October 16, 2021

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Jersey graduate returns home, this time with a film crew

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JERSEYVILLE — A Jersey Community High School graduate is about wrap up filming for his latest project. 

Kevin Edwards has been filming in Jerseyville and in St. Louis and St. Elmo in Missouri for his upcoming film “Schmetterling,” which is the German word for “butterfly.” 

Parts of the project were filmed in a former Jerseyville hospital now owned by Got Faith? Ministry. 

Edwards graduated from JCHS in 2000 with the intention of becoming a wrestler, which he did for a number of years. In 2012, he fell into the film industry by chance and decided to quit wrestling to pursue filmmaking. 

“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” Edwards said. 

“Schmetterling” follows a woman by that name who is struggling with drug addiction. She witnesses a murder outside of her home and spends the movie trying to escape the killer. Every place she goes to for help does not believe her story. 

“Nobody takes her seriously because they know she’s a drug addict,” Edwards said. 

Edwards said that most drug addicts are depicted in movies and television as “fodder” or “the villain.” He noted that his main character is not in the recovery phase. 

“Is what she’s doing with her life great? No, it’s not,” he said. “But is she a human being? Yes, she is.” 

According to Edwards, the film’s inspiration came from an actress he meet in 2017. He said that after working with her on a project, she “fell into the wrong crowd.” A year later, she died from complications caused by her heroin addiction. Edwards said the way people perceived her after her death angered him. 

“They just saw her as a cautionary tale — a statistic — and treated her like she was nothing,” Edwards said. “That has stuck with me every day since she passed away.” 

The film project has Dearra Johnson as its assistant director and Lonnie Craigg as its producer. It features St. Louis actors, including Ashley Pryor as Schmetterling, Caterina Clayton, Shaun Scott and J.D. Noll. The cast also includes John Lehr of Overland, Kansas, who played one of the cavemen in the iconic GEICO TV commercials and appeared in the films “10 Items or Less” and “The Sweetest Thing.”

Edwards expects filming for “Schmetterling” will be completed by November. 

His production company, Always Late TV, is most known for the reality TV series “Local Ambition,” now in its ninth season. The show is described as a “soap opera about women competing in a modeling competition reality series where the dangers they face are more interesting than the drama they create on-screen.” 

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