ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford native is putting his hometown on the map with the movie ‘The Blacklight,’ which features locations such as Oregon’s Stronghold Castle.

Those watching ‘The Blacklight‘ might recognize some of the scene locations. Executive producer Don Hatton said that he is ready to roll out the red carpet after five years in the making. He said that he hopes people are as excited about the movie screening in Rockford as he is.

“It’s great to come back and film and share it with the people in the area,” Hatton said.

The film’s budget was no more than $250,000.

“As executive producer, you’re the one that handles the financing side of things,” Hatton said. “So any investors, or negotiating locations.”

Being from the stateline, Hatton opted to use place in Northern Illinois for some scenes, places like the Stronghold Castle in Oregon. The National Lock Building and Carl’s Autobody Shop on 7th Street in Rockford are just a few places that may be familiar.

“Not only during the filming, the actual production of it, but in post and when the film comes out, the film tourism associated with that, people wanting to come see the locations and see where the film was shot whether its interior or exterior, it builds that vibe around the city,” Hatton said.

‘The Blacklight’ screened at multiple festivals across the country, picking up awards along the way. While crews started filming in 2016, the pandemic put production behind. However, Patton said that there is no time like the present.

“Hopefully people are getting back in the theatre and they feel safe enough to do that, and can go the theatre and enjoy ‘The Blacklight’ just like another film they’d check out at AMC,” Hatton said.

According to the production company, the film, which is directed by Nick Snow and written by Snow and Brooks Russell, tells the story of Danny. Despite trying to leave behind a life of crime, Danny reluctantly teams with naïve rich kid Liam and wildcard drug dealer Kit Viper for a robbery that leaves them in possession of a mysterious supernatural artifact with immense power.

The film stars Donald Paul, Victor Vehaeghe, J.P. Edwards and Jessica DiGiovanni. The trailer can be seen here.

The premiere is this Thursday at Rockford AMC Showplace 16, 8301 E State St. Doors open at 6 p.m. An intro will take place at 7 p.m. followed by the movie at 7:30.