Alabama filmmaker to film Tupelo Christmas parade

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The 2013 Reed’s Tupelo Christmas Parade will get screen time in an upcoming movie.

Director Tonya S. Holly will be filming the parade on Tuesday as a part of her upcoming film, “Christmas Memories.” Holly’s production company, Cypress Moon, is based in Sheffield, Ala., and she’ll film two other nighttime parades for the movie.

“It’s about these four friends, and the lead character’s husband has passed away, and it’s her first Christmas without him. The parade triggers memories from the past, so we get to see how she and her friends met, how she met her late husband,” Holly said. “To me, it’s a cross between ‘Steel Magnolias’ and ‘Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.’”

She’ll film some scenes from her relative Rhonda Chrestman’s office at Snelling Staffing Services on Main Street.

“I’ve been coming (to Tupelo) a lot,” she said. “She’s got this wonderful office, and I thought, this’ll be a great place for us to shoot from.”

She and her crew will arrive in town about 3 p.m. Tuesday to begin work.

Holly will also film parades in Philadelphia and Red Bay, Ala.

Holly wrote “Christmas Memories,” and she also wrote and directed her last feature, “When I Find the Ocean,” which starred Lee Majors and Diane Ladd.

She’s in the process of casting “Christmas Memories,” and expects the movie to be released this time next year.

“Tell everybody to dress up and be festive and be themselves,” she said. “If we do get a close-up of anyone, we’ll let them know.”

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com