Just last week we celebrated the world premiere of MCFARLAND, USA in Hollywood, CA. This week the film had a very special premiere which brought Hollywood back to McFarland. One of the things that I have loved about this film is director Niki Caro‘s vision of authenticity. In order to keep the film grounded and really show the beauty of this story Caro not only filmed the movie in McFarland but she also cast many of the runners from the small town as well. In order to keep this story feeling grounded and real, Caro knew how important it was to keep everything as close to real as she could. Many of the runners you see in the film were children that have lived and grown up in McFarland and had little to no acting skills prior to signing on to this movie, but Caro believed in not only them but the project and wanted it to come from the people who knew the story best, the people of McFarland.
The official synopsis is as follows:
“Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school, with whom they ultimately bond to build not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.”
Almost all of the teenagers cast in the film had the chance to meet with the real life runners they were portraying on the big screen. One of the actors knew the Diaz brother he was portraying extremely well as he had him as his high school counselor. One thing is for sure this is not just another inspiration sports movie starring Kevin Costner, this is a movie that will change lives. Not just because of the people who will see the film, but the fact that Caro chose to film in the city of McFarland and use so many of the cities children to star in the film who’s lives will now be forever changed.
MCFARLAND, USA is set to theatres on February 20, 2015. Check out these photos of Kevin Costner, Niki Caro and Coach Jim White and his wife at this very special MCFARLAND, USA premiere.