April Wright and her passion for Drive-Ins At the B Movie Celebration

It’s always exciting to explore the persona of an emerging talent. April Wright, writer, director, and producer of the recently released documentary, Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie, is one such talent. Wright earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in Business Computer Systems from Bradley University, and eventually landed in Los Angeles making movies. For over a decade, April has been a member of Women In Film-LA (WIF), transitioning from Coordinator of the Film Finishing Fund to WIF Foundation Manager. In this capacity, April supports the WIF Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the Mentoring Program, Legacy Series, and the Film Finishing Fund. In addition, April is an independent consultant for clients like Real D, and is involved with programming for the Sundance Film Festival and AFI Fest.

April Wright’s hard work, creative talent and passion for movies is paying off and she is starting to experience a new found entertainment industry visibility. She’s been writing for several years, but has focused full time on directing and producing films foBeverly-Drive-in-webr the last four years. In 2006, April’s film career began when she wrote and produced the horror film Killer Yacht Party, which was distributed by Troma. Since then, she has amassed several narrative, documentary, and short films to her credit: A Friendly Game, My Boyfriend Is a Blimp, Beyond the Passion Pit, Layover, The Graveyard Shift, Inner Beauty, Tantrum, and Going Attractions. April recently optioned a new script entitled, No Exit. The film currently receiving publicity and accolades is the Admiral-Twin-OK-webdocumentary Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie, which is currently enjoying a theatrical run at drive-ins and indoor theaters throughout the US and Canada. In addition, the documentary has been invited to festivals, such as the Independence Film, Art and Music Festival, Independence, MO, where it will be the Centerpiece film on August 9th and 10th, 2013.

April went to drive-in movies as a child growing up in Illinois, and remembers them as fun, close, family times. Drive-in movies were right up there with apple pie and baseball. In the 80’s, however, corman-webdrive-ins began to close and April became fascinated with the abandoned structures. The idea for this feature was born in the 90’s, before April began making films. It re-emerged in 2005 when only 500 of nearly 5,000 drive-ins were left in the U.S. This motivated April to begin shooting the documentary, a project that has taken seven years to complete. During this time, the indefatigable April Wright performed research on the history and cultural impact of drive-ins, including economic and sociological effects. She took many cross-country road trips to every state except Alaska, and shot interviews with the people who were the most prominent in the drive-in industry. April was not deterred when the economy took a dive and adversely affected funding. The post-production process was lengthened, but April persisted until the completion of the film in May of this year.

Cottage-View-MN-webToday, fewer than 400 drive-in movie theatres remain. The documentary explores drive-ins from their invention in 1933, to their rise in American culture through the 50’s, decline in the 70’s and 80’s, back to a recent resurgence in present times. Wright observes that there have been over thirty new drive-ins built since the year 2000, and that another 30 have been re-opened since that time. Going Attractions, was released this year—the 80th anniversary of the drive-in. Many of the remaining drive-ins are converting to digital technology this year, which has allowed them to show Going Attractions on the big screen. People will now be able to go to a drive-in, park under Majorette-San-Diego-webthe stars, and watch a movie about the history of drive-ins—after a trip to the concession stand, of course! What a way to celebrate the 80th year of drive-in movie theatres, and celebrate a positive impact on family values, as well.

April and her movie Going Attractions have been featured in USA Today, BBC World News, the Chicago Tribune, on the BBC show “Talking Movies” and most recently April was interviewed on NPR.