Hand documentary featured at Hollywood Film Festival

By James Phillips, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 1/22/17

“The Last Ride,” a documentary made by Dora resident Edie Hand, was recently showcased at the 20th annual Hollywood Film Festival in Los Angeles.

The film documents the story of the three Blackburn boys, who were Edie Hand’s brothers. Each …

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Hand documentary featured at Hollywood Film Festival


“The Last Ride,” a documentary made by Dora resident Edie Hand, was recently showcased at the 20th annual Hollywood Film Festival in Los Angeles.

The film documents the story of the three Blackburn boys, who were Edie Hand’s brothers. Each of the brothers led short lives mixed with happiness and tragedy, which made a profound impact on Hand. Their story led her to write “The Last Christmas Ride,” which is the book on which the short film is based.

“This is a story about a sister’s love, and how I was taught to turn hard times into beautiful things,” Hand said about the film. “It shows how my past led me to help others. I hope this film offers inspiration and shows that the deepest pain can lead to the greatest reward.”

The film had its debut at the Hollywood Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theater in December as a part of a women’s empowerment event.

“The Hollywood Film Festival was privileged to have Edie join us all the way from Alabama,” said Brad Parks, chief executive officer of Hollywood Film. “While Edie’s success in the entertainment industry is notable, it is clear her greatest joy comes from her efforts on behalf of the Edie Hand Foundation where she works effortlessly in support of critical charities like St. Jude Children’s Hospital.”

Hand said the event in California was emotional for her.

“My Hollywood experience was an unexpected set of emotions with joy and tears,” she said. “It was a promise kept to my brother Terry at the ending of his life. To see a large audience of support at the beautiful Chinese Theater was overwhelming.”

Linc Hand, a Corner High School graduate and emerging film and television star, introduced his mother at the event. He also serves as the star and narrator in the short film.

“I am inspired every day by the people she helps around the world,” he said. “Her foundation was built around what happened in my family, and now we are able to spread support and inspiration to thousands of people from many countries. I am proud of my mother for her achievements.”

Hand said having her son with her for the night was special. The HFF event also included a question and answer session with Hand as well as award-winning television and film producers Stephanie Fredric, who was also being honored by the organization. Victoria Renee, an up and coming singer who plays a young Edie Hand in the film, also gave a live performance of “A Better Tomorrow,” an original song featured in “The Last Ride.”

“It was all about empowering young women in today’s film world,” Hand said. “It was such a wonderful event.”

“The Last Ride” was filmed in locations throughout Alabama in the summer of 2016. Edie Hand serves as executive producer of the film along with award-winning documentary producer Leigh Anne Bishop of Bama Production Services. The film was directed by Scott Mauldin of Birmingham-based Vulcan Media.

“We want to create a sparkle in the eyes of everyone who sees this piece,” Mauldin said. “This is a true story of faith, struggle and giving back.”

The documentary also features several Walker County residents. Mike Puttman, director of Jasper Main Street, is featured in the film because he helped transfer the book into a stage show several years ago. Mary Jo Gunter of Pinnacle Bank, a close friend of Hand, serves as an extra in the film. Rick and Jilda Watson, singer/songwriters from Empire, also have a role in the film and play the song “The Ride Never Ends,” which was inspired by Hand’s story.

“There are more than 100 people in the film with most of them being my friends and family,” Hand said. “I wanted to include as many people as I could to tell this story.”

A public screening of the film is scheduled for Thursday at the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. The film is set to start at 10 a.m. Admission is free and a book signing to benefit the Edie Hand Foundation will be held after the film.

“I hope to see a lot of my Walker County friends at the screening,” she said. “We will watch the film as well as have a question and answer session afterwards with co-author Don Keith, director Scott Mauldin and producer Leigh Ann Bishop.”

For more information on the film, visit www.ediehand.com or www.hnhentertainment.biz.