Making movies to bring understanding
KEMistry Motion Pictures is a Farmville-based production company which has a mission of telling stories that focus on hard-to-discuss topics, like domestic violence and human trafficking, aiming to bring about understanding and to also provide financial support that aids victims.
The company gets the KEM part of its name from the names of its three head chairs — Kolby Logue, her husband Elijah Logue and their roommate Mckinley Cardwell.
The trio of Farmville residents explained how KEMistry Motion Pictures got its start.
“Me and Kolby, when we originally started out in high school, we kind of formed something,” Cardwell said.
Kolby said she and Mckinley, who went to Appomattox County High School, have been friends since they were 5 years old.
“We’ve always had these goals,” she said. “We’ve always acted together since we were 5, and we just grew up together, and then when we were freshmen in high school, we were like, ‘This would be super cool, and I think we could do it.’ And so we got this little group together, and we all signed little contracts about our company, and it started then. Freshman year of high school is when we were like, ‘This is something we should do with our lives.’”
Elijah said that for him, he grew up with a best friend who was a film fanatic.
“He loved films, and he kind of roped me into making fan films of Indiana Jones and stuff with him, so mine started when I was at a young age as well,” Elijah said. “But then I more so got into theater with the community theater in Farmville, Waterworks (Players).”
Elijah and Kolby noted they contribute to a lot of Waterworks shows.
“And then when I married Kolby, she has that spark inside of her, and she kind of lit that inside of me as well,” he said.
He said that spark is what drove them to make KEMistry Motion Pictures’ first feature-length film “Recollection,” which recently finished filming.
The film follows the character of Taylor Mason, played by Kolby, as she navigates the struggles of being a high schooler in today’s age. As Taylor and her boyfriend, Noah Clarke, played by Austin S. Candler, decide to take their relationship to the next step, her life gets thrown into a downward spiral. After overcoming these obstacles, she has a strange encounter with an individual. This inevitably leads to her abduction.
“We had a really good friend of ours that was sexually assaulted, and she was super strong throughout all of it, and it was amazing how many people blamed her for it,” Kolby said. “So we decided to write this film as an awareness or a representation of the victims themselves and that it is never their fault. It’s always the perpetrator’s fault.”
The film was written by Kolby, Elijah and Cardwell.
“The film itself touches on domestic violence, rape, abduction, human trafficking — it touches on really hard topics,” Kolby said. “We just want to bring awareness to the victims and shed light on what they actually go through. We’ve been in contact with five different victims just so we can respectfully tell their stories.”
Elijah is the director of the film.
“It’s definitely sad because towards the end, we try and touch on how different family members or friends could take the news of a loved one of theirs going through something like this,” he said. “And towards the end, we decided to allow some of the characters to still be grieving even years after and still not fully having dealt with the situation yet, because we feel like that’s realistic, because when something like this happens to you, you don’t really know how you’re going to respond.”
“Until it happens,” Kolby added.
“We wanted to let people know that it’s OK to feel bad about a situation and to be grieving for years,” Elijah said. “It doesn’t really matter the amount of time, because every single person is different, and in a family or friends setting, something like this affects people differently.”
All filming on “Recollection” took place in or around Farmville.
Kolby also noted that all proceeds the film will make from its April 2021 premiere will be donated to Madeline’s House, the Southside Center for Violence Prevention.
“For our company, all of the films that we write and we make, we don’t make films just to make them,” Kolby said. “We do them for a reason, and we always touch on very important topics.
“At our company, what we do is we never make money from any of our films. We always choose a certain charity organization to donate all of the funds to just because we don’t need to make the money off of it because it’s not for us. It’s for other people.”
Elijah said that in a way, they are not making entertainment.
“We’re telling real life stories that happen to everyday people that typically people don’t talk about at a dinner table or something,” he said.
“Really-hard-to-discuss topics is our main goal for our company,” Kolby said. “It’s just to bring awareness to the underdog and to the people that have been through things that a lot of people don’t understand and to try to bring understanding.”
PHOTOS BY TITUS MOHLER