape.
“Slowly that magical house became a magical forest and the whole thing became an allegory for faith and doubt,” he says.
Back in Columbus, he shared his script with several colleagues, including co-executive producer Zach Throne. The group’s film company Just a Skosh productions then began the work of casting.
“The triplets were still interested and ended up obviously being the leads in the film,” Gegel says, but Throne was convinced they’d need more name recognition if they were going to get the film off the ground.
“When Zach and I first met, he didn’t give me any wiggle room,” Gegel remembers. “He said, ‘You need to get big name talent.’ We targeted who we were looking at. Corbin Bernsen was always my #1, I kind of wrote Grampa George with him in mind.”
Gegel had always intended to play a part in the film, but eventually he decided otherwise.
“I’d always wanted to play Tanion,” he says. “It’s a character in the film that was near and dear to me. I was like, I really want to play this character but I understand that we need big name talent, so I need to go find someone that I genuinely believe would play it better than me. And I thought, man, James Phelps is really good in the Happy Potter films and I bet he could play this better than me. And you know what? He did.”
Phelps and Bernsen both accepted the parts, much to the excitement of those already on board.
“The triplets never expected to be working with Corbin Bernsen and James Phelps any more than we did,” Gegel says. “Or any of the other incredibly talented people like John Wells, Nicky Buggs and Rick Montgomery Jr.”
After Friday’s screening at Capital’s Mees Hall, Just a Skosh takes the film on the road, playing Wapakoneta’s Summer Moon festival while working on distribution with Fairway Film Alliance.
Tickets for the Cadia: The World Within special screening at Capital University are $10 and available on Eventbrite.