JONESBORO — Northeast Arkansans will be able to stream a movie with a local connection next week.
Manila resident Sherrie Kelley-Presson wrote the screenplay for the film “Dead Fred,” which will be available to stream Aug. 4.
The film, originally released in the UK last summer and filmed at New Forest in Hampshire, England, features a group of friends who band together when one of their group gets dementia, only to discover their sick friend’s husband is in the cellar freezer.
The British dark comedy won best ensemble cast and was nominated for best foreign film at the 2019 ReelHeart International Film Festival in Canada.
“It was a really fun movie,” Kelley-Presson said. She said the idea for the screenplay came to her from a group of friends she worked with as a waitress in Kennett, Mo.
It also features actors Tim Faraday, who appeared in “Gangs of New York,” and Sandra Dickinson from “Balto” and “Ready Player One.”
The movie’s director Deanna Dewey has directed 12 films, and producer Gemma Wilks has appeared in 30 films and produced nine.
Kelley-Preston got her start in writing with a short story in her ninth-grade English class, and the teacher encouraged her to keep writing.
However, for 22 years she wrote novels and sent them to publishers without a response until her novel “Blackberry Winter” was picked up by a publisher. Despite more than two decades of not getting her novels published, Kelley-Preston said she never wanted to stop writing because she loves it. After “Blackberry Winter” she continued to publish 18 more books.
Kelley-Preston said she writes from her head. While most authors make outlines, her unconventional style allows her to be more creative and sometimes finish novels faster. She described herself as a “seat of my pants kind of writer ... sometimes I’m surprised by what comes out.”
Right now, she has stopped writing novels and has opted to write more screenplays. Screenplays, which focus more on action and dialogue rather than character development, are shorter and allow her to spend more time with grandkids.
While Kelley-Preston has 19 books published, her works can be found under the pseudonyms Sheridon Smythe, Adrienne Burns and Sherrie Eddington, too. Sheridon Smythe is a name she and her friend and co-author Donna Smith came up with to combine their names.
The pair also used Adrienne Burns after publishing a book under Sheridon Smythe. Kelley-Preston said Walmart wouldn’t sell two books by the same author at the same time, so they had to come up with a new name for the publisher.
Currently, she is working on a new screenplay titled “Cloner” inspired by the novel “Cradle of Secrets.”
“Dead Fred” will be available to stream on Amazon, Google, Fandango, DirectV, iTunes and Vudu.