Avondale Commission scratches cat movie ideaPhoto obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.
Every year since 2011 the Avondale Estates City Commission has given money to projects that promote the city’s business district.
The City Commission has $15,000 budgeted for the Community Promotion Program this year. Usually, it goes towards events like AutumnFest.
But one applicant for the Community Promotion Program went in another direction.
Resident Leanna Adams asked for $9,061 to create a short film called “The Avondale Estates Cat Actor.”
“The Avondale Estates Cat Actor” is a short film about the pitfalls of sacrificing one’s self for fame. It is a dark comedy that features Avondale Estates as the setting and a character.
The concept was a little too highbrow for City Commissioners who considered it during their Feb. 18 work session.
Mayor Terry Giager had some questions.
“The cat’s a lady,” Giager asked.
“It’s a woman who pretends to be a cat,” Adams said.
“In a cat costume,” Giager asked.
“A bad one,” Adams said.
Nevertheless, Adams said “People believe she’s a cat” and said the film will feature different Avondale Estates businesses. City residents would be the cast and crew, according to the proposal. While film productions are frequently in Avondale Estates – MTV’s “Finding Carter” filmed in the city last week – this movie would be exclusively about Avondale.
But while the film sounds lighthearted, there’s a dark side to it, Adams said.
“Well not, too dark,” Adams added. “You give up who you are for fame and notoriety. That’s where it all came from.”
Adams said the film would be entered into festivals and there would be a special screening for residents. She would serve as producer. Adams has produced and acted in other short films, with a filmography that includes titles like “Love Stinks” and “The Bachelorette Project.”
Commissioners were definitely curious about the cat movie project, but weren’t quite sure whether it met the criteria for the Community Promotion Program.
“I’m not sure where to start,” Commissioner Randy Beebe said. “I don’t have anything. I’m kind of lost in it.”
“It can be hard to wrap your brain around a film production,” Adams said.
Commissioner John Quinn asked if there’d be any value in the city partially funding Adams’ request.
“Absolutely,” Adams said. “I’m a filmmaker. I make it work, you know?”
She said once the project is funded, she can finalize a script.
“Then we’ll kind of show off all the best that Avondale has to offer,” Adams said. “The Avondale Estates (Fourth of July) parade, I was hoping that might be the final shot.”
“So we have to make the cat actor the grand marshal,” Giager said, grinning.
During deliberations, commissioners ultimately gave the cat movie idea the thumbs down.
“I have to be a bad guy here,” Commissioner Lindsay Forlines said. “Forgive me. I love your idea. I’m not sure I can make your project work with what I feel is the intent of the Community Promotion Program.”
Commissioners decided to award $6,000 for AutumnFest, $4,000 to the Avondale Estates Farmers Market and $5,000 to the Rail Arts District Studio Cruise.
Mayor Giager gave Adams kudos for originality.
“Maybe some people would like to donate and volunteer and get something going on that,” Giager said. “I think it’s a pretty clever idea.”