Movie filmed at Dunkirk Lighthouse on sale Tuesday
Just one year ago, Gowanda native Gregory Lamberson premiered his latest film “Widow’s Point” at his Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, followed by a packed screening at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House last September.
On Tuesday, the award-winning feature film will be released on DVD and On Demand, bringing the beauty of the historic Dunkirk Lighthouse to the homes of countless viewers.
In a phone interview with the OBSERVER, Lamberson said, “It’s been two and a half years since the book for ‘Widow’s Point’ came to me and two years since we shot the movie. For the past year, it’s been on the film festival circuit, and I’m really happy it’s out there.”
In August 2018, the movie was shot in just 15 days, including several days at the Dunkirk Lighthouse. “Widow’s Point” is a supernatural thriller starring Craig Sheffer (“Nightbreed,” “A River Runs Through It,” “One Tree Hill”) as author Thomas Livingston, who spends a weekend in a haunted lighthouse to promote his next book. His life becomes threatened by sinister “Lovecraftian” forces in this exciting story, which is based on the novella of the same name by Richard and Billy Chizmar. The film was produced by Tamar Gonzalez Lamberson and co-stars several Buffalo-area actors including Kaelin Lamberson, KateLynn E. Newberry, Dominic Luongo, John Renna, and California-based actress Willow Xylia Anwar.
Armand Petri, coordinator of SUNY Fredonia’s Music Industry program, served as co-composer of the score, along with Joe Rozler, a Buffalo-based studio musician and producer who earned his Mus.B. in Music Education at Fredonia in 1995. Mary Ramsey, who earned her Mus.B. in Music Performance in 1995 at Fredonia, provided vocals; she is lead vocalist and longtime member of 10,000 Maniacs.
Lamberson, who was raised in Fredonia and graduated from Fredonia High School in 1982, is well known for his horror films, many of which have become cult favorites, including “Slime City,” “Killer Rack” and “Johnny Gruesome.” He wrote and directed “Widow’s Point,” and when the time came to choose a filming location, he knew the Dunkirk Lighthouse would be perfect.
“‘Widow’s Point’ is something I want the people of Dunkirk and Fredonia to be proud of,” Lamberson said. “I’m excited for people to see the beautiful lighthouse. I have more than one friend who grew up in the area, like I did, and has moved away, and I’m looking forward to sharing this piece of our hometown.”
Lamberson, who now calls Buffalo home, shot the majority of the movie’s interior scenes in an unoccupied house in Clarence and on the NDstudios soundstage in Buffalo. He explained to the OBSERVER that he is grateful for the timing of the film’s production, as present circumstances would have made it impossible to gather the cast and crew together, especially in indoor spaces.
He added, “Most people filming now and in the future desire to film overseas in countries where the coronavirus is under control. Insurance is so expensive; either very big-budget films that can afford it or very low-budget films where you just have a few people involved are filming right now.”
However, Lamberson believes that current trends will bode well for Western New York. “I happen to know that the studios are looking for less crowded areas to film,” Lamberson said. “Buffalo is in a prime position to be a major, major player. We’ve developed a real crew base here. The architecture, the small towns nearby–all these things are convenient for them.”
While Lamberson’s new projects are presently on hold, he’s spent the past year on the film festival circuit with his latest movie. “Film festivals are the equivalent of a theatrical release for indies,” Lamberson explained. “It’s the chance to see the movie with an audience. … We did several festivals in the fall and took a break in the winter. We did 12 altogether and were scheduled to do another six over the summer. Some were canceled or postponed to the fall. Some went to an online virtual format.”
The shortened film festival schedule appeared to have no impact on the movie’s success. “Widow’s Point” won Best of the Festival, Best Actor and Best Score at Shawna Shea Film Festival; Best Feature at Gen Con Film Festival and The American Horrors Film Festival; Best New York Feature at Upstate NY Horror Film Festival; Audience Choice Award at Twin Tiers International Film Festival; and Best Actor at Crimson Screen International Film Festival. It was an Official Selection at Big Apple Film Festival, LUSCA Caribbean International Film Festival in Puerto Rico, Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival, and Saints and Sinners Film Festival. It will have its Canadian Premiere at Shock Stock Film Festival later this month.
101 Films is releasing Widow’s Point in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland, and the sales agency Devilworks is handling international sales. The film is available for pre-order on Amazon and other online retailers, and will be on shelves in Walmart locations across the country on Tuesday.