Stars gather in Twin Cities to make feature film

Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin says he has never made a film in the Midwest before coming to the Twin Cities to make "The Convincer."
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

The stars of "The Convincer," a feature film being shot around the Twin Cities, say they are enjoying working with a complicated script.

The movie, starring Alan Arkin, Greg Kinnear and Minneapolis native Leah Thompson, tells the story of a desperate insurance salesman whose scheme to get a hold of a rare violin leads to unforeseen consequences.

The film is described as a crime drama, but Arkin says his opinion changed when he read the script again.

"And the second time it became a wild comedy," he said at a press conference in Bloomington. "The first time I didn't know it was a comedy. The second time it became a comedy, and I think that's what will happen to an audience. I think people who like it the first time will want to see it again and will realize it's a completely different film than what they saw the first time."

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Filming began in early February and will wrap up in the next two weeks.

The film's producers used the press conference to says they are concerned about Gov. Pawlenty's proposal to cut funding for the Minnesota Film and Television board.

Christine Walker, whose film credits include "American Splendor" and "Factotum" said having a film board which can provide production help and tax breaks is vital to attracting films to Minnesota.

"I think it's important to have representatives of the state, people in the state, who can sell the state to outside companies and promote the economic development," Walker said.

The governor's proposal is to halve the Film Board's current $1.2 million budget, and eliminate it for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.