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Melrose family debuts 'Heavy Seven'

Posted by Alix Roy  April 9, 2010 09:04 AM

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For the Azevedo family, “Heavy Seven” was a labor of love.

Heavy.jpgThe film, set entirely in Melrose, took two years to produce and screenwriter Robert Azevedo said the going wasn't always easy.

“It's a slow, tedious process,” he said of filming the movie, which was inspired by a short story he wrote for Farmhouse Magazine.

Luckily, Azevedo was working with a crew of family members in a city he's known for 35 years. His father, Robert, plays the leading role in the film, which debuts on Sunday at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge.

“I always saw him as the main character,” said Azevedo. “I was really happy to have him do it.”

Robert plays a 67-year-old funeral parlor usher named Bobby Merlot, whose troubled past forces him on a personal journey for love, redemption, answers, and purpose. The film tests the theory that there are seven significant moments that make up every life, Azevedo said.

“What are 'my' Heavy Seven? That’s the question I want people to be asking themselves on the way out of the theater,” he said. “What are the moments in my life that that define who I am and the path that I follow?”

Boston-based director Paul Serafini said he chose the project because of its compelling storyline and strong characters.

“Rob’s script had all that and this fantastic edge that brings ordinary life occurrences into razor sharp focus,” he said.

The group filmed mainly on nights and weekends at various locations throughout Melrose. Viewers will recognize a local cemetery and spots around the downtown in front of Turner's Seafood and the Melrose Police Department. Gately Funeral Home is used during scenes when Merlot is at work.
 
In addition to Azevedo's father, his sister Laura helped produce the film. His brother, Michael, helped write the screenplay and a “slew” of nephews and nieces got small roles.
 
“We had a lot of fun,” Azevedo said.
 
"Heavy Seven" will premiere at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 11 at the Brattle Theatre at 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. The screening is free and open to the public and will be following by a question and answer session with the cast and crew.

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