By Oliva Jablonski and Shannon Simmons
Live Wire Staff Writers

Saturday was premiere night for the cast and crew of the new film “The Murder Pact” in which Manchester Community College plays a supporting role.

The film, produced by Synthetic Cinema International, LLC, of Rocky Hill, was shot in part on the MCC campus back in April. Parts were also filmed in Pomfret, Norwich and Willimantic, said Andrew Gernhard, the film’s producer. It premiered on the Lifetime network Sept. 12.

“It was a hundred percent filmed in Connecticut,” he said at the Sept. 12 premiere event at Sliders Bar and Grill in Berlin.

Left: Producer Andrew Gernhard; on the right: director Colin Theys

Left: Producer Andrew Gernhard; on the right: director Colin Theys

The film revolves around four friends at a prestigious university – that’s MCC – whose promising futures are jeopardized when they become connected to the accidental death of a classmate. When another student says she knows about their involvement, the friends panic and start to plot her murder. MCC is well-represented with shots of the courtyard, the Village, and the Tower meeting room.

Gernhard, who has taught Continuing Education courses at MCC, described the story as a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Many familiar actors play the four students, including Alexa Pena Vega, who many will recognize as “Carmen” from “Spy Kids,” Renee Olstead from ABC Family’s show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and Michael J. Willet, known for starring in “Faking it,” a popular MTV series.

The cast and crew were at MCC for 4 to 5 days.

“The campus was great to work with,” Gernhard said. “They understood and accommodated with our schedule.”

The film’s director, Colin Theys, said he has worked with Gernhard on many projects.

“This is our 11th or 12th movie together so it’s a very familiar and very positive experience,” Theys said.
Gernhard said he hopes the thriller will be successful on Lifetime.

“They base everything on ratings, and I just hope that it performs as well as they want,” he said.

Next month, Gernhard said, “The Murder Pact” will be shown at MCC. More details are to come.