New Providence released on Amazon Prime; Movie stars Gilbert’s Ava Hawthorne
After a long wait, Gilbert’s Ava Hawthorne finally got to see her film acting debut with the release of the independent film New Providence to Amazon Prime on Thursday.
The movie is a fictional account of the final year of six-on-six girls’ basketball in Iowa. Hawthorne, a junior on the Gilbert girls’ basketball team and a 2020 all-state selection, plays Laney Mitchell, a talented player on the fictional version of the 1993 New Providence girls’ basketball team.
The movie was filmed from mid-January through early February of 2020. It was originally set to be released in theaters last spring, but then COVID-19 hit.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for over a year,” Hawthorne said. “I take pride in my role as an Iowa girl in this movie and I love how it honors the history of girls’ basketball in Iowa. I think it will make Iowans proud.”
New Providence is seen through the eyes Jimmy Voss, a successful yet controversial New York sports magazine writer, played by Kurt Oberhaus.
Voss is sent by his publisher to a small Iowa town for the final season of six-on-six. There, he is brought together with Mitchell, New Providence coach ‘Teresa’ played by Keyna Reynolds and Mitchell’s father ‘Junior’ played by James Serpento.
New Providence was directed by Thor Moreno, and Annette Duffy was the line producer. It was produced by New Providence Films based out of Morro Bay, Calif. and the production company is Fearless Cinema out of Des Moines.
“I loved watching the movie with my family,” Hawthorne said. “I hope everyone will enjoy it.”
Hawthorne isn’t the only area girls’ basketball player to make an appearance in the movie.
Hawthorne’s Gilbert teammates Emma and Ellie Bulman, Ballard’s Brooke Loewe and Roland-Story's Reagan Barkema were part of the Wapsie Valley team New Providence takes on at the end of the film. Gilbert’s Katie Currans and Thea Rotto and Ames’ Ashley Iiams played for Hubbard-Radcliffe, one of New Providence’s earlier opponents.
Ballard senior guard Molly Ihle was a teammate of Hawthorne’s on New Providence.
“I am so happy to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of the movie,” Ihle said. “It was such a fun experience. I’m excited to finally watch it. I’m watching it with my family. It will be fun to watch all the scenes we filmed being put together.”
New Providence will still be released in theaters once the pandemic improves.