This is IMDb’s quick rundown of the new crime thriller “Misfortune”:
“When a young man, down on his luck, learns about his father’s killer’s parole, it sets off a cat and mouse chase through the hostile desert, searching for a hidden family inheritance.”
Guess what city plays the “hostile desert” in the flick?
Yup, yours truly. Tucson.
The film was shot in the Old Pueblo for three weeks in April two years ago. Movie-goers might recognize spots around Picture Rocks and Saguaro National Park.
“I really wanted to embrace the habitat and the natural, gorgeous saguaro cactuses, the impossible-to-beat sunsets you can’t get in the Southwest as much as you can in Arizona,” said filmmaker Desmond Devenish, who directed, starred in and co-wrote the film with Xander Bailey.
The LA-based Devenish is back in Tucson through Aug. 28 for screenings at Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18. Though Devenish had only passed through town on a cross-country road trip prior to shooting his movie, Bailey had filmed in Tucson before and loved working here.
Devenish recalled scouting one off-the-beaten path location with local resident Roger Steilen, a producer on “Misfortune.” Steilen warned him not to wander too far onto the property, reminding Devenish where he was. Sure enough, a voice echoed down the hill, asking what he was doing.
“The next thing I hear is, ‘I’ve got a shotgun!’” Devenish said.
Luckily, no moviemakers were harmed during filming.
The movie, which played at the Arizona International Film Festival earlier this year, has already garnered some awards, including Best Feature Film at South Dakota’s Black Hills Film Festival.
Devenish — who founded Gunnison Galaxy, a collective for independent artists that’s currently focused on film projects — said he plans to return to the desert.
“The community has been so helpful,” he said. “I really would love to see a film tax incentive come back to Arizona. The film community is so talented and supportive.”
If you go What: “Misfortune,” a film shot in Tucson Where: Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18, 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz When: Aug. 26-Sept. 2. For more info: 889-5588