With twenty-five festivals and seven awards to its name, Born and Raised is not only a successful veteran of the film festival circuit and a great tribute to the vistas of Gulf Coast Florida, but also an example of the ways in which Florida communities can help in the development of films. Born and Raised writer, lead actor and producer Nick Loritsch revealed how Florida has played a pivotal role in the film’s creation.
The film follows “Bubbs” (played by Loritsch), a young man who is torn between staying among his supportive Florida-coast family and friends and exploring the world outside of the town he’s never left. Throw in a grandfather with a dark past encouraging Bubbs’s adventurous spirit, and you have a coming-of-age story rife with emotion, drama, and humor. “It’s a metaphor for going after your dreams,” Loritsch said. He added that some of the tale was inspired by his personal experiences as a teen in high school. “My buddy’s dad in high school, whenever we were in trouble, would sit us down and give it to us straight.” Instead of being scared, he enjoyed the stories that his friend’s father told them.
Almost as intriguing as the storyline of the film is the crew’s relationship with Florida. “Florida has been great to us,” Loritsch said. “It’s a compliment for us to come down here.” He also said that without the help of Panama City Film Commissioner Julie Ann Gordon, who was consequently credited as an executive producer, the film would not have been the same. “She introduced us to local crew and we tapped a couple of locals she referred. Without her, we wouldn’t have had access to different places,” Loritsch said.
The connection Born and Raised has to Florida does not end there. Five of the previous festivals in which the film has been featured have been in Florida, and Loritsch hopes to continue that closeness with the state in the future. “We’re looking to come down and further develop our relationships within Florida,” he said. “If I had my choice, I would want to bring the next project to Florida.” That new project could be a feature film or a television show in the state that Loritsch has said has been a wonderful and pleasant place to meet potential investors, cast and crew.
Born and Raised is set to screen at the Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival on Saturday, May 17 at 10am. Loritsch will be in attendance, along with Jackson Pyle, who plays Bubbs’s grandfather Frank; Adam Loritsch, an executive producer of the film and Nick’s brother; and Film Commissioner Gordon, with possible appearances by Arlan Godthaab and Michael Ray Davis, two other actors in the film.