Each year, thousands and thousands of first-time filmmakers produce small budget, independent films in hopes of making a name for themselves that will launch a Hollywood career. For most, their films get seen by a handful of people at small film festivals. But for a select few, an opportunity comes around that gets their film seen by a wider audience.
Prairie Village native Isaac Alongi and his wife Sandra Martin are just such filmmakers. The duo’s debut film, Trust Fund, which was filmed in Kansas City, opens today at AMC theatres throughout the KC area.
Alongi and his brother started making movies together when they were little kids growing up across from the Prairie Village tennis courts. Alongi turned his love of visuals into a successful photography career: He’s owned an operated Isaac Alongi Photography in the Fairway Shops for nearly two decades. But as he approached his 40th birthday, Alongi and his wife turned their attention toward the major undertaking of producing a film.
“We’d been talking for several years about doing something a little more substantial than taking baby portraits,” he said.
Martin penned the script (and directs the movie) and the two started working to raise funds to produce the movie among Kansas City-area investors. They filmed the movie, a story about an aspiring writer who finds that her mother has left her a considerable inheritance, over 25 days in 2014 and started submitting it to film festivals and other programs. A few months ago, Alongi heard back from AMC Independent that his film had been accepted for screening throughout the Kansas City area.
“It’s amazing,” Alongi said of the chance to have his first film show at local AMC theatres. “An amazing opportunity. We are really, really fortunate that things are turning out this way.”
You can see the trailer for the film, which stars Jessica Rothe, a Gossip Girl alum, below: