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Film to highlight Bethlehem high school

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 26 2013 05:11:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 26 2013 06:00:29 PM CDT

The Lehigh Valley has been the backdrop for many movies over the years, but now a major motion picture plans to put the Christmas City in the spotlight.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

The Lehigh Valley has been the backdrop for many movies over the years, but now a major motion picture plans to put the Christmas City in the spotlight. Besides being shot locally, right now the movie is actually dubbed 'Bethlehem.' Playing football under the lights, and standing in the shadow of the Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces. Pretty soon you can see those things on the big screen.

"The great thing about this particular movie is it's going to showcase Bethlehem Steel, it's going to showcase Liberty High School, Monocacy park," explained Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. "So all these places that we all know so well here in the Lehigh Valley will be part of the movie by name."

'Bethlehem' focuses on the Liberty High School football team, against the backdrop of the 1980's steel crisis.

"In many ways the story line of this particular movie parallels the history of the city," added Callahan.

The story follows teen Danny, who turns to his grandfather, the Hurricane's football coach, after Danny's father's death. The star-studded cast includes Ian Harding, from 'Pretty Little Liars,' and Corbin Bernsen, co-star of the TV show 'Psych'. Bernsen plays the leading role, and is producing the blockbuster.

"I'm drawn to towns like Bethlehem where this magnificent industry was built that basically built the infrastructure of our country, and then that business its self is sucked out of the community," added Bernsen.

Bernsen, along with some of the cast, will be in Bethlehem this weekend meeting with investors and checking out spots to film.

"We look at locations and places that work for the film, places that are cooperative because you know we work on these very slim, very shoestring budgets."

Besides looking for the perfect backdrop for the scenes, the crew will also be looking for help from you. You can contribute money to the project, or even get a chance to be in the movie.

"We want our community to feel proud and when the movies out they know they were part of it," said Bernsen. "When it comes out they can see it and feel it, and say I helped make that."

Bernsen says they hope to start filming the movie soon, and have it ready to premiere by the fall of next year. Mayor Callahan estimates the film will infuse about $1-million into the local economy.