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Eastern Kentucky film set to debut in Corbin

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:09 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - Made locally in the city he grew up in, an Eastern Kentucky filmmaker is debuting his newest creation in Corbin.

Native Matthew Smitley produced the film called “The Arbors” during September, using locals from the area as actors and crew.

The finished product will be shown this Thursday at the Tri-County Cineplex in Corbin.

“You would think it would be very ‘ego-stroking’ but it’s actually very humbling because it’s a theater I grew up going to and I even worked at for a little while,” Smitley said.

Corbin Tourism Executive Director Maggy Monhollen said this could lead to more opportunities for aspiring filmmakers in the region.

“I feel like perhaps this film could definitely create a domino effect of additional films being shot here in Southern Kentucky,” she said. “The beauty we have is unparalleled, we have so many different sites, and hidden jewels.”

Corbin officials helped support Smitley, to make the project happen.

“Promoting the arts, and supporting the arts, and this is just one more artistic creation that has come from a young man in our region,” Monhollen said.

It tells the story of two kids having to sit next to each other on the bus after the last day of school.

Smitley said the film is about the idea behind memories.

“Why we remember the things we do and if those memories are significant or not in how they shaped us,” he said.”

Monhollen said debuting it in a local theater was a great idea.

“I think that speaks volumes to be able to show it locally,” she said. “To put it in the local theater and then invite the local people out to celebrate the success.”

Smitley said he hopes this will inspire other filmmakers in the region.

“If you love it enough, if you love the story that you’re telling enough, it’s going to be a pretty good film because it’s going to be a personal film,” he said. “There is no good or bad when it comes to that, it just is.”

Smitley said that is only the first step.

“When the Kentucky Theater opens up in December, we’d love to get a hold of them,” he said. “That’s another special theater for me and I know the manager Fred, great guy. What better way, in my opinion, to reopen a Kentucky theater with a Kentucky film.”

Smitley said there is also plans to submit the movie for several popular film festivals.

Tickets for the premiere can be purchased on the movie theater’s website.

The film premieres Thursday at 8 p.m.

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