The local film “Lord Finn” was showcased at the Norman Film Fest on Saturday, Sept. 14.
The story highlights three different narratives. One is of a man named Daniel Finley, who is half-Irish and Native American, and his struggle with finding his place between the two worlds of his father and mother, while dealing with dissociative identity disorder.
Another highlight of the film is of a petty car thief and a prostitute who met at the reservation and end up reconnecting in a hotel room throughout the movie.
The last narrative is of an inmate named Cheer in an all women’s prison. She is known for telling fantastical stories that are often questionable in truth and ultimately showcases her story until she comes to her conclusion at the end.
The subject matter of mental illness and the struggles with culture and family dynamics within the film is shown with these three stories and ultimately come together at the end to relate back to another.
“The script by Al Mertens was a wonderful script," said David Jurney, executive producer of the film. "It was complex and moving, and I wanted to be a part of the team to bring that script to life."
He enjoyed working on a project like this because of “the group of talented local Oklahoma film makers and the passion they all brought to the project,” he said.
Even though the denseness of the story was hard to bring to life, Jurney received tremendous support to make the story into reality on the big screen, he said.
“Lord Finn” was filmed in Oklahoma City, and the cast includes many Oklahoma natives, including actor and the main character of the film Ben Richardson.
Richardson, who has done theater work in Oklahoma City and has lived there for 20 years, found the experience of local filmmaking different than what you would find anywhere else, he said.
“It’s great in the fact the you know the location and culture,” Richardson said. “Everyone wants to help you and support you, as opposed to Hollywood or Los Angeles — sometimes its not as inviting, not as much of a community. It was nice to have the feeling of the home-field advantage, and representing where you need to be filming about Native American culture.”
There are many themes within the film that audiences can relate to. “There is mental illness that people face — these are prevalent themes in the film. It’s about family dynamics, cultures, acceptance, and awareness to mental illness,” Richardson said.
Richardson said “Lord Finn” is a unique film for the audience because of the “story structure, the content."
"It’s tough to say everything we need to," Richardson said. "Having all these elements together will resonate with the audience and hopefully take away these themes and start a conversation.”
With all the themes and subject matter presented in this film, Richardson is mainly “excited to see audience reactions and what they get out of it. Whether you leave this screening loving or hating — hopefully loving it — that it can start a conversation and hopefully start down break down walls between different cultures and start a conversation about mental disability.”
The third annual Norman Film Fest was a two-day event displaying local and national films across Downtown Norman, ending Saturday night.