Local film has serious message about drinking and driving

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Enfield - posted Sun., May. 15, 2011
St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Enfield was selected as the site for the movie’s realistic burial scene. Photos by Annie Gentile.
St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Enfield was selected as the site for the movie’s realistic burial scene. Photos by Annie Gentile.

May is prom time and in high schools across the country, and students are gearing up for the big night, looking for that perfect dress or tux, and making special plans.

Parents have a lot on their minds, as well. They want their sons and daughters to have a memorable night, but they also want to be sure their good time does not include the consumption of alcohol or other drugs, and they especially want them to come home safely. Parents have good reason to be concerned. According to the Bethesda, Maryland-based National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 5,000 people under 21 die each year from injuries sustained as a result of underage drinking.

With that in mind, a local film company, Demon Productions, has begun production on a hard-hitting movie about teen drinking and driving that they hope can be utilized in schools and with law enforcement agencies as a deterrent to students who might be considering drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Produced by Matthew Arbacheski and co-produced by Mark Bateman, Jr., the film, entitled “Sorry Mom, I Won’t Be Coming Home,” centers on three teenage sisters who attend a party where the alcohol flows freely. The girls become intoxicated, leave together in their car, and are all killed in a horrific accident brought on as a direct result of their drinking.

“We’ve been fortunate to have gotten a lot of local cooperation in the making of the film,” said Arbacheski, citing the help of Leete-Stevens Funeral Home and St. Patrick’s Cemetery of Enfield as well as Elm-Cap Industries of West Hartford for the funeral scene filmed on Saturday, May 7.  As Bateman is a member of the Meriden Fire Department, Arbacheski said the crash scene is expected to be done in the Meriden area with the fire department’s cooperation.

“I felt this film was for a good cause,” said Sean Stevens, funeral director with Leete-Stevens. “As you can imagine, as a funeral director, I see more than my share of these types of tragedies, so if there is any way to help prevent them from happening, it’s well worth it.”

Arbacheski said when he’s seen other films of the teen drinking and driving genre, they typically end with the crash, but it was his and Bateman’s intention to show a more in-depth picture of the aftermath of such events and to drive home to viewers the devastating impact it has on the family and friends left behind. Arbacheski said the scene with the police arriving at the door of the mother’s home to bring her the bad news was particularly emotional. He added that if the film is successful, Demon Productions hopes to create more public service films covering such issues as domestic violence, bullying and teen suicide.

“We’re doing this film out of heart for teens, their families and friends,” said Arbacheski. “If we can get one person to think twice about drinking and driving and ultimately risking their life, then it will have been well worth the effort.”       

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