Valley Filmmaker Premieres Latest Offering

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – “The Abiding Nail,” the new movie by Valley-based filmmaker William Victor Schotten, premiered Aug. 19 at Main Street Theater in Columbiana, and then hit the film festival circuit.

It’s a faith-based film about a Hollywood actress who has a drug-induced public meltdown. With her career destroyed, the actress moves back to her hometown where she reconnects with her old friends, family and faith, and finds redemption.

Schotten wrote and directed the film. It’s the first faith-based film for the Hubbard resident, who previously made only horror and zombie movies.

“Horror is my first love, but I feel called to do faith-based right now,” he says. Two years ago, Schotten did camera work on the faith-based film “Angel Mine,” by Columbiana filmmaker Josh Menning.

Schotten’s previous films include the horror flicks “Wormwood’s End” (2014) and “Below Ground” (2012).

For the new film, he worked with his longtime collaborators Ashley Rozzi and Jim Fogarty. Rozzi, of Pittsburgh, plays the lead role, while Wally Valantine of Canfield plays the father of Rozzi’s character. Fogarty, of Warren, also has a role in the film.

After the premiere, “The Abiding Nail” will take to the faith-based film festival circuit. Schotten has enrolled it in seven festivals, with the final one – The International Christian Film Festival – being the most important.

“That’s the one where the deals happen,” Schotten says. “All of the distributors will be there. It’s also a trade show and if you do well, that’s where the buys happen.”

The International Christian Film Festival will take place in May in Orlando, Fla. Schotten hopes to land a distribution deal there that would get “The Abiding Nail” into movie theaters or on a faith-based streamer.

He says his new film is his best work yet.

“I made a lot of turkeys in my life, but this isn’t one of them,” he says.

The filmmaker is writing another script and plans to have it ready for the Orlando film festival in May.

“It would be crazy to be down there without another script,” he says. “Once you do a deal, they want to know what’s next.”

His new script, titled “Sunny Sixteen,” combines the two genres Schotten does best: faith-based and zombie.

“It’s faith-based but with more comedy,” he says. “It’s about a young boy who is involved in a church group at a megachurch who talks his pastors and fellow youth group members into making a gory zombie movie.”

The title is a reference to terminology once used by amateur filmmakers. “If you were a hobby filmmaker and it was a sunny day, you set the [camera] aperture to F16 – so, ‘sunny, 16.’”

Pictured at top: Director William Victor Schotten, right, gives instruction to actor Andy Reigstag on the set of ‘The Abiding Nail.’ Reigstag plays a camera operator in the movie.