Dallas lawyer takes top prize at film festival

The Beacon posterThe Beacon, a supernatural thriller produced by Dallas lawyer Sally Helppie, took top honors at the Paranoia Horror Film Festival in California on March 15. The festival's goal is to find "the next great thing in horror each and every year." Helppie, of counsel to Tipton Jones, is co-founder and president of Sabbatical Pictures, a Dallas-based independent film production company. The Beacon, which won the Best Feature Film prize, was shot in Waxahachie and Dallas using Texas crews and several local actors. The second movie produced by Helppie, The Beacon stars Teri Polo (of Meet the Parents fame) as a grieving mother who becomes obsessed with delivering a message to her dead son. Helppie's first film, Exit Speed, an action picture starring Lea Thompson and Fred Ward, also was filmed in Dallas and is now available on DVD. Helppie is currently fielding offers to distribute The Beacon. Go here to view the trailer.

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