After years of filming, producing, and delays due to the pandemic, “Best Summer Ever,” a movie filmed in Vermont will be available to the public on April 27th.
“Best Summer Ever,” is a movie produced by Zeno Mountain Farm, an organization in Lincoln, Vermont that promotes lifelong friendships of people with and without disabilities through film-making, camps, and retreats.
The movie features a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. Something unheard of in many film productions.
Actress in the film and Bristol, VT Native Hanna Gallivan says the movie should be an eye-opener.
“I want to be a person for disabled people to look at and be like, oh I can do that too,” said Gallivan. “The whole point of our movies is to kind of show Hollywood that we are here and that we don’t just exist through whatever stereotypes people have created in their head.”
Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Zeno Mountain Farm Peter Halby, said this is the first feature length movie that they have produced.
“We at Zeno have been making films for years and years, and they have always been shorts. We said now is the time, let’s make the ultimate musical that is completely inclusive in every aspect of it,” said Halby.
While the movie features people with disabilities, the cast said that is not what the movie is about.
”It’s not a movie about people with disabilities. It’s just these two teenagers that fall in love and it’s like, oh look some of these people have disabilities, but that’s not the entire focus of the film,” said Gallivan.
A spin off on American classics like Grease and Footloose , the movie centers around two teenagers who fall in love at summer camp and end up at the same high school. With 8 original musical songs, the movie is sure to keep you dancing all night long!
“People will be entertained first and foremost, and then step away from it and be like wow that’s something I have never seen before, said Halby. “A lot in Hollywood they talk about authentic casting and showing the world that exists, and disability is 20% of the population but in the Hollywood world it’s like 1-2% of the films you ever see.”
The movie received national attention as part of the South-by Southwest Film Festival. USA Today ranked the movie six out of their top ten at the festival.
You can buy the movie on DVD and streaming platforms including iTunes/Apple TV, Fandango, and Vudu.