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Short film shooting in Asheville this week

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7/23/2012 - Short film shooting in Asheville this week
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE -- Melanie Anderson has never directed a movie, but she's stepping behind the camera to create a short drama that's filming this week in Western North Carolina.

"The Box," described as a cross between "Cold Mountain" and "The Man from Snowy River," is about a young man and woman who fall in love during the Civil War.

"In the film world, this would be a low budget independent" movie, she said.

The cast and crew of 25 will begin shooting today, with filming in South Asheville, Fairview, Gerton, Hickory Nut Gorge and Chimney Rock.

The cast includes her son David Topp, a fast-rising young actor who has accumulated a number of independent film and TV credits.

Others in the film include Grammy and Dove award-winner Elijah Chester (who will appear in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln"), Taylor-Grace Davis and Glennellen Anderson.

Melanie Anderson, who formerly worked in office management, began pursuing a film career about five years ago as a script supervisor and production assistant on films around the Southeast.

"You start at the bottom and work your way up," shes said. "I've never directed before, but I have a lot of experience in films. It's been a learning experience."

The film was written by Kimberly B. Davis, who lives in Rutherford County. It shifts between the Civil War era where a romance is kindled and contemporary times where a high school student makes a discovery that connects her to those long-ago days.

The film was written two years ago, but the project was put on hold until Anderson connected with veteran movie-maker Duane A. Sikes, who is serving as executive producer and brought financing to the film.

Anderson is planning to submit "The Box" to film festivals.

"The ultimate goal would be to turn it into a full-length film that would be shown theatrically,' she said.

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