PROVINCETOWN — Cameras will start rolling again in Provincetown the first week in October when local resident and Hollywood producer Pete Shilaimon films his new movie “Best Place in the World.”
“I want to make this movie a love letter to Provincetown,” said Shilaimon, who moved to town in December 2021 after visiting the previous summer.
“I fell in love with P’town. It’s magical here. I’ve traveled the world and there’s nothing quite like this. You can be anything and anyone. You can lose yourself in this place.”
“Best Place in the World” was written by Marco Calvani, who lives in Los Angeles but escaped to Provincetown for nine months during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story focuses on Lourenço, who has left his homophobic family in Brazil and arrives in Provincetown. He has an “intense and unexpected romance with Maurice, an African American who also feels lost in today’s America,” according to IMDb.
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“I was in Provincetown in 2021 when I met Marco and he pitched me the script,” Shilaimon said. “I fell in love with the idea of finding that one-week love, falling in love with someone as a fantasy in a little town like this.”
Shilaimon’s crew was set to start filming Monday inside a home in Truro with a mystery performer. “It’s a big actor, but I can’t tell you who,” he said.
After a few days, the filming will move to Provincetown.
“We’ll be shooting pretty much everywhere in Provincetown,” Shilaimon said. The story is based in a home on Court Street, so the crew will be there frequently. Other spots include MacMillan Pier, Herring Cove Beach and several places along Commercial Street, including Angel Foods grocery store.
“The Red Inn is also a big location,” he said. “We have a lot of scenes. It’s a 95-page script.”
Provincetown performers take the spotlight
Several local performers are set to appear in the movie, including João Pedro Santos, Todd Flaherty, Carl Gregory, Steven Walker and Halcyone Hurst, according to Shilaimon.
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Santos has been a big fan of Calvani’s work for years and met him in Provincetown.
“I was invited to audition for the role of Dimo, an immigrant living in Provincetown much like myself, who is a friend of the main character Lourenço, played by Marco Pigossi, a Brazilian actor I actually grew up watching on TV in Brazil,” Santos said.
He is still pinching himself, he said. “I’m so honored and in disbelief, I get to work with this team on such a beautiful project.”
Hurst, a local performing artist and member of the Provincetown Film Society, will play a woman who works in a bakery and sandwich shop and befriends Lourenço.
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“I read the script when it was first finished,” Hurst said. “Mario, the writer and director, is so beautiful and lovely. It feels so good to be doing this kind of work here at home.”
Along with Pigossi, the movie stars Lourenço and Bill Irwin plays Scott. “He’s the father figure that we all need,” laughed Shilaimon. James Bland plays Maurice, Lourenço’s love interest. Trans actress Mya Taylor is also in the cast.
Filming should wrap up by Oct. 19, Shilaimon said. He hopes the movie will hit theaters in January of 2024.
President of LD Entertainment, Shilaimon has produced several hit films, including “Jackie” in 2016 with Natalie Portman, “Judy” in 2019 with Renee Zellweger and “Anthropoid” in 2016 with Cillian Murphy.
Love is love, says producer Pete Shilaimon
A new movie spotlighting Provincetown is always a good thing, Provincetown Tourism Director Anthony Fuccillo.
“Filming projects always bring some excitement to the town,” Fuccillo said.
The town tourism department handles all applications for filming permits.
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The most recent movies and TV shows filmed in town are “Art Thief,” “On the Hook,” “Maria’s Portuguese Table,” “Bear Movie” and “Bros,” according to Fuccillo. FX’s American Horror Story and STARZ’s Hightown are also filmed in town.
Asked what Shilaiman hopes audiences will take from “Best Place in the World,” he answered: “Love is love. Love knows no boundaries. This is a love story.”
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