Indy Film Fest: Lauren Z. Ray, “Welcome to Monterey”
In “Welcome to Monterey,” Hoosier director Lauren Z. Ray looks at the titular Indiana town in Pulaski County. Her family immigrated there from Alsace, France, in 1845 and has lived there ever since. Beset by economic stagnation and closed storefronts, the film follows the townsfolk as they prepare for their annual Labor Day celebration, capturing the people’s passions and doubt about whether this town has a future in today’s world.
“I was inspired to make this film ‘Welcome to Monterey’ because since 1845 my family has lived in the same small town of 200 people called Monterey, Indiana. I wanted to document what made this town so special and how they are coping in today’s modern world.
“As I started to get to know the people of Monterey, I realized that it isn’t an ordinary town, it’s one with a heart. The people here treat each other as family, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the day of course.
“This film will always be special to me because it’s like a time capsule for my family. My grandfather was in this film and has since passed away. Now I not only have the beautiful memories of him telling me his life story, I also have it captured on film.
“The experience working on this film with my family has made me so proud of my heritage and so proud of myself for completing my first film.”
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