Movie production takes centre stage in Chesterville, McCloskey’s this week

The McCloskey Hotel on Victoria Street, early on the morning of July 9, 2019. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — The McCloskey Hotel and surrounding Victoria Street neighbourhood will star in a movie shoot this week.

A crew with BIZ Productions is set to arrive today to begin filming the production currently titled  Two Deaths of Henry Baker. A flyer distributed on the street advises residents the shoot will occur “intermittently through out the day and night” until July 12.

According to the script synopsis, the flick is “set as a modern day western. Two families, the Bakers, and the Birds, are embroiled in a deadly generational feud surrounding the possession and whereabouts of valuable mysterious coins that seemingly only lead to tragedy and bloodshed. Standing in their way is Capman, the local lawman who shares a common interest in possessing the coins at whatever cost.”

The vintage hotel is central to the shoot, and it’s through the Toronto connections of McCloskey general manager Dan Riitano that the cameras are coming to Chesterville and the 22 Victoria Street establishment.

“They’re friends of mine from Toronto,” he says, adding that half the film crew hail from the big smoke.

Riitano says much of the film is otherwise being shot in Ottawa, and he understands that titles involving the same director have appeared on Netflix. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to this production,” he clarifies, “but it is a feature length. I didn’t want to probe them too much [about the film’s distribution], but I will find out when they’re here.”

The arrangements came together very quickly, “inside the last month,” he says.

“They’re really grateful for the fact I could even accommodate it on such short notice,” says Rittano of the filmmakers.

While the actors are not local, the McCloskey general manager and barkeep suggests that viewers from Chesterville might recognize a familiar face in the final product.


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