VENICE — Sarasota writer Curtis Jordan filmed scenes for his new movie, “Playing Through,” in locations around Venice and Sarasota.

“We’ve used Venice for multiple shots just because it’s a very unique little town,” Jordan said.

Filming for the movie ended on Monday at the Soda Fountain and Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Downtown Venice. They had previously filmed at the Historic Venice Train Depot in one of the train cars.

The two Venice spots made for perfect scene locations of the 1950s period piece.

Jumping back to the ‘50s for the movie needed close attention to every detail he said. Filming in spots like the Soda Fountain helped make that movie magic.

While fictional, the movie is based around Ann Gregory, a Black female golfer in the ‘50s.

Gregory was the first Black golfer to enter into a women’s United States Golf Association event.

Jordan stumbled upon Gregory after he learned his mother played against her in golf during the ‘50s.

He said it stuck in his mind for years and he finally started to write the story after retiring.

“I was like: ‘Why don’t we know more about this woman?’ She’s clearly been a pioneer in women’s golf,” Jordan said. “She’s been a pioneer in social and racial issues, so she should be heralded.”

In “Playing Through,” Gregory’s life crosses paths with a fictional privileged Southern white woman, Babs Whatling, and they are both forever changed from it, according to the movie’s synopsis.

It parallels the two opposite lives of the women playing against each other in golf.

“Both women kind of go through an arc of discovery,” Jordan said.

The movie was directed by Balbinka Korzeniowska and stars Andia Winslow as Anne Gregory and Julia Rae as Babs Whatling.

Not only did Jordan find the story important, but he said everyone involved in the production noticed its importance.

“Everybody cares, one because of the story but two, they see it as an opportunity for their career,” Jordan said.

He said the movie was on a lower budget, so the help from local communities made the filming process possible.

“We really couldn’t have done it anywhere else without this kind of support,” Jordan said about partnering with local groups and the community.

“Everybody in this Suncoast area has been more than generous and more than friendly and have opened their arms to what we are doing,” Jordan said.

Ringling College of Art and Design helped in making the production happen with several of the staff on set being students.

“They have a student body that has been completely entwined in our process,” Jordan said.

Jordan partnered with the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe for resources, actors and staff for the movie and the Sarasota Opera for housing.

While many aspects were local including the filming locations, Jordan also partnered with Unbounded Media and had crew members from California.

However, the movie is an independent film so for distribution someone would have to buy it, Jordan said.

“I think we will have a fabulous film, we have a fabulous story and I think we will do a good job at telling it,” Jordan said.


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