hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


April 4, 2013

Movie recalls local mom's nightmarish prison stay

City native makes film about her mother's plight


Had she been in prison much longer, her health would surely have failed and she might have even died, Chase-Wright said.

”I’d kept a journal for two years and began meeting with writers to work on a script,” she said. “I had to find a way to take care of my mom’’ by telling her story and raising money to help rebuild her life.

At the time, Chase-Wright was a talent manager developing movies for TV and film. She knew she had a great story to tell.

”There was nothing I had to make up or change,” she said about the script. “For me, it wasn’t about telling the story for the benefit of others. It was about finding a way to take care of my mom so she could buy a house again.

”In my case, I sold the story four times off of a pitch,” she said. “I’d go into a room and give them a one-hour version of a two year experience.”

Three movie companies were interested in making Chase-Wright’s movie, but it didn’t come to fruition until she brought it to the Lifetime channel for consideration.

”The fourth time was a charm,” she said. “It was 14 years of sticking with it and trying.”

Along the way, Chase-Wright’s father died and she met her future husband, Michael Wright, president of TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies.

”By telling the story, it was a big weight off my shoulders and it was a way to help my mom,” she said.

Filming of the movie took place last summer in Columbia.

”When I arrived there, it reminded me of when I was there in 1997,” Chase-Wright said of when she was in South America fighting for her mother’s release. “And to see actors play out something that happened to you was really devastating.”

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