Movie makers to hold 'meet-and-greet'

Erik Yabor/Times-EnterpriseHarper Elementary School was buzzing with activity as filming of "The Tiger Rising" took place there last week. Production will return to the Thomasville area next week.

THOMASVILLE — The creators of the upcoming feature film "The Tiger Rising" are inviting the public to a meet and greet session at the Thomasville Cultural Center on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m.

Director Ray Giarratana and best-selling children's author Kate DiCamillo, whose 2001 book of the same name served as the inspiration for the film, will be on hand.

Also at the event will be producers Ryan Smith and Deborah Giarratana, who is also Ray's wife.

Together, the group has spent the past 10 years attempting to bring DiCamillo's 2001 National Book Award finalist to the big screen.

DiCamillo has written a host of children's books, several of which have been turned into films including "Because of Winn-Dixie" and "The Tale of Desperaux." She also served as the U.S. National Ambassador for Young People's Literature during the Obama administration.

Giarratana comes from more than 30 years of supervising visual effects films including several Marvel movies and more recently "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and "John Wick: Chapter 3." He has also directed national commercial campaigns for Budweiser, Pontiac and Coca-Cola, among others. Giarratana first began adapting material for the big screen several years ago, and "The Tiger Rising" is his first to go into production.

Filming resumed last week in Tifton with actor Dennis Quaid. Production will return to Greenwood Plantation just outside Thomasville this week.

Last Tuesday marked the midway point of the film's shooting schedule.

The film will star Quaid, Queen Latifah, Christian Convery, Madalen Mills, Sam Trammell and Katherine McPhee.

A release date for "The Tiger Rising" has yet to be determined.

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