‘Miles Between Us’

Fish Lake Lutheran Church again featured in film

Anna Strenz plays the daughter in the film.  Photos supplied
Anna Strenz plays the daughter in the film.
Photos supplied

by Amy Doeun

Contributing writer 

Scott Peterson never intended to create films. However, he does love them.
“I probably have 1,300 DVDs,” he said. “I just think it is a great medium to get a message across.”
So it is not so unusual that a man who is enamored with great movies would come up with some great ideas of his own.
“I started writing screenplays as a hobby. … I came up with an idea for a movie,” Peterson said. “I was at Barnes and Noble and saw ‘The Screenwriter’s Bible’ in the bargain bin by checkout. It was $1. I bought that and started writing.”
Then he was at a vision dinner at his church.
“Our pastor asked, ‘When was the last time you did something utterly and laughably impossible for God?”’ Peterson said.
On the way home from the dinner, his wife nudged him and said, “You know he was talking about your movie, right?”
Now the couple is releasing their second film. Their first film “The Current,” which features Fish Lake Lutheran Church near Stark, won the Kairos prize for screenplays and has recently broken even.
Their second film “Miles Between Us,” follows the cross-country journey of a father and teenage daughter. The filmmakers also used Fish Lake Lutheran for their second project.
“They were kind enough to let us film a scene in front of the church, an interior scene, a scene on the road in front of the church and a shot of the car driving up the road by the church,” Peterson said. “We were very appreciative of them hosting us for the day of filming.”

Comments from actors
Anna Strenz plays the daughter in the film and described the audition process.
“The auditions for ‘Miles Between Us’ began with a video submission, as many films do these days,” she said. “After I had handed my headshot and resume over for consideration, I was sent several pages of sides to record and send in. After this, I was asked to come and audition in person for a panel of cinematographers, writers and producers. Following that, I was invited to a callback with one other actress up for the role of Gabby and the top few contenders for the roles of the mother and father. A week or so later, I received a call offering me the role and asking if I would be willing to come in and read with the two actors being considered for Luke.”

Dariush Moslemi plays the role of the father in “Miles Between Us.” Those who saw the Petersons’ first film, “The Current,” might recognize him from that movie.
Dariush Moslemi plays the role of the father in “Miles Between Us.” Those who saw the Petersons’ first film, “The Current,” might recognize him from that movie.

One of those actors, Dariush Moslemi, was eventually cast as her father. Peterson said that he had played a role in his first film and was happy to have him back. Moslemi enjoys film but plans to take a little time off now that he’s done with this film.
He explained that he and his wife own Studio One Yoga in Stillwater, and they just opened a new location in Roseville. They will be opening their third location in White Bear Lake in May.
“The next film is a ways out in our minds,” he said. “But life has always brought the right roles at the right times, so we shall see!”
Strenz hopes to make film a career.
“I have continued to audition for films, take classes and get more involved in the film community here in Minnesota,” she said. “Since filming ‘Miles’ in 2015, I have been in four other features, with two leading roles. I have worked on a few dozen short films and independents and continue to put my best efforts forward. My goals as an actress are to continue to tell stories with depth and honesty.”
Peterson wants to continue working in films as well. Already, another story has been written and a fourth is brewing as well. “Miles Between Us” premiered at the Mann Theater in Champlin Jan. 27-29.

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