LOUISBURG – Passersby shouldn’t be alarmed if they see a section of South Broadway Street closed on Sunday, June 23, with a police presence at First Option Bank.
It’s just a 70-something couple robbing the bank – for the making of a short film.
Louisburg resident Joni Mitchell’s awarding-winning screenplay “Mildred’s Crime Show” is being filmed in the downtown business district Sunday.
City Council members voted 5-0 at their meeting Monday, June 17, to allow South Broadway Street to be closed from Amity Street (Kansas Highway 68) to South Second Street. South First Street also will be closed, from South Mulberry Street to Peoria Street for the filming.
The streets will be closed starting at 7 a.m. The permit runs through 9 p.m., though filming might wrap up earlier in the day, city officials said.
Police Chief Tim Bauer told council members he gave permission for some of his off-duty police officers to participate in the film. He said the officers, who will be in uniform, will serve a dual purpose by providing security at the site to ensure the restricted area is not compromised.
A comedy, “Mildred’s Crime Show,” is the story of a couple in their 70s who run out of retirement money and decide to rob a bank. But nothing quite works out as planned.
In a Facebook message Friday, Mitchell said she was very excited to be filming in Louisburg this weekend.
“We are also filming tomorrow (Saturday), but it's an indoor shoot,” Mitchell said Friday. “A local resident has generously donated her house for filming space so we could keep all filming in Louisburg.”
Mitchell’s screenplay won multiple awards at the Kansas City Film Fest in 2018. Mitchell won the $1,000 prize for Best Short Screenplay and $100 for receiving the Audience Choice award from the Kansas City Women in Film & Television (KCWIFT), a chapter of Women in Film and Television International. Mitchell also was a finalist for the Best Heartland Screenplay for women writers from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska or Iowa.
In a May 2018 interview with The Republic, Mitchell said she wrote the screenplay in January and entered the contest in March, finding out she was a finalist in April. Mitchell wrote the full 15 pages quicker than she has ever written anything, she said.
“This one wrote itself,” Mitchell said. “I literally sat there laughing as I typed it. I thought, ‘I have to submit this because these people are hilarious.’”
Mitchell’s short film is being fiscally sponsored by KCWIFT, which she said means any donations made are charitable and tax deductible. Any people/businesses that donate will receive a thank you in the credits as well, she said.
“We've still got a lot of post-production costs, so we are looking to raise between $1,500 and $2,000 more,” she said.
For those interested in making a donation, go to the following KCWIFT link: http://www.kcwift.com/join/benefits/fiscal-sponsorship/fiscal-sponsorship-projects/
To donate, select Mitchell’s project, and when it goes to the payment page, select her project again so it doesn't go to KCWIFT’s general donations page, Mitchell said.
Donors who want to include a business name that doesn't appear for payment can message Mitchell on Facebook so she can thank them on social media and in the film, she said.
Mitchell said the film should be wrapped up later this summer.
“We are aiming for late July on it being completely finished,” she said.