Press Release - June 23rd, 2014
UPCOMING INDEPENDENT HORROR FILM “PANIC” ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL CASTING, PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY TO BEGIN IN JULY
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - June 23rd, 2014 - “Panic” the Minnesota based independent horror film from producers Jason Riesgraf, Stephanie Riesgraf, Mike Ascher, and J. Dan Moores, today announced that casting has been completed for all five of the film’s lead volunteer roles.
The film's top billed star, Lauren Morris, is a 3rd year drama student and community theatre staple based in western Wisconsin. Lauren has eagerly volunteered to play MELISSA a nerdy, 21 year old girl-next-door who finds inner strength throughout the intense events of the film. This is Lauren’s first role in a feature film, as well as her first starring role.
Lauren's co-star is Kaci Wegleitner, a successful Twin Cities based print model and professional makeup artist. Kaci has volunteered to co-star as LAUREN, a 22 year old former tomboy with a party girl past. This is Kaci’s first featured role.
Also cast in a lead role, is short filmmaker and community theater actor C.J. DeVaan. He has volunteered to play BRUCE, a mysterious and mercurial stranger who crosses paths with the main characters under intense and unusual circumstances.
Michael Hertenstein has volunteered his acting services in a supporting role, as PAUL Lauren’s warm and loving father. This is Michael’s fourth feature film.
Rounding out the cast is the Helene Donohue, a prolific theatre, commercial, television, and film actress. Helene has appeared in two major feature films, "The Abyss" (1989) and "The Doors" (1991). Helene has volunteered her acting services to play the role of GWEN, Lauren’s cold and emotionally distant mother. “Panic” marks Helene’s return to feature films.
Auditions were held at the Mixed Blood Theatre, in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis on May 31, June 1, and June 8.
“The audition process was a sensational experience. The actors we chose were clearly perfect for these roles. We got lucky, all of our #1 choices for each role were excited to volunteer for our team. We couldn’t be more thrilled,” says casting director and newly appointed producer, J. Dan Moores.
Added Jason Riesgraf, director and producer, “We met with a lot of talented actors and performers in the Twin Cities. It makes me feel good to know that this community has such a deep bench of performance talent. But ultimately, we saw something really special in Lauren, Michael, C.J., Helene, and Kaci. It’s like falling in love… you just know.”
With casting complete, principal photography is set to commence in July 2014 with filming locations to be announced shortly.
Written and directed by Jason Riesgraf, produced by Jason Riesgraf, Stephanie Riesgraf, and Mike Ascher, “Panic” is currently in pre-production. “Panic” is proudly and exclusively produced in Minnesota.
Two college girlfriends go to their parent's secluded northern Minnesota lake cabin to prepare for final exams. An uninvited visitor stops by. He isn't there to study.
Director and Producer