Destrehan producer will tackle ‘Battle of New Orleans’

Gold Star Films sways movie makers back to area

Less than a month after releasing “Kidnap” starring Halle Berry, Gold Star Films’ Todd Trosclair and Joey Tufaro have been brought in to co-produce the Atchity Brothers’ stalled “The Battle of New Orleans.”

“The biggest challenge was the cost,” said Ken Atchity of Atchity Brothers Entertainment.

Filming in New Orleans became too costly so they prospected other countries for the shooting. But Atchity said that was until they met Tufaro, who swayed them back to South Louisiana.

“He kind of saved us from heading off to God knows where to make this movie,” Atchity said. “His work as a practical producer and getting the best out of a dollar convinced us we could do this in New Orleans – where it should be done.”

Tufaro said Gold Star Films has been recognized for its cost-effective production of movies “Maggie” and “Kidnap.”The deal was struck and the project revived.

It’s also good news for St. Charles Parish.

Tufaro said plans are to film locally, possibly at one or more plantations in the parish, and hire locally as much as possible.

Trosclair, who lives in Destrehan, added, “Growing up in the River Parishes, I’ve always been drawn to stories about my home town. The true story of Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans needs to be told and I’m glad that Gold Star Films was instrumental in bringing this film back to Louisiana.”

Also, they are negotiating for major actors, as well as possibly a well-known actor-director, although he said it’s too early in the project to announce names.

Plans are to start filming by summer of next year.

Atchity said the project has been developing a couple of years through mutual friend, Ronald Drez, a military historian who wrote the book, “War of 1812, Conflict and Deception: The British Attempt to Seize New Orleans and Nullify the Louisiana Purchase,” published by LSU Press.

“We’re excited that our story will set history straight and how important this conflict was,” he said.

Tufaro said the movie will open with President James and Dolley Madison fleeing the White House in Washington, D.C., just before the British set it on fire in the War of 1812.

As they fled, Dolley saved a portrait of George Washington, today known as the Gilbert Stuart’s Lansdowne Portrait and one of the most iconic representations of Washington known today.

He added, the movie will highlight “an untold story that we think we can put on the screen and really, really pull out the essence of the battle.”


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