The film was shot entirely on location in Virginia. Celebrated Virginia author Adriana Trigiani returned to her hometown of Big Stone Gap to direct the film for which she wrote the original screenplay. The all-star cast is led by Ashley Judd and features Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Jane Krakowski, Anthony LaPaglia and Jenna Elfman. Patrick Wilson is a Virginia native who returned to his Big Stone Gap roots to make the movie.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I have seen Adriana Trigiani’s inspiring tribute to her early life in Southwest Virginia, and I cannot think of a better example of why our film industry is such an essential part of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy. From showcasing our Commonwealth’s tremendous natural and cultural assets, to creating jobs and economic activity throughout its production, Big Stone Gap is a uniquely Virginian success that I hope people across the state come out and support.”
“The fact that Big Stone Gap was conceived and produced by a native of rural Virginia is a testament to the unmatched talent in every part of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “In addition to its success at the box office, the promise of this film is to entice visitors from around the country and the world to Big Stone Gap and Southwest Virginia to stay in our beautiful towns, patronize our local businesses and experience the incredible outdoor recreation.”
“This movie is a love letter to my hometown and the special place it will always hold in my heart” Adriana Trigiani commented. “I am fortunate that I grew up in such glorious surroundings, in the midst of great natural beauty and extraordinarily memorable people, and I am delighted to celebrate this cherished time and place.”
Big Stone Gap Town Manager Pat Murphy stated, “Big Stone Gap is a story about a real place that still exists today. Visitors can tour the locations featured in the story and can immerse themselves in the world of small town living that Adriana so lovingly brings to life in her books and on film.
Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds noted, “We know that films often have a positive impact on travel and tourism. Having a film by a popular author like Adriana, shot in the exact place depicted in the book, is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on the splendor of Southwest Virginia.”
The town of Big Stone Gap will be hosting a celebration in honor of the release of the movie on Saturday, October 10. Events will include a pancake breakfast, 5K race, parade, a reunion for the local extras in the film and a ticketed reception held at the John Fox House. The day will conclude with a red carpet block party on Wood Avenue, featuring stars from the film, followed by a street dance with a DJ playing music from 1970s.
About Big Stone Gap: Big Stone Gap is a heartwarming tale of family secrets and self-discovery in a tiny mountain town during the late 1970s. Shot entirely on location in the real Big Stone Gap, Trigiani’s hometown, the film captures the joys, the tribulations and the rewards of life in the Appalachian Mountains. The story revolves around self-proclaimed spinster Ava Marie Mulligan (Ashley Judd) who runs the town pharmacy and directs the Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama, but just as Ave Maria has resigned herself to life as an “old maid,” she is caught off guard by a family secret, an unexpected marriage proposal and a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Big Stone Gap by movie legend Elizabeth Taylor. She has spent her entire life in the small coal-mining town with her lovably eccentric friends and family, including handsome coal miner Jack MacChesney (Patrick Wilson); out-spoken best friend Fleeta Mullins (Whoopi Goldberg); charming high school band director Theodore Tipton (John Benjamin Hickey); town flirt Sweet Sue Tinsley (Jane Krakowski); feisty town librarian Iva Lou Wade (Jenna Elfman); and town lawyer Spec Broadwater (Anthony LaPaglia.)
The film industry in Virginia plays a significant role in the Commonwealth’s economy. In 2013, total economic impact of film and television production in Virginia was $383 million with 3,396 jobs attributable to the industry.
Virginia Film Office: www.FilmVirginia.org
Virginia Tourism Corporation: www.Virginia.org
Town of Big Stone Gap: www.Bigstonegap.com
Big Stone Gap movie: bigstonegapmovie.com; www.facebook.com/BigStoneGapMovie; Twitter: @BSGmovie; Hashtag: #BigStoneGapMovie