Jerry G. Angelo is used to being challenged on set.
In his latest film, “Artik,” Angelo was out of his comfort zone.
“I love the challenge of getting into a character,” the Albuquerque native says. “For this film, it was the complete opposite of who I am.”
“Artik” tells the story of a comic book-obsessed serial killer who teaches his son how to get away with a series of murders until the boy befriends a mysterious man, Holton.
Holton then threatens to expose their horrifying family secret.
As Holton gets closer to the truth, he must not only fight for the young boy’s life, but for his own. Angelo plays the title character.
The film will have its New Mexico premiere on Friday, Feb. 14, as part of the Santa Fe Film Festival.
Angelo produced and starred in the film, which was written and directed by Tom Botchii Skowronski.
The production spent six weeks in New Mexico, filming in and around the bosque.
“In that period of time, we had a lot of ground to cover,” Angelo says. “Tom wanted the character to have an accent that wasn’t distinguishable. We spent a lot of time finding the right voice for Artik. And it had to be believable.”
Angelo says because Artik is a comic book serial killer, he felt that he needed to have a superpower or special object.
“It turned out to be a leather sleeve, that when worn, it gives him power,” he says. “Tom loved the idea, and (production designer) Chris Scott came up with the one I wore in the film.”
When Angelo was first approached about the film, he had some trepidation.
“Tom hit me up, and I read the script and realized it wasn’t my cup of tea – the horror genre and the fact that it was about a serial killer,” Angelo says. “Then I listened to Tom about his vision for the script. I watched his short films and realized that it is all coming from a very intellectual place. There’s incredible detail to the whole film.”
The film has picked up awards at film festivals already, and Angelo is excited about finally having it screen in New Mexico. After the screening, there will be a Q&A session with Angelo and Botchii Skowronski.
“We filmed for 11 days,” he says. “It was during the winter, and we had to move fast with everything. I try to bring films back to New Mexico, because it’s where I’m from.”