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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Paranormal films chosen for festival

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Movies were created by former Sikeston woman

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. -- A former Sikeston, Mo., resident recently learned two of her films are official selections at a national film festival.

"The Other Side: Giving Up the Ghost" and "American Ghost Watchers," are the first feature-length works produced by Exspiro Productions, created in 2006 by Tonya Keyser, a former Sikeston resident, and her husband, Andrew.

Both films will be shown during the the first Dead of Winter Film Festival scheduled for March 1 in Decatur, Ill. The film festival was created as a venue for independently-produced films about ghosts, hauntings and the supernatural.

"We're very pleased to have the opportunity to show our films at any film festival, but this film festival is specifically geared toward films about paranormal so we are going to be able to show the film to people who are specifically interested in that topic," Keyser said.

In addition to introducing their films, filmmakers will host a question-and-

answer session following each screening.

"I think it will go pretty well," Keyser said. "I think people will have some good questions, seeing as the people are interested in the paranormal, so we'll get questions not only about our film and how we made our film but on the content."

At just over 80 minutes, "The Other Side: Giving Up the Ghost" examines the relationship between American popular culture and the fascination with ghosts.

"That film has been doing pretty well," Keyser said. "It has been selling on Amazon, through our Web site and through some of the shops in Gettysburg."

"American Ghost Watchers" is a "mockumentary" about the paranormal research community which the Keysers finished in late September.

"It's basically a comedy done in the style of a documentary," Keyser. "We're very pleased with it. We were actually doing the film to try out some new equipment and it turned out much better than we anticipated."

The film premiered recently at the Mid-South Paranormal Convention in Louisville, Ky., where it was well received by the audience of paranormal enthusiasts.

"I think that everybody can see the humor not only in what they do but also in the extreme personalities that exist in the field of paranormal research," Keyser said.

The Dead of Winter Film Festival will be held in the historic Lincoln Theater -- a venue some believe is haunted itself. Additionally, Decatur has been billed by some as "the most haunted small city in the Midwest."

A 1987 graduate of New Madrid County (Mo.) Central High School, Keyser moved to Villanova, Pa., for graduate studies at Villanova University after receiving a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Missouri. She then finished her master's in education at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

On the Net:

Dead of Winter Film Festival: http://www.prairieghosts.com/winter.html

Exspiro Productions: http://www.exspiroproductions.com