News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current


The courtship of ‘Father Eddie’: Local film producers seek sponsors for project

There’s no question that the priesthood could use some positive press nowadays, and that’s why Father Eddie is counting on San Diego’s tight-knit community to help bring this story to light.

“Father Eddie,” a feature film about an unemployed telemarketer who pretends to be a priest for a job at an all-boys Catholic school, is written and produced by locals and slated to start shooting in August at St. Augustine’s High School in North Park. But a lack of funding could potentially stop the project before it starts.

“For my first feature film, my wife and I financed the entire film on credit cards,” said “Father Eddie” writer and producer Chris Cashman. “I don’t advise anyone to do this. But, no regrets, we completed our film, it got into numerous film festivals and found distribution on”

But this time around, Cashman and the crew are looking toward the community for support.

“We are using the Kickstarter website to raise the initial funding for the project,” Cashman said. “ is a crowd funding website. How it works is, you set how much you want to raise and the amount of time you want to raise it in. We gave ourselves 30 days to raise $40,000 (June 12 deadline). If we don’t raise all the money in that time, we don’t see one cent and the donors don’t get charged for their donations.”

The fact that Cashman and “Father Eddie” co-writer Chris Lusti are both St. Augustine’s alumni only strengthens their connection to the venture.

“I specifically wanted to work with Lusti on this particular project because he had lived the Saints experience,” Cashman said. “For years, we talked about writing something about our days in high school … Saints had such a positive life experience on me. It was there where I got my start as a filmmaker. I think it’s fitting that I’m going back there for my second feature film.”

Cashman’s first feature film, “Carts,” includes many of the same names appearing in “Father Eddie,” some that are legendary in the business, including Marshall Manesh (“The Big Lebowski,” “How I Met Your Mother”) and Ted Lange (best known as Isaac on “The Love Boat”).

“I’ve learned so much from working with such talented actors like Ted and Marshall,” Cashman explained. “A professional actor wants to perform the character as you, the director, see it in your head … but they will also give their own interpretation of the character. This is the amazing part of working on the collaborative process of filmmaking.”

The collaboration also includes co-producers Lisa Cashman (Chris’ wife) and Carlsbad resident Annie Willett-Thomas, who worked with Cashman several times in the past, but only in front of the camera. She co-starred with Lusti last year in a short film called “Revelations” (co-written by Cashman and Lusti) for the 48 Hour Film Project, which won an Audience Choice Award.

“He (Cashman) only knew me as an actor and then he realized I produced a television series and some short films,” Willett-Thomas said. “One day we were on set together, and I have a film project that I’d been working on, and he was talking about this film he was developing and I said, ‘Maybe we can help each other’… and he said, ‘Maybe you want to produce ‘Father Eddie’ with me?’ And I said, ‘That sounds fantastic.’”

“Father Eddie” also welcomes back the Bastard Kids of Michael Bay, the production team (created by Cashman and Tommy Brown) that worked on “Revelations.”

“They all work in the industry and have amazing credits. Most of them are going to be a part of ‘Father Eddie’ if the timing works out,” Willett-Thomas added. She said she also has faith that the community will come through with their support for the film, too.

“The community in San Diego is so amazing. People are more willing to see something like this to fruition whether or not it’s doing something for them,” Willett-Thomas said. “A lot of film projects and television projects here are low and no budget, so up in Los Angeles – it’s my stomping ground, don’t get me wrong – a lot of people are more often saying, ‘What’s in it for me?’ instead of recognizing that we’re building something, and what’s in it for you is that soon we could be a force to be reckoned with, with production here. Rather than everybody starting in San Diego and moving to Los Angeles, we can actually create a sustainable environment.”

Sustaining local filmmaking means that the community needs to be active in the process, and with little time left before June 12, the future of Father Eddie hangs in the balance.

“We know the angel sponsors are out there who are willing to help us,” Willett-Thomas said. “It’s just a matter of finding them and them finding us, especially the groups of people that will benefit from the film’s benefits, and us talking about them at every turn, and putting them on all of our press packets, and acknowledging them in the film, and outside of the film in the social networks, because whoever those people are, we are so grateful.”

For more information on the project or about how you can support and get involved, visit the Kickstarter page for “Father Eddie.”

Lauren Ciallella is a San Diego freelance writer


Activate Search
The courtship of ‘Father Eddie’: Local film producers seek sponsors for project