A film director has apparently contacted several media outlets about making a movie in Ridgefield but has not contacted local officials concerning the film—which may or may not be about the tragedy in Newtown.
"He has not called me, nor has he called Ellen Woolf [the director of the Connecticut film department]," said Allison Stockel, executive director of the Ridgefield Playhouse and film commissioner in the town of Ridgefield.
Bucari reportedly told News12 CT that he selected Ridgefield as the location for a new film about the Newtown shooting "because it has the same look and feel as Newtown."
The answer is no, said Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi. "Ridgefield will never agree. No way. The whole entire area is healing from that tragic event and this is wrong."
Marconi said he heard scouts for the movie were in town over the weekend, but no one called his office.
NBC Connecticut reported that Bucari's production company, Demian Productions, had a Facebook page that described the film:
The Facebook page for the film company, Demian Productions, stated the movie, "Illness." is about the tragic fate of Benjamin, a 13-year-old boy with a mental illness, and "the ever-growing fear of his parents after they learn about the shooting in Newtown in December 2012."
The news outlet also reported that the Facebook page later posted a statement that said the film was not about the Newtown tragedy but would instead focus on mental illness. The story said the Facebook page appeared to no longer be public.
A Facebook page for Jonathan Bucari includes a Jan. 21 post that describes the fundraising campaign for the film, called "Illness" (screen shot posted with this story). A Twitter account for Jonathan Bucari included a Jan. 15 tweet that said his film would be dedicated to the victims of Newtown. A screen shot taken Feb. 4 is posted with this story.
As of Monday afternoon, it did not appear that the Twitter page was still public.
Stockel said she has received at least 25 calls from angry residents asking about the film. She confirmed with First Selectman Rudy Marconi that his office had also not been contacted. A spokesperson for Marconi's office said the town would never approve the filming of a movie related to the subject of the Newtown shooting.
Stockel said although technically a film could take place in town without approval from the film commission, over 90 percent of filmmakers get the necessary approvals—and most do it before promoting the film to the press.
"There's a process. We have many questions—will they need to shut down traffic? Shoot in a private home? Involve local businesses?" she said. "But more importantly—if it's about Newtown, people here don't want a film on this, now or ever."
Stockel said she had reached out to Bucari but had not yet heard back from him.
Bucari completed a television pilot, 'The Sacrificial Lamb,' in 2012, which he authored, directed and produced, according to his bio on the internet movie database, imdb.