Stephens City resident hopes new film provides awareness
Connie Lamothe, a Stephens City resident, has directed and acted in plays before. But for the first time, she has taken a role in a film that is part documentary and part dramatization.
Lamothe acted in and directed the dramatic portions of “Angels Within,” a documentary about Pakistani-American doctors who serve in rural towns and cities across the country.
Lamothe said that she was attracted to the project because it was a documentary, a form that was unfamiliar to her.
“I think anyone who’s in the industry as I am–we always look for opportunities of things that are new, things that are different,” Lamothe said. “So that we’re not kind of labeled as doing one thing, capable of just one thing.”
But Lamothe was also attracted to the film because of what it is about. At a time when a large number of people in the United States are afraid of Muslims, Lamothe believed that the film could help offer compassion.
“There’s different doctors that talked about the amazing contributions they made to medicine or through donations to the community, to improve the towns that they lived in,” Lamothe said. So it’s an awareness. It’s showing the awareness that these are just really good people.”
Lamothe said that this film ties in with her previous work, even if it is the first documentary she has worked on.
“Almost every project that I have done has always been about creating an awareness about something that has to do with the good of people–of all people,” Lamothe said. “And most of my films that I’ve done in the past are all about things like paying it forward and lending a helping hand, that kind of thing.”
In the film, Lamothe plays an angel whose job is to guide a Pakistani-American doctor played by Noor Naghmi, who directed the documentary portion of the film. Naghmi’s character comes to the United States from Pakistan and has a traumatic experience at an airport, where he is strip-searched and detained, Lamothe said.
Lamothe said that she first heard about the film from Naghmi, who asked if she would direct the dramatic portion of the film and act in it. Lamothe agreed.
“Noor is an amazing man,” Lamothe said. “He is somebody that I have come to know quite well. And I just think the message of having people become less fearful is a good one in our society today.”
In addition to acting in the film, Lamothe recruited a number of people from her talent management agency, CCLTalent Management Agency, to act in the film. Those actors include people who live in the Winchester area.
In addition to those actors, Dr. Tayyib Rana, a Winchester-based ophthalmologist, was interviewed for the film.
The film appeared briefly in New York and California, but it is not appearing publicly any time soon.
Lamothe said that the next step will be for the film to appear in festivals around the world. Ultimately, she said, she is particularly hoping the film is accepted for a screening at the Toronto Film Festival.