LEWISTON — A low-budget movie that shot for weeks in Winthrop and two summer nights in Lewiston’s Save-a-Lot grocery is almost ready for the big screen.

“The Putt Putt Syndrome” will premiere in February with a screening in Rockport, followed by posh events in New York and Los Angeles, director Allen Cognata said.

“We have a good film,” said Cognata, who wrote the script. “We’ve had across-the-board, nothing-but-amazing feedback. The film’s in a great place.”

“The Putt Putt Syndrome” shot over 18, mostly rainy days in late June and July. In the months since, the movie has been edited, music added, and technical details finalized.

The movie has changed little from the story Cognata first imagined.

“I didn’t try to get too fancy with the camera moves,” he said. He tried to simply tell his story through his cast.

“These guys were pros,” Cognata said of the actors. “They made it so easy.”

The movie stars Jason London, from the 1993 hit “Dazed and Confused,” as Johnny, a regular guy who watched a buddy’s marriage dissolve and suspects he and his wife, played by actress Thea Gill, may be failing as well.

The title refers to the relaxed place that too many couples reach when they grow comfortable with each other and stop trying.

The movie also stars Robert Maschio, from “Scrubs,” David Chokachi from “Baywatch,” and Heather Tom from “The Young and the Restless.”

Cognata, who graduated from the New York Film Academy and has written one other feature film, “Ghetto Dawg,” hopes to use the upcoming movie screenings as a way of selling the film to a distributor, who could take it to movie screens around the world.

“We’re in a really, really good place,” Cognata said.

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Camera operator Afton Grant, left, and first camera assistant Katie Dainson, watch as Jason London rehearses a scene on the set of “The Put Put Syndrome” in the Lewiston Save-A-Lot in July 2009. The movie will premiere in February with a screening in Rockport, followed by posh events in New York and Los Angeles, according to writer/director Allen Cognata.


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