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"The Last Earth Girl": Ole Miss Alum Raising Funds to Finish Feature Film

A University of Mississippi alumnus hopes to raise funds online to wrap up his independent film, “The Last Earth Girl,” which features several actors from Oxford.
Directed by Jim Weter, the film tells the story of a young woman who must decide what’s truly important to her in life when it’s announced that the world will end in seven years. “The film itself is 99 percent complete, with only a few crucial CG or visual effects shots left,” Weter said.
Weter launched a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com Jan. 1. The goal is to raise $9,000 by the end of the month. So far, the campaign has brought in $2,635.
Three Oxford actors appear in the film. The late Dr. Jim Shollenberger, a longtime professor in the Ole Miss Theatre Department, has a featured role as one of the main supporting characters, Weter said. Shollenberger died Jan. 30, 2016, at the age of 72. He served as professor and chair of UM’s Department of Theatre from 1977 to 2010 and founded the nationally recognized Festival of Southern Theatre, which ran from 1984 to 1995.

Photo of Jim Shollenberger
Former Ole Miss Theatre Department Chair Jim Shollenberger played a key role in “The Last Earth Girl” before he passed away in January 2016.

Weter said the film will be dedicated to Shollenberger. “[He] was my first film instructor and became a good friend while I attended Ole Miss,” Weter said. “I moved to Memphis after my time there and continued to create films and was very excited when I was able to reconnect with Jim during the production of ‘The Last Earth Girl.’ He did an amazing job on the film, and I’m very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work with him again.”
Oxford actor Greg Earnest also has a key supporting role in the film, and Meaghin Burke plays a TV news host.
“The Last Earth Girl” opens with scenes of a somber-looking young woman who’s rocketing away from Earth in a small space shuttle. “It’s 2024, and God is dead,” she says, staring into the ship’s webcam.
“Here, we meet the main character, Miriam, and through her we learn who she is, why she is leaving the Earth, and what she hopes to find,” Weter said.
In addition to the scenes with the main character, the film’s first two minutes utilize concept art to represent what the final special effects will look like. Once the money is raised and post-production is wrapped up, Weter plans to submit the finished work to film festivals.
Weter founded his production company, Cellardoor Cinema, in Oxford before relocating to Memphis in 2008. The company produces short films, narrative feature-length films and television commercials for national companies like HGTV, Nationwide Insurance and AutoZone. Its films have included “At Stake: Vampire Solutions,” about a group of low-budget vampire hunters in North Mississippi, and “Blind People,” about a man contemplating suicide.

Rick Hynum is editor-in-chief of HottyToddy.com. Email him at rick.hynum@hottytoddy.com.

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