Harriston plays himself in an upcoming indie horror film

The Harriston-born actor and filmmaker said it was a joy to combine where he came from with what he does now

HARRISTON — Shooting isn’t unusual in Wellington County, although it’s fairly rare for a local town to play itself out.

But a filmmaker saw something in the town of Minto and Harriston was the filming location and setting for a soon-to-be-released indie horror movie set to film in 2019.

Palma film by writer/director Ali Akbar Akbar Kamal, is a found footage style film about an indie filmmaker visiting her hometown to attend a friend’s funeral as she seems to rise from the dead with mysterious abilities.

Co-producer Chad Tailor stars as he visits his hometown in the film. Tailor is originally from Harriston.

Tailor has lived in Toronto for 11 years, graduating from the Toronto Film School with Kamal and Mariah MacDonald, now of Makama Films.

He said he had invited them to his town a few times in the past to make short films. Kamal said in an email that he liked the friendliness and hospitality of Harriston residents.

When a shooting project in Kabul fell through, Kamal thought of Tailor and his hometown.

MacDonald, the film’s co-producer, said she loves filming in Harriston and even got the town of Minto’s blessing to use the name in the film.

“I love this place, right now me and the director have moved to Nova Scotia so we like small places,” MacDonald said.

“It was perfect, the city was so welcoming and everything worked perfectly.”

Kamal agreed and credited the city with their successful filming.

Tailor said it was an amazing experience to be able to work on this production in his hometown.

“To be able to combine my two worlds of where I’m from, and now I live in Toronto, and having all my film colleagues come over and then people from my hometown was just magical,” Tailor said.

He explained that he was the one who got all the locations and involved the townspeople in small roles or otherwise.

Those familiar with Harriston should be on the lookout for the Crown Theatre, United Church and a few residence halls popping up in Palm.

“The community was so great and supportive there, allowing us to film for 18 days in 2019 everywhere, even right in front of the Harriston sign,” Tailor said.

The film will premiere on distributor Terror Films’ YouTube station on March 25 and will be released widely on digital streaming platforms on April 8.