Auburn Native Hopes to Inspire Others Through Movie, Book on Local Family
Awe-Inspiring. That’s the word Auburn native Lori Kimball Gottula uses when describing Christina “Sissy” Georges and her mother Angel Ralph.
Gottula, now a Falls City resident, is currently working on promoting a screenplay she has completed about the Barada family. She is in the progress of working on a book about the family.
The story centers around the life of 27-year-old Sissy, a long-haired, soft-spoken blind woman. However, Gottula said, the story also focuses on the entire Georges family, including Angel, and the adversity they have overcome.
Sissy has never used her blindness as a crutch. She is an accomplished barrel racer, who has won national titles. Her mother Angel said Sissy has been able to achieve success in life because she was raised as a person who can see. Sissy isn’t the only one in the family who has overcome adversity. Angel has lost two sons to suicide. Despite all of the heartache, the two women can laugh at the smallest things.
Gottula describes their spirits as ones full of dignity and grace.
“They’ve had a rough go of it, but yet they still have deep belly laugh,” Gottula said.
Gottula has been working on the story for more than a year. After hearing about the story, she said she sought the family out, first with a phone interview and then she began meeting with the family on a regular basis at their family farm.
After many visits, she came to realize their story had to be told. Since then, she has worked countless hours perfecting her screenplay, which has been approved by Sissy and Angel.
Gottula said she intends to sell the screenplay to a major studio within two years. She said she is aiming for a major studio and director because she believes this story merits just that.
“The story is worth a big budget, and worth two major actresses in the main parts,” she said.
She said she decided to write the screenplay before finishing the book because she knew it would take some time to make the film a reality.
As for the book, she has completed well over 200 pages and she expects to have it finished by the end of the year.
Gottula has engrossed nearly all of her energy into a film and book because she full heartedly believes it needs to be shared with others.
“The difficulty and tragedy of their lives is unparalleled by any family I have ever known,” Gottula said. “How many women Angel’s age (55) have lost two children, yet who not only manage to get out of bed, but who laugh with a full-on belly laugh?”
She continued, “Regarding Sissy, I have never known a person with a disability like hers who literally blows it out of the water.”
And, if Gottula is unable to get a major film production company to make the movie, she said she will make the film herself because someone has to tell this story.
Gottula has formed her own production company, which she named Quilting Club Productions LLC for the purpose of making the film if it comes to that. She said if she has to make the film, she will seek partnering with other production companies and investors.
So far, Gottula has sent numerous letters to recognizable directors. She has pitched the script to Howard Roseman, who directed the movie “Father of the Bride.”
This is not the first feature film Gottula has worked on. She has written four other scripts, two of which she has taken to national film festivals for competition.
In order to promote Sissy and Angel’s story, Gottula has posted a short trailer on YouTube, as well as created a Facebook page. To learn more about the inspiring story, visit YouTube.com and search sissy.avi and visit Facebook.com and search SISSY Christina Georges screenplay.