The Devil's Advocate

Class of ’85 Grad to Bring Award Winning Film to Leominster

Amanda Cassels

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Director Michael Fallavollita (left) and actor Kevin DeSimone on location in Brawley, CA for the film Tale of the Kite. Photo courtesy Michael Fallavollita

Michael Fallavollita, class of ’85 graduate, is planning to bring his short film Tale of the Kite, the film he wrote, produced, and directed, back to Leominster.

The film has won 8 Film Festival Awards so far and also took Best Short film at the Pasadena Film Festival in March. The cast includes John Schuck, Katie Liz Robbins, and Kevin DeSimone.

Fallavollita wishes to bring the film back to Leominster, and also Boston, because it’s where he first started out, making super-8 movies when he was 10 years old.

Although the film doesn’t take place in Leominster, Fallavollita said, “It’s a story with a universal theme no matter where you grew up.”

It’s inspired by the daily walks into town with his grandfather when he was 7 or 8 and his grandfather’s passing, along with his struggle to deal with the concept of death at a young age.

Like Boyhood, the film was made over 11 years, bringing the main character back at various ages.

Fallavollita learned to write stories while in high school, heavily influenced by his LHS English teachers Angela Trudel, Scott Hay, and Nancy Gauthier.

After graduating, he took screenwriting classes at Emerson College to further his knowledge. His interests in telling stories through film were sparked after he saw the first Star Wars movie in 1977.

“I paid very close attention to the way directors told their stories through cinematography and editing.”

Fallavollita’s IMDB account credits him with work as a writer, producer, director, and editor and he has worked as part of the editing teams on such films as Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park.

Looking back on the production of the movie, Fallavollita said, “Even though I had a game plan on how to achieve what we needed, nothing ever worked out the way I anticipated.”

The day before they were scheduled to arrive at the Glamis Dunes in Brawley, California to shoot the opening of the movie the US government shutdown and they couldn’t film because that land was federal land. If his crew was to show up there they would be fined and their equipment would be confiscated.

“I always told my cast and crew, ‘Never give up. We’ll get there,” said Fallavollita. Fallavollita’s advice to future filmmakers is to never give up. “Filmmaking is not about winning awards, it’s about transporting audiences.

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Class of ’85 Grad to Bring Award Winning Film to Leominster