Film being shot in Gadsden;auditions slated for Oct. 21


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Independent film director Steven R. Satterwhite and assistant director Michele Leonhardt both have roots in the Gadsden area.

Satterwhite said after he and his mom left the area in 1986, and after he got married, had a child and got a divorce, he came back to Gadsden because he wanted his son Lucas to have a chance to grow up the way he did.

However, Steven may not have had the chance while growing up to star in an independent film production, as Lucas is now. Satterwhite and Leonhardt have been filming “Survive the Innocent,” a film set in 1943 starring Lucas Satterwhite, in the Gadsden area for some time.

Satterwhite said they will continue to film, and are hoping to cast 30 to 50 people, many as extras but with a few speaking roles, here in Gadsden.

Auditions will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Mary G. Hardin Center for the Cultural Arts. Satterwhite said 30 to 50 extras will be needed – people of all ages, races and sizes.

He also hopes to cast the following roles:

A male, Caucasian, 30-45 years old, military, but fatherly persona;

A female, Caucasian, 30-40 years old, pretty, motherly type;

A female, Caucasian, 3-7 years old, sweet but feisty type, preferably with darker hair; and children, male/female, 9-13 years old, bully type persona.

Those who want to audition can come in period dress if they want to, but it’s not required.

Satterwhite said the movie is the story of a child during World War II who finds himself alone, thinking himself to be the last person on earth. Satterwhite and Lucas both say it was Lucas who came up with the idea of a feature film about a boy’s quest to survive alone in the world.

Leonhardt and Satterwhite have been spending time in Gadsden, going around from door to door, some of that time in the Turrentine Avenue area, asking for permission to film there. Satterwhite said he’s done some filming and some framing, used as placeholder shots in a preview of the movie – which can be seen at

Satterwhite said he’s been amazed at the cooperation he’s received in using property and in locating some period cars for the film.

Satterwhite directed and Lucas starred previously in a short film, “Sufferagin Succotash.”

Satterwhite currently is a student at Jacksonville State University majoring in broadcast media.

He is making the film on an extremely small budget, and hopes to find volunteers to help with hairdressing, costume design, make-up and as members of the technical crew. He’s looking for people with strong backs and team attitudes, and experience is not necessary for most of the positions.

For more information about the film, visit the innocent or 

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