Posted at 4:45 PM on October 29, 2008
by Euan Kerr
Lance Hammer says when he first saw the Mississippi Delta he longed to make a film which could capture its splendor and sadness.
He knew it would take a long time though because he first had to learn the complicated relationship that the local people had with the land and each other.
It's taken several years and at least one false start, but his debut film 'Ballast' won at Sundance and Berlin, and now gets its Minnesota premier at the Walker tonight.
This may be the only chance for Minnesotans to see the film on the big screen as Hammer is dirtibutong the film himself. He did have a deal with IFC, but then discovered the company did little distribution in the South which seemed like a problem to Hammer, as that is where the film is set.
Another problem he has run into is the lack of arthouse movie theaters in Southern states. He doesn't think his film would do well in multiplexes, and so he is having to arrange special screenings in the the area himself.
You can hear our discussion and see some stills from the film here.