October 18, 2005
It may seem like Christmas in October on the Downtown Mall, but it's really just a backdrop of a movie called "Swedish Auto" starring Lucas Haas and January Jones. The Writer/Director Derek Sieg, a Charlottesville native and wrote the script based on experiences, people, and places in Charlottesville, including the Downtown Mall.
"The character [in the movie] is a voyeur and he is kind of a bit of a loaner. I found [the Downtown Mall to be] a really nice setting for a person to be around a lot of other relationships. Down at the downtown mall you've got families, and couples, and kids," explained Sieg.
Chaps, Alakazam, and April's Corner all agreed to let this movie be shot in their stores for free. This is a low budget movie, but everyone is more than willing to lend a hand.
"You know we've been here 20 years and anybody that comes along that would like to do a Hollywood production and use Chaps as scene thrills us," said Tony LaBua, the owner of Chaps.
"I never thought it would happen. After being from LA and being around the movies and having lots of opportunity, to have it happen in Charlottesville is a pretty big surprise, actually," said Cassandra Mathis, the owner of Alakazam.
As of now they haven't found a distributor yet, but everyone is hoping "Swedish Auto" will make it to the big screen everywhere.
"I can be screaming that's my store, that's my store, you know. We'll all be sitting in the audience screaming that," said Joan Fenton, the owner of April's Corner.
"I hope so too, I'll join them in that," said Sieg.