Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Winning Prizes

On October 9th, DreamWorks is releasing a movie starring Julianne Moore titled, "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio." Yesterday, the film was previewed in -- you guessed it -- Defiance, Ohio.
About 200 people – members of the Ryan family, friends and Defiance residents – watched a special screening of the movie Monday night at the Regal theatre in the city’s shopping mall.

Although the movie, written for the screen and directed by Jane Anderson, was shot in Canada, it has given Defiance leaders an opportunity to capitalize on the city’s good name.
That the film was shot in Canada (and not Defiance) should be a lesson to Indiana state legislators that they're missing out on a large potential revenue stream by not offering tax breaks to filmmakers, as Steve Penhollow noted last month.

Still, you couldn't ask for better publicity than having the name of your city in the title of a major motion picture, and Defiance is doing all it can to capitalize on that.
Cindy Mack, Defiance’s tourism director, said officials are working with the Dr. Pepper Museum in Texas to assemble an exhibit of costumes used in the film, along with some of the prizes Evelyn Ryan won.

“We took the opportunity in the past month or two to come up with some ideas that would benefit the community,” Mack said, “and to show people outside the community that when we were offered an opportunity like this, we were able to step up to the plate.”

The Chief store plans another shopping spree, like the one depicted in the film, Mack said, and a local bank has organized a jingle-writing contest.

They are trying to tie it to the community now and to look down the road to see how the film can draw people to the community, she said.

Lea Ann Hayes’ husband, Jerry, is the executive director of Economic Development of Defiance County.

The community, he said, plans to make the most of the movie and the attention it will bring to the city.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” Jerry Hayes said.
The movie, by the way, is based on a book about Evelyn Ryan, the mother of ten children who helped make ends meet by entering -- and winning -- many of the jingle-writing contests that companies held in the years after WWII.

RELATED: The trailer for "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio"

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