Locally-set Swedish Auto to open Film Festival

Following in the grand tradition of the Golden Globe-winning The Four Seasons, the James-Spader-and-John-Cusack-starring True Colors and even the Alan Smithee-directed Morgan Stewart's Coming Home, Charlottesville will once again serve as a cinematic backdrop to a movie when the Virginia Film Festival screens the independent film Swedish Auto on its opening night of October 26.

As reported by the Hook last year, writer and director Derek Sieg set his first feature film in his native Charlottesville, and shot scenes all over town including Mel's Diner and the Downtown Mall. Swedish Auto is produced by Sieg's longtime friend and fellow UVA alum Tyler Davidson.

The film stars Lukas Haas (TV's 24, Mars Attacks, Everyone Says I Love You) as Carter, a small-town mechanic at a Swedish auto repair shop who voyeuristically watches life from afar, until he discovers a beautiful woman, played by January Jones (American Wedding, Love Actually, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada), is watching him with equal curiosity.

Swedish Auto received several positive reviews since its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. The Los Angeles Times called it "an amicably paced melodrama bursting with metaphors" and Variety wrote "Swedish Auto weaves the kind of spell that can only come from a sure-handed storyteller."

As of this date, the film has yet to find a distributor.

The Virginia Film Festival runs October 26-29. The full schedule of events will be announced September 29.