Arriving on screens from BKE Productions in association with Neon Heart Productions is Highway One, the romantic drama from Emmy Award-winner Jaclyn Bethany (Indigo Valley) about youth, love, and self-discovery. The 2021 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Critic’s Pick will arrive in select theaters on August 26, 2022, and will be available on DVD and On Demand on September 20, 2022, from Indican Pictures. At MovieWeb, fans of the Dramedy, LGBTQ, and Indie genres can get an exclusive look at the Highway One trailer now.
Highway One had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in April 2021. Later that year, Phil Hunt and Lucy Fenton’s Bohemia Media picked up UK distribution rights to the indie film from 2021’s Cannes market, according to Deadline. Produced by Rebecca Morandi and executive produced by Neon Heart Productions, Highway One was written and directed by Bethany, the movie stars Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl), Greta Bellamacina (Impossible Feet as Barbie), and Stella Baker (The Republic of Sarah) in the story of a New Year’s Eve party in rural California (if you know the state of California, then you know Highway One refers to the Pacific Coast Highway or PCH) where a group of millennials reunites, sparking the love between two women and unfolding mayhem.
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The official synopsis of Highway One from Indican Pictures reads:
In rural California, Anna (Marié Botha, Dickinson) is hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Nina (Juliette Labelle, Nighthawks), a long-gone friend from high school, unexpectedly shows up, bringing out the sexual yearnings of Maria (Aisha Fabienne Ross, The Witcher). Over the course of the evening, Maria struggles with her newfound feelings and facing the partygoers: a gaggle of eccentric millennials.
Also starring in the film are Ivy George (Big Little Lies), Bailey Edwards (Bright), Sadie Scott (Crshd), Belle Aykroyd (Workin’ Moms), Dan Shaked (The Mysteries of Laura), and Colette McDermott (Hollywood).
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Highway One Is a Love Letter to California
Highway One is set in the small California town of Cambria, where long-lost friends and lovers reconnect at a New Year’s Eve party. “This movie is such a love letter to California, and although mainly filmed in Southern California, I wanted it to be set somewhere rural, a small town that had a fishing-village mentality but also felt like a fairy tale, an escape — a representation of something,” said the writer and director Jaclyn Bethany in an interview with the Santa Barbara Independent. “To me, Cambria stands in for a place we leave and go back to in our lives as changed people.”
Bethany added that Russian playwright Anton Chekhov inspired the plot and storytelling style. “It was sort of inspired by the world of a Chekhov play, one of those endless dramatic parties, if you know what I mean,” she told the Independent. “All the characters have Russian names as an ode to that world.” Additionally, Highway One’s soundtrack includes a lot of European folk melodies, an element that film festival reviewers responded well to.