A North Georgia film crew recently held premiere screenings for its newest short film that was partially shot in Catoosa County.

Apple Man Productions, which is comprised mostly of a Catoosa County natives, recently premiered its film "A Year and a Day" at Georgia Southern University in mid-January, followed by subsequent viewings at Dalton State College and Heritage High School.

The film, a European epic, is the brain child of writer/director Connor Rentz, who founded the company in 2015 while a student at Heritage High School.

The film company has produced numerous other shorts, but according to producer Alex Smith, this latest film is a 25-minute tale that began in a Heritage High School classroom.

"The idea for the film came from the old, European "a year and a day" law," Smith said. "This law allowed any serf (or slave) to be free, if there aren't caught within a year and a day. Connor first learned of this in his senior history class at Heritage."

Smith says the group that put the film together is primarily comprised of Heritage grads.

"The script went through several revisions, and we had different drafts of it," Smith explained. "Pre-production took a few months, because we had to schedule and scout locations. Initial filming took four days, and a month or two later we had to dub (called ADR) most of the film due to noisy audio, which took about a week. Connor Rentz (founder, director, writer), David Besh (director of photography and executive producer), and myself (executive director, assist. director) went to Heritage, as did Bailey Tingle, our camera operator.

Finally, in January, the crew was able to share their film with two colleges and their high school alma mater.

"What was cool, though, was that at the Dalton State screening, local director Mark Hannah came and brought R.A. Mihailoff," Smith said. Mihailoff played Leatherface in "Texas Chain Massacre III," and made appearances on Michael Landon's "Highway to Heaven" and "Full House"...it was really cool.

Although the crew shot in Ringgold, they also utilized Helen, Macon, and Statesboro as filming locations.

"The whole film was shot in Georgia," Smith said.

Perhaps the coolest part of the process now that the film is finished is that it will be released on DVD and Amazon streaming soon.

"Apple Man Productions is more than just a film company, it's an experience,

" Smith said. "I know that sounds odd, but it really is. Every film we have made has always been done with full dedication, all while in a stress-free environment. No one is over the other. We consider anyone involved with us as an artist. We strive to make art that we care about with people who care just as much for it."

The company plans on hosting another screening at Dalton State in the near future. More information about the film and links to trailers can be found on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/applemanproductions.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.