Local actors key elements in ‘Daughter of the King’

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 Debra Van Gaalen
Debra Van Gaalen

A film about a young woman’s struggle to overcome addiction will have a decidedly Chatham-Kent connection when it has its local premier at the Capitol Theatre this month.

Daughter of the King, to be screened Sept. 24, features Chatham’s Debra Van Gaalen as the female lead Ashley Miller; while Thamesville’s Florin Marksteiner has the role of Hayden, who preys upon Ashley’s addiction, and turns her into a prostitute.

Veteran Christian filmmaker Matthew Marshall wrote the screenplay and served as the film’s producer and director. He said film brings an international story home.

Daughter Of The King - Production Stills - 024
Florin Marksteiner

“When people think of human trafficking and exploitation, they don’t realize it happens everywhere, including our small communities in Southwestern Ontario,” he said.

Marshall, with more than 20 years in the industry, said the use of local talent and locations (the film was shot in London, St, Thomas, Port Stanley and Sparta) makes it that much more realistic.

The film’s message of self-worth, forgiveness and redemption are based on a Christian perspective, but is something even those without any religious affiliation can appreciate.

“We all make mistakes, as Ashley does, but the feeling of worthlessness, that ‘even God couldn’t forgive me for what I’ve done’ leads her down the wrong path,” he said.  “When she realizes that she does have worth, she begins to use that as a way to a better life.

“In a way, every one of us is like a $20 bill,” he said. “It may be crumpled or dirty, but it’s still worth $20. If we applied that logic to ourselves it would allow us to seek the redemption we all deserve.”

The film had its London premier last month, and the Capitol presentation is in partnership with the Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre. The film is being presented at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

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