Premiere 4/30 for Connor’s film, 18 years in the works

Introducing a roundup of news about film activities throughout all that landscape Downstate, from south of Route 1-80 to Cairo at the tip of the state.

Springfield — “Before ‘I Do,’ the latest feature by writer-director Kimberly Connor of Springfield, will have red carpet premiere April 30 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. 6th St., at 7 p.m. on behalf of Predestined Arts and Entertainment Productions, Connor’s company.

Before ‘I do’,” “a fast-paced, colorful drama with a splash of mystery, comedy and a myriad of surprises,” as Connor describes it, garnered four stars from respected syndicated film critic Kam Williams who writes for more than 100 US and Canadian publications.

The project was completed in August 2014 after 18 years in the works.

“I wrote the first draft of this script in 1998, spent twelve days in production, and a year and a half in post-production in 2014,” said Connor.

Filmmaker Kimberly ConnorThe feature was filmed with a conservative budget at three different Springfield Fire Department locations Koke Mill, Stephenson Drive and in Dawson, Ill., with LA actors Jensen Atwood, Omar Gooding, and Andrea Kelly in starring roles.

Connor organized her crew entirely from Central Illinois. She directed and was EP, DP was Mike Ware; Su Al-Moghirah edited. Music by Dylan Alexander Smith. Producers were David Anderson and Brandon Keating,Sr. from LA.

After Springfield’s premiere, the film will screen in Atlanta, and is also planned to showcase in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Conner has entered “Before ‘I do’” in several festivals including the Memphis International, Gene Siskel’s Black Harvest, BronzeLens, Roxbury International and Urban World, with the goal of attracting the attention of a distributor.