Blackpool director's film starring CJ de Mooi set for a Los Angeles premiere

A film which has been a long time labour of love for a Blackpool-born director is set for a dazzling premiere in Los Angeles this weekend

By Tony Durkin
Friday, 20th May 2022, 4:55 am

The Renata Road was filmed largely on location in St Annes and is directed by Ed Greenberg, who grew up on Highfield Road, South Shore.

It was first unveiled at a screening at St Annes’ The Island cinema in 2017 when Ed described it as the Fylde coast’s first entirely homegrown and crowd-funded feature film.

The entire production budget was sourced from online fundraising, with more than 200 people, from all over the world, donating money to the cause.

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CJ de Mooi as The Stranger in The Renata Road

That screening was for cast, crew and the backers of the film’s kickstarter campaign and Ed spoke at the time of having high hopes for the film proving a success with a wider audience.

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The Cannon Film Company, an independent development and production specialist, then came on board the project and with the film having undergone some changes, it was due to go on a run of festivals but they were delayed by the pandemic.

Over the past few months, The Renata Road has been earning awards at several online events, but Sunday’s premiere in LA will be its first screening with a live paying audience, and as such, is being treated by Cannon as the film's world premiere.

Director Ed Greenberg with cast member Alan Mockler

The awards already given to the film are the Diamond Award for Best Feature Film awarded by the jury of the Mindfield Film Festival in Albuquerque and the Silver Award for Best Indie Feature awarded by the Milan Gold Awards.

The Renata Road stars as ‘The Stranger’ CJ de Mooi, a former member of TV’s Eggheads quiz panel, who starred in the pantomime at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion several years ago. The rest of the cast and crew was sourced from across the Fylde.

Locations used in the film were the Inn on the Prom and the now demolished Chadwick Hotel, both in St Annes. Some interiors were purpose built sets, constructed and photographed in Preston.

The film has been described by Ed as a “psychological enigma” and was in development for five years up to its 2017 initial screening.

CJ de Mooi in a scene from the the film with John Sharp

The LA screening at the Skipton Playhouse is part of the Believe Psychology Film Festival and Ed said: “I am incredibly happy to have The Renata Road premiering at the Believe Psychology Film Festival.

“It is a film born out of the idea for a piece that was not only entertainment but also as a picture which would challenge its audience, encouraging and rewarding that deeper engagement.

"One of the joys of The Renata Road lies in the interpretation. Everything in the film has a purpose, everything has a meaning, and that is very much in keeping with the core values of the Believe Psychology Film Festival.”

Cannon Film company managing director Richard Albistion added: “The Renata Road is a very singular work, unique in it’s conception and execution.

“Ed has always referred to the film as a ‘psychological enigma so it is fantastic for it to be chosen by the Believe Psychology Film Festival to be the premiere showcase for his feature debut.”

More information about The Renata Road and the official trailer can be found on the film’s website www.renataroad.com.