Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it that every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve.
So goes the premise of "The Christmas Candle," a new movie coming out Nov. 22 and executive-produced by former Dublin resident Brian Lockhart -- the son of former Mayor Janet Lockhart.
"It is funny, but it's really unique to do a Christmas movie at Christmas," he told me at a recent special screening of the film at Hacienda Crossings. "There's not a lot of them, and it's really been a long time since there was a classic feel to a Christmas movie."
For an independent film, the movie has a pretty strong cast, including its stars Hans Matheson ("Sherlock Holmes," "Clash of the Titans"), Samantha Barks ("Les Miserables"), Lesley Manville ("Romeo & Juliet"), and Sylvester McCoy ("The Hobbit"). Susan Boyle also makes her acting debut and sings in the film.
The producers also hired the team who helped put together "Harry Potter" to help with the effects and filming, which was all done in England with an entire U.K. cast to add greater credibility and reality to the film.
"A Christmas Candle," based on the novel by Max Lucado, has religious undertones and is not the Hollywood blockbuster type of film that will show at theaters nationwide. It is, however, a good family film, which isn't that plentiful these days.
As of the time of the private screening, the movie was expected to be shown at 500 and 1,000 screens around the country. Despite being an independent film, it will be shown at the major theater chains, including AMC, Cinemark and Regal, including the Regal here.
"I believe the Tri-Valley is a really great market for this film, and I think it will be very well received here and hope that there's the support in the community that will help convince the theater to have it open here."
Lockhart, who now calls Colorado Springs, Colo., home, says getting an independent film shown at one of the theater chains is a bit of a David-and-Goliath effort, but it is possible to slay the giant.
"It's a very, very political process. The large studios really control the content that's on the screens. They (the studios) have deals with the theaters that require the theaters to show their films."
Lockhart says, however, that if the film does well in its premier weekend, that theater managers will be much more likely to show the film or expand the number of showings it receives. You can learn more about the film at www.thechristmascandlemovie.com.
Artists, evaluators wanted: The City of Dublin works to incorporate art into all of the many parks and park facilities in our still-growing city, and this holds very true for the soon-to-be-built Emerald Glen Aquatics Center. If you haven't heard about the center before, it should be a fantastic facility that includes an indoor pool and outdoor competition pool that will also incorporate a water slide, splash area, water play area and picnic areas plus a lot more. It should be an emerald gem for the city, if you excuse the pun.
As for the art, there are several art work opportunities that the city is going to spend as much as $167,000 to commission and install. Artists interested in learning more about this should check out the city's website, www.ci.dublin.ca.us, and submit applications before Dec. 6.
On the other side of the artistic process, the city is looking for three members of the community to serve on the art selection committee for Emerald Glen. As with the artists, the applications are also available on the city's website and must be submitted by 5 p.m. Dec. 2.