COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Columbus had a bit of Hollywood sparkle on Friday, as the Chattahoochee Valley made an appearance on the big screen. The cast and crew of faith-based film, “The Greatest Inheritance” returned to the Fountain City for their film premiere at the National Infantry Museum.
It was lights, camera and Georgia pride as stars of the film made their way down the red carpet. Columbus was chosen as the location for the film, which was shot in the summer of 2020. It was a familiar shooting location for producer and cast member Meredith Riley Stewart — as the actress grew up in Phenix City.
“I love that I got to invite some of my high school teachers and people from the church community that I grew up in,” Stewart said. “It’s really really special and I’m just really grateful that we’re able to do it and it’s really happening.”
The summer of 2020 was a unique time to shoot a film. Beyond the sweltering Georgia heat, it was also the height of the pandemic. As the world shut down, production brought over a dozen local jobs to the Valley. Cast member Jeff Schroeder says keeping a healthy set was a team effort.
“Doing this during COVID and having something done when no one was really working… even Hollywood was shut down and we got this filmed… It was a team effort by everyone. The crew, the actors, everybody involved [knew] their part and why we were here for the 3.5 weeks we were filming. Nobody went out and got anybody sick, so that was a blessing.”
Filming during a pandemic impacted the set in more ways than regular COVID testing and masks. The cast and crew leaned on each other for support during the unprecedented times.
“I think because we were quarantined together — meaning we couldn’t meet anyone else locally — we had to socialize within the cast and crew. I think that really brought us close together. We really did become a family by the end.”Cameron Kelly, Cast Member
That is what the film is all about: family.
It follows four estranged siblings who return home to spread their mother’s ashes. Writer and Producer Alexandra Boylan says it’s a film that reminds us of the importance of our loved ones.
“When we wrote the script and sent out the script for test readers, people come back and say, ‘Wow, I’m going to call my brother, I’m going to talk to my sister I haven’t seen in years and we need to mend this,’” Boylan said.
The filmmakers were finally able to see their work on the big screen, and now the Columbus community that was a big part of this project will be able to see their city on TV as well.
The film is available for streaming on Amazon.