Los Angeles, Calif.— Hitting the Cycle, an independently produced feature film shot entirely on location in Lexington, Ky., was named Best Dramatic Feature Film at the 2012 Manhattan Film Festival in New York City. Hitting the Cycle will next be featured during the Woods Hole Film Festival on the Cape Cod waterfront in Massachusetts.
The fictional story follows Jimmy “Rip” Ripley, a professional baseball player nearing the end of his career, who reluctantly revisits his long-forgotten hometown to face his estranged, dying father. While attempting to reconcile his fractured past with an uncertain future, Rip begins to gain insight into the choices, opportunities and sacrifices that people confront when they outlive the life of their dreams.
Lexington native J. Richey Nash portrays the lead character of Rip in Hitting the Cycle. Now based in Los Angeles, Nash also wrote, produced and co-directed the film (along with Darin Anthony). Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Dern plays Rip’s father.
Hitting the Cycle screened at the 10-day Manhattan Film Festival in late June, and won the Best Dramatic Feature Film award at a ceremony on July 1st. Hitting the Cycle previously won an award in May at the Tupelo Film Festival in Mississippi.
Nash said, “We are very excited and pleased by the reception the film is receiving on the festival circuit. A lot of people worked very hard to bring this movie to the big screen, so the awards recognition is gratifying for all of us.”
Though many of the film’s stars and primary crew members are Hollywood-based, Nash decided to bring the production to Lexington because of the diversity of available filming locations and the growing number of production and talent resources (Kentuckians comprise two-thirds of the cast and crew). The opening scenes from Hitting the Cycle take place at readily recognizable Lexington venues, most notably the ballpark of the Lexington Legends, the popular local Minor League Baseball team. The remainder of the story unfolds in “Sayreville,” Rip’s fictional hometown. Shooting locations included public parks, private homes, bars, restaurants, a high school, and several University of Kentucky hospital buildings.
“Lexington was the ideal place to shoot this film not only for its beautiful scenery and varied locations, but also for the tremendous support of the local community,” said Nash. “We had such a great experience. I wouldn’t hesitate to come back to Kentucky for another film project.”
Hitting the Cycle will next screen on Friday, August 3rd at the Woods Hole Film Festival. The film will return to Lexington in October for a run at the historic Kentucky Theatre.
Here’s a sneak preview: