'Velvet Road'

Filmmakers want to expand short film about zombies



Zombies are in — very in. So “Velvet Road,” a feature film project that follows a zombie disease quietly taking over a small, racially divided community in Florida in the summer of 1964, is one creation that should get some nibbles.

In 2011, filmmakers Jon Shepard and Gustavo Cooper teamed up to create a short film of the same name.

“We have been working on this concept for many years now,” Cooper said. “I came up with the story and Jon assembled a team. We found some visionary investors, pulled a lot of favors and managed to make a 12-minute film.”

The short "Velvet Road" has been screened at more than two dozen festivals around the world.

“We have been very excited about the response everyone has had for the film, which was conceived, written, filmed and first screened right here in Jacksonville and North Florida,” Cooper said.

“Florida has a bloody history of Klan violence that rivals Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia,” Cooper said. “We took real stories of racial violence from Florida’s past to create a lyrical narrative that takes very realistic characters from the period and pits them against a disease none of them understand.”

Aside from Cooper (writer/director) and Shepard (producer), “Velvet Road” features the work of Brian Jerin (composer/producer) and Jon Bosworth (writer).

“We need a lot of money and favors to make this film, but we would also like this community to own part of it,” Cooper said. “This is a Jacksonville story in so many ways. We want Jacksonville to help us tell it.”


Velvet Road (2012) from L. Gustavo Cooper on Vimeo.

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