A Kelowna actress is making her small-screen debut with the upcoming release of the TV movie A Wedding to Remember, filmed in West Kelowna by Reel One Entertainment.
Shanelle Connell plays Frankie, who offers best-friend advice to star Cristina Rosato (Olivia Owens), and Calgary-born actor Greyston Holt as Brain Wolf, in the romance-comedy.
Directed by David Strasser, the film finds Olivia and Brian on opposite sides of a development project. They have to put their feelings aside to save their best friends’ wedding.
Filming this summer was centred at the Cove Lakeside Resort in West Kelowna. It was Canada’s first production to film under new strict COVID-19 protocols.
“We look forward to seeing this romantic movie of the week that was filmed entirely in our beautiful Okanagan region,” said casting director Angela Quinn, in a news release. “Many local actors and background performers will be excited to see themselves on TV.”
The resort not only offered scenic locations, but was a safe refuge for the production crew as the Okanagan film industry became a model for movie-making in the pandemic world.
“We worked with Work Safe BC to create protocols for the industry, and the Okanagan became the first region in Canada ‘to go to camera’ during COVID,” said Okanagan Film Commissioner Jon Summerland.
Newly hired health and safety organizers provided protective equipment and sterilized the set before and after crew members arrived for shooting.
“It was an honour to be a part of one of the first productions to start up after COVID,” said Connell. “Acting has been my dream since I was young, so witnessing everyone working together to keep all of our ‘Hollywood’ dreams alive was really special.”
Her first TV movie takes Connell from the stage to screen and follows a top-20 placement in the Miss Universe Canada pageant in 2017. She recently joined BookIT Talent Agency after finishing a psychology degree at UBC Okanagan.
Her younger years saw her in commercial shoots and theatre.
Connell is joined in the movie by local BookIT Talent actress, Sharon Estephan, who plays the hotel concierge.
A Wedding to Remember trailer has been released at reeloneent.com.