Bangor graduate’s project ‘Wildflower’ hits theaters

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 3:38 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Sometimes life and our dreams take us in directions we never anticipated and as Bangor High School graduate Jana Savage will tell you, sometimes it’s better than you could ever have imagined.

”I came to LA wanting to act, which I still do a little bit, but I fell into writing along the way,” Savage said.

The writing path has proven to be a good one because one of her projects, “Wildflower,” is going to be seen in theaters across the country.

“This particular project is an individual one that I work I worked on, but I majority of my projects I do write with a team and the director of this film “Wildflower,” we had worked on a previous project together that had not has not yet yet been produced, but we just really had a really good vibe,” Savage said.

“Wildflower” is based on a true story and documentary by the director of the film.

“He had shot the documentary by the same name “Wildflower” about his extended, his wife’s family, so his in-laws, and we were talking about what we wanted to do and he felt really passionate about telling this story. So I watched the documentary and I, I thought I knew where it was going and it was just much more real and funny. I knew it was gonna be heartfelt and inspirational in a way but it also was just very real and talked plainly about some challenges,” Savage said.

Casting for the film was something Savage says was incredibly important to them.

“It’s a different movie, but that same feeling of, of hope and authenticity, I think is what we’re really going for and we really hope that people people see so we when we set out to do this, obviously you know we I had real people to to base a lot of his characters on but it is fictionalized and so it was very important to us,” Savage said.

Like casting actors living with disabilities like autism and Tourette’s.

“We really hope that people feel like we did handle it with a sense of some sensitivity,” Savage said.

And add several Hollywood stars like Jean Smart and Brad Garrett.

“Who is this funny man but had us all like weeping on set like we didn’t expect that,” she said.

And now Savage has way more than a piece of work that started as a small project; she has a movie she wrote and was an executive producer of that will leave its mark in the movie industry...and back here in her hometown.

“I feel so proud. And now it’s like when people say, ‘What have you done? Is there something I can watch?’ And I can proudly send them to this film. And that, you know, it’s a hard road. I’m very grateful to be doing what I’m doing and it’s taken a long time to get here and so to be able to have something I’m so proud of, is, you know, I joke whenever I have a meeting, you know, they’re like, how are you? I’m like, you just live the dream,” Savage said.

A dream like “Wildflower” is something she says is there for anyone to make come true for themselves.

Yes, it’s gonna sound cliché, because I had the same thought which was I always felt this in me and I thought well that you can’t do that. You can’t be from Bangor, Maine and go to Hollywood. But you can because you do it in increments and you find a way and you if you’re passionate enough, and there’s nothing else that you want to do, you will find a way,” she said.

“Wildflower” opens Friday and will also be streaming later this month.