Screening of inspirational film ‘TRI’ fittingly coincides with Ironman 70.3 weekend

ST. GEORGE – A new feature film produced by Red Zeppelin Productions called “TRI” will be screened in St. George Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Megaplex Main Street Theater. “TRI” is centered around triathlons and the character of the people who train for and complete in them.

The St. George screenings will mark the independent film’s theatrical debut outside the film festival circuit and is happening just in time for the Ironman 70.3 St. George, which will host approximately 2,400 triathletes, their family and fans.

Actress Jensen Jacobs appears in this still from the feature film "TRI." Location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Zeppelin Productions, St. George News
Actress Jensen Jacobs appears in this still from the feature film “TRI,” location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Zeppelin Productions, St. George News

The story of “TRI” starts with Natalie, an ultrasound technician who is notorious for never finishing anything. However, Natalie gets inspired by a cancer patient and former world-class triathlete to train for the Nation’s Triathlon.

As part of her journey, the character joins a triathlon team, “TRI” producer and cowriter Ted Adams III said, and she starts to come across all these crazy people in the world of endurance sports and opens herself up to a whole new world in the process.

At the same time, the cancer patient who inspired Natalie is training for her first triathlon since going into remission and is dealing with the frustrations of a body weakened by cancer.

“This is her first time back training,” Jai Jamison, the film’s director and cowriter, said of the character, “and she finds herself not able to do the things she used to be able to do.”

Though it is a fictional film, many of the messages and characters will resonate with triathletes and endurance sports athletes partly because the characters were developed with real people and experiences in mind.

Adams is a two-time Ironman finisher and certified triathlon coach, and Jamison said many of the storylines in “TRI” were inspired by people Adams met in the triathlon world.

“The film is based on true stories of people Ted knows — things that he’s been through — so the characters become amalgamations of all these true stories,” Jamison said. “I find that’s the way that you make something universal; you make something that people can relate to. If there is some foot in reality that people can latch onto and get to know and love the characters, it makes it that much more powerful.”

Jamison also incorporated stories of people he knows into the characters. He said:

I have a personal friend who is a world class, state champion, all-American swimmer who was 20 years old when she had a cardiac arrest. They thought she wasn’t going to make it, and by some miracle, she survived. She is doing better, but she has scars from the emergency surgeries. She was an athlete, and I saw kind of first hand her frustration at not being able to do all that she did because it was all she knew.

Even though the characters are fictional, Jamison said he wanted the emotions of the film to ring true so that the audience could see a little bit of themselves in the characters or a bit of someone they know and love.

Promotional material for the movie "TRI." Location and date not specified | Image courtesy of Red Zeppelin Productions, St. George News
Promotional material for the movie “TRI,” location and date not specified | Image courtesy of Red Zeppelin Productions, St. George News

In preparation to direct “TRI,” one of the first things Jamison did was find a triathlon he could go watch. He said the vibe he felt as he watched people who were racing for causes or racing to push themselves and the support, volunteers and community that existed in the triathlon world made a strong impression on him.

“The whole energy was amazing, and I left there with a big goofy grin on my face,” Jamison said. “I said, ‘This is what I want the movie to be. I want people to leave the movie with a big goofy grin on their faces.'”

Accuracy was very important to the production crew, so not only did they incorporate three real triathlons into the film, but auditions also included a swim test to be sure the actors were prepared to participate in any portion of the three races where they filmed.

Even though none of the actors have ever completed their own triathlon, Adams said you would never know it.

“These guys did a phenomenal job,” he said.

Since filming “TRI,” many of the cast and crew have been inspired to sign up for their own triathlons, Adams said.

Actress Jensen Jacobs appears in this still from the feature film "TRI." Location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Zeppelin Productions, St. George News
Actress Jensen Jacobs appears in this still from the feature film “TRI,” location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Zeppelin Productions, St. George News

In this way, Adams and Jamison are hoping that the film will do well not only with triathletes and endurance runners but also with people who think the story sounds interesting and touching.

“This is our first test run into the world where it is not a film festival,” Jamison said. “Hopefully we can get some folks who are competing in the Ironman, or people who are volunteering for the Ironman or just people off the street who thinks it looks like an interesting film who want to come see the movie and be inspired.”

Tickets for “TRI” are on sale now and can be purchased online or at the Megaplex Main Street Theater, 905 S. Main St., St. George.

Event details

  • What: “TRI” movie screening
  • When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Megaplex Main Street Theater, 905 S. Main St., St. George
  • Purchase tickets: Online | At the theater
  • Resources: “TRI” movie website

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Event details

  • What: “TRI” movie screening
  • When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Megaplex Main Street Theater, 905 S. Main St., St. George
  • Purchase tickets: Online | At the theater
  • Resources: “TRI” movie website

Email: hreina@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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