Newton County, long a hotspot for movie companies seeking an authentic small-town Southern setting, could be the site of another movie, described as "hip-hop visits 'On Golden Pond,'" this summer.
While final financing remains to be worked out, filming for "Between Yesterday and Tomorrow" is tentatively scheduled to begin at Gaithers Plantation this September for a six-week shoot.
Screenwriter and director Ken Sagoes says he has received letters of intent to star in his film from such Hollywood icons as Academy Award Nominee Ruby Dee ("American Gangster"), Della Reese ("Touched by an Angel") and Loretta Devine ("This Christmas"). He has also received letters of intent from actors Bill Cobbs ("Night at the Museum"), Lynn Hamilton ("Sanford and Son") and Dick Anthony Williams ("Black Picture Show").
A native of Stockbridge, Sagoes said he became interested in Gaithers Plantation as a setting for his movie after it was suggested to him by the Georgia Film Office.
"I had problems going to a plantation but I went out there and I fell in love with the place," Sagoes said. "Not only did I fall in love with it but the people in Newton County, they remind me of when I was growing up - the southern hospitality, the warmness."
Sagoes, himself a television actor and staff writer, said he is also interested in filming scenes for the movie around the downtown Covington square. He expects 80 percent of the film will be filmed on location in the county.
Sagoes said it was the success of studio movies by Tyler Perry and films such as "American Gangster" that has made his film, which will star a largely black cast, possible.
"Between Yesterday and Tomorrow" is set in Georgia and tells the story of two brothers and their wives reuniting after a fifty-year separation. Their reunion takes place on land purchased by their great grandparents after the Civil War.
Adding to this bittersweet reunion is a younger grandson whose hip-hop/streetwise background comes into conflict with that of his older relatives when he is frustrated and puzzled by their attitudes and actions
Sagoes said his film is a family movie and should appeal to all audiences, regardless of background.
"The theme of the movie speaks to all nationalities and ethnicities," he said. "There's something in it for all generations."
Sagoes said he was inspired to write a screenplay after a conversation several years ago with the late Ossie Davis and his wife, Ruby Dee.
"In that conversation Mr. Davis said, 'Write something for us old-timers to be in together,' and I remembered that," Sagoes said.
Sagoes and actor Bill Cobbs will be in Covington on June 22 for a meeting with the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
"Between Yesterday and Tomorrow" is to be produced by BYAT Productions and former Forty Acres and a Mule Producer, Monty Ross ("Malcolm X").