LOTAWANA (Lotta-wanna / Lott-uh-wah-nuh) — A FILM ABOUT SELF DISCOVERY! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

LOTAWANA (Lotta-wanna / Lott-uh-wah-nuh) — A FILM ABOUT SELF DISCOVERY!

LOTAWANA (Lotta-wanna / Lott-uh-wah-nuh) — A FILM ABOUT SELF DISCOVERY!

Forrest (Todd Blubaugh) made a decision to literally drift through life.  Like so many human beings his age, he’s utterly clueless about the direction his life is going, so he decided to head nowhere.  Leaning into the alluring call of the water, he piles his woes into a small sailboat, on a big Missouri lake, he ponders his existence, living off his meager savings and catching his dinner in the lake.  

And just when he was happy drifting on his boat, a pretty young woman Everly ((Nicola Collie), rebellious and free-spirited walks into his life, eventually taking things in a new, and complicated direction.

The good news, Forrest and Everly have fallen in love and use their beating hearts as a guide.  Challenges arise — naturally — but such is the stuff of love.  In many ways “Lotawana” is an act of love because Trevor Hawkins directed, wrote, photographed – and financed “Lotawana” himself.  Good job, Hawkins’ risk paid off. He delivered a haunting cinematic experience. 

Now, this film isn’t everyone’s cup of tea because it moves rather slowly and erratically, in terms of story structure but there is an “at the moment” beauty that can’t be denied.  

For example “Lotawana” begins in the middle of things moving with the speed of a nervous lover and without a clear explanation or simple facts, and it ends the same way but in-between the journey it’s — beautiful. 

It’s clear that Hawkins has a love for nature with his previous work exploring nature, resulting in a career in wildlife photography. To that end, the film is stunning. 

It’s evident that the filmmaker respects the journey of being “alive” and approaches his subjects with a tenderness that’s touching, and satisfying. 

Hawkins leans into the ebb and flow of life, presenting the character — Forrest as a calm, kind man. What’s not clear about his bohemian retreat is why he’s taking a vacation from life, as most of us know it.  Everly is uncomplicated, almost an open book but it’s rather clear that’s she’s been heartbroken, and let down in the past. 

The story drifts at times and nothing earth-shattering happens in the first half-hour, and there are moments when an audience will most likely get impatient. But my advice is to stay with “Lotawana” because the characters have something important to share. This film isn’t trying to force anything down the throat of the viewer. 

EMMY Award-winning filmmaker, Trevor Hawkins created “Lotawana” in his own backyard on Lake Lotawana, Missouri,  betting on vision, he self-financed the film with a loan against his house. In doing so, the filmmaker maintained the integrity of his unique style and vision, serving as both the screenwriter, director, editor, and colorist. 

To learn more to go - www.LotawanaMovie.com

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