'Familiar' Feature Film Debuts in Staunton

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The first full feature movie from Charlottesville's Cavalier Films is putting Hollywood's spotlight on Staunton. The family comedy-drama debuts for the hometown audience on Friday, November 21 at the Visulite Cinema in Staunton.

Film crews shot scenes on location around the city and Augusta County in 2006. "There's a whole lot of Staunton coming to the big screen in this movie," said Cavalier Films President and producer Barry Sisson.

Jane Hanger's family story sounds familiar to the movie's storyline. "It's ironic," Hanger said. "My brother came back to the small town and took over the business."

The Hanger Family Store in Staunton's Worthington Hardware Building stars as the setting for one of the movie's scenes. "what was more exciting," she said, "was they used our name, 'Worthington Hardware Company', whose been here for over 100 years."

In the movie, Brian Worthington comes home for Thanksgiving after spending time away as an author. He faces the pressures of rebuilding family relationships.

Sisson explained, "They're talking and not communicating. You really get a sense of the relationship between the father and the son and the disappointments and hopes."

Sisson said the family story of "Familiar Strangers" will hit home with audiences around the country.

Jane Hanger's family, including her 90-year-old-father, plan to get their tickets to the Staunton premiere to see their family's store on the silver screen. "We're going to make a family outing to the movies," she said.

The movie opened in Washington and Charlottesville on November 14, and it was number one at the box office at the Regal Cinema on the downtown mall that weekend.

Reported by Matt Talhelm
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