Feature film ‘Strange Nature’ to be filmed in rural Itasca Co.

Promotional image from "Strange Nature," a new film from Jim Ojala being produced in northern Minnesota.

Promotional image from “Strange Nature,” a new film from Jim Ojala being produced in northern Minnesota.

As many of you know, I live in the forests of rural Itasca County, Minnesota. It appears that the quiet summer splendor of my deep woods neighborhood will be disturbed, if only temporarily, by the filming of an original feature-length horror movie based on the true story of mutant frogs.

“Strange Nature” by filmmaker Jim Ojala will begin filming this year. Recently, Ojala put out a casting call for several key roles in the film which will be shot in the woods just northwest of the Mesabi Iron Range. Ojala is from Duluth and is now based in Hollywood. The film’s casting director Jeffrey Passero will be in Duluth July 9-10 recording auditions for several key roles, described in the “Strange Nature” casting call.

The lead actress will be Lisa Sheridan, who has appeared on “CSI: Miami” and numerous TV shows. The mayor of Duluth will be played by the legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, a prolific performer whom you will instantly recognize (“Ned,” the annoying classmate of Bill Murray’s in “Groundhog’s Day.”)

The filmmakers describe “Strange Nature” this way:

In 1995, hideously deformed frogs began popping up in Minnesota ponds.  Over the next few years, thousands were discovered.  Some frog populations were as much as 70% deformed.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency came up with many possible theories for the cause but nothing definite.  It was only known as something in the water.  In 2001, the U.S. Government pulled all further research funding.  The malformations spread to other states and even other countries such as most recently, India and China.  
The problem continues…

These true events are the basis for the feature film, STRANGE NATURE.  It is a horror film and a drama of sorts.  The horror of a small Minnesota town struck with this phenomenon as it moves beyond the ponds.  The drama and hope of a single mother and her 11-year old son as they fight to rebuild their lives as the threat of the birth defects and other damaging effects draws nearer.  

Here is a TV news story on the “Strange Nature” casting call from Duluth’s WDIO this week:


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