Married filmmakers Desi Van Til and Sean Mewshaw of Portland will be sending out their valentines a little early this year, on movie screens across the country.

Their romantic comedy “Tumbledown” is scheduled to open Friday in theaters nationally, just two days before Valentine’s Day. The film, starring Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall, is set in Van Til’s hometown of Farmington and was inspired by her love for its people and places.

The film has already had a limited opening in Los Angeles and New York, and the two filmmakers were in New York on Tuesday to attend screenings. They were headed back to Maine for screenings and events in Farmington, Portland, Brunswick and Waterville beginning Friday.

“At long last, getting to play the film in Maine theaters, from my beloved hometown of Farmington to our new hometown of Portland, is definitely a consummation of a long-gestating dream,” Van Til said Tuesday in an email from New York City. She wrote that although seeing the film in New York and Los Angeles was exciting, “nothing will compare to sitting with an audience who played a big part inspiring the film to begin with.”

Van Til and Mewshaw met in Hollywood, where both worked for years in the film industry. They moved back to Maine in 2007 specifically to make “Tumbledown.” The couple now live in Portland’s West End with their two children.

Despite the couple’s intentions and efforts, the film was eventually shot in Massachusetts towns, including Concord, because of the larger tax benefits for filmmaking there.


But Van Til’s story is set in Farmington, with people and places based on the citizens and scenery of that area. The film title comes from nearby Tumbledown Mountain. Production Designer Jane Ann Stewart (“The Descendants,” “Sideways”) drove to Farmington so she could study the place and make downtown Concord, Massachusetts, into a suitable stand-in. Signs and other items from Farmington businesses were used in the filming.

“Tumbledown” is about the young widow (Hall) of a singer-songwriter who is living among friends and family in Farmington and trying to deal with her loss. Sudeikis, a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, plays a writer who comes to town to research the dead singer, and a romance begins.

The cast is made up of Hollywood veteran actors, including Blythe Danner, Griffin Dunne, Joe Manganiello and Richard Masur. The movie premiered in April at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and landed a distribution deal with Starz, the pay-TV company. In announcing the deal, Starz said the film would be released to theaters nationally around Valentine’s Day.

Van Til said she and Mewshaw will attend and speak at several Maine screenings this weekend, including 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Portland Museum of Art; 7 p.m. Saturday at the Narrow Gauge Cinemas in Farmington; 2:10 p.m. at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville; and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Frontier in Brunswick.


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