Pursue your passion and the accolades will follow seems to be the moral of the story for one Macomb Township filmmaker.
With the support of family, friends and a $2,000 budget, Tom Nahas saw his first attempt at a feature film become a reality when Amendment premiered in June 2011 at the Royal Oak Main Art Theatre.
The film went on to tie for the Mitten Movie Project's Best Film of 2011 and was most recently accepted to Port Huron’s Blue Water Film Festival, where it was nominated for direction, cinematography, screenplay, soundtrack, male actor and Film Selection Committee Viewer’s Choice.
The competition was stiff, but Nahas didn’t go home empty handed.
“The Director award was the first award that was handed out and I wasn’t expecting it so it was a little surreal. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go up or make a speech. I also had a lot of friends and family there at the time, so they all screamed and cheered. It was really nice and a little overwhelming," Nahas said of winning the award for which five others were also nominated.
Although direction was the only award Amendment won at the festival, Nahas said receiving so many nominations for a first effort was honor enough.
A 40-minute film, Amendment follows a man struggling with the death of his young daughter, who crosses paths with a young girl coping with the death of her father.
Co-written and co-produced by Nahas and childhood friend Phil Lupo, the film was made possible by Nahas’ friends and family who volunteered their talents on-screen and off.
Nahas said the film wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his wife, Kelley, who helped produce the film and had a small role, lead actor and co-writer Mike Coakley, Lupo and the film’s child actors.
“Mike was always there no matter what we were doing, giving input and ideas, giving a great performance, and always keeping everyone entertained on set,” Nahas said. “Our two child actors Hannah Gurecki and Lily Nahas were amazing and brought a nice sense of heart to the film. Everyone that worked on the film deserves credit because they were all an integral part of making it happen.”
Many of these same individuals will play an integral role in Nahas’ next project, a short film entitled, The Inequity of Mercy, which Nahas says is the story of an aging hit man and a newly promoted newspaper reporter and what happens when their worlds collide.
Produced by Nahas, his wife Kelley, Coakley and Tom Lehrer, his partner in Mad Habit Media, a web design and video production company based in Macomb Township, filming starts in November and the movie is scheduled to premiere in the spring.
For the first time since its release, Nahas has made Amendment available to the public at https://vimeo.com/33801945.