A Honolulu couple – Paula Rath and Gerald Mayfield – are first-time executive producers of a film, “The Big Bend,” screening June 7 to 13 at the Kahala Theatres.

Friendship and fanship with the film’s writer-director and his wife – Brett and Kathryn Wagner – made Rath and Mayfield backers and financial donors to help bring to the screen the life-changing indie film, which evolved after the Wagners and their daughters, Zoe and Delilah, were exposed to an event in Terlingua, Texas, near the Big Bend National Park.

Paula Rath and Jerry Mayfield are first-time film producers.

Deserts are like oceans; they hold lasting, untold secrets and trigger startling, life-changing experiences. And “The Big Bend” emerges as endearing, compelling storytelling.

“Jerry and I have been close friends with Brett and Kathryn for more than 10 years,” said Paula. “We also are big fans and followers of Brett’s,” who would come to Honolulu and stay with the Rath and Mayfield when he had commercial work here.

“There were many long and significant discussions over coffee in the morning or red chile enchiladas at night,” said Paula.

One morning, Brett shared thoughts about an incident that begged for a script to be converted into a film. Months later, he told Rath and Mayfield, “I’ve got a script. Wanna read it?” “I read it first, and literally could not put it down for a second until I was pau,” said Paula. “It was absolutely riveting, and the characters were totally believable and likable in all their complexity.” Jerry had the same reaction and their son Duncan also was sold on the project.

The film focuses on two families – the Prices and the Talbotts– who gather for a reunion in the remote West Texas desert, where things don’t go right as they explore and experience the boundaries of marriage, friendship and parenthood, attempting to endure and survive the unexpected experience.

Jason Butler Harner

The cast features Jason Butler Harner as Cory Price, Virginia Kull as Melanie Price, Erica Ash as Gloria Talbott and David Sullivan as Mac Talbott.

“The Big Bend” premiered in 2022 at the Texas Film Festival and has toured the festival circuit, including the 2022 Honolulu International Film Festival. The Kahala screening is the film’s first commercial booking here, with director Wagner speaking after the 6:30 June 7 screening. Showings continue through June 13, with an extension possible…

Behind the scenes ties in the making of “The Big Bend:”

Brett Wagner
  • Brett Wagner, the writer-director whom Paula Rath describes as “sort of a second son to us,” has lived and worked in Honolulu for seven years and is known for his award-winning commercials he wrote and directed.
  • Kathryn Drury Wagner, Brett’s wife, is a former manager editor on Honolulu Magazine.
  • Paul Atkins, cinematographer, was a Hawaii Kai resident till last year; he moved to Savannah to reside near Wagner and continues to works with him.
  • Nick Masciangelo, an actor, is a North Shore resident.

And that’s Show Biz…

Leave a Reply