The locally-produced film Hailey Rose was screened in Okotoks this week.

It was a one-time event organized by the Okotoks Film Society and hosted at Okotoks Cinemas.

Among those in attendance were the film's writer/director, Sandi Somers, and two of the film's producers, Scott Lepp and Jordan Uhl.

Hailey Rose tells the story of the titular Hailey, who is tricked into returning to her rural Nova Scotia hometown and then has to deal with life, death, and family.

Somers' own move from the East Coast to Calgary informed the film's locations and themes.

While the film is by no means autobiographical, Somers did inject some of her own experiences into the narrative. This includes the in-story revelation that Hailey had been outed as gay, and the attempts from seemingly everyone in her hometown to skirt the subject.

"Some of the family dynamics maybe touch into reality. The characters kind of take little bits and pieces of people I've met, so it's a culmination of things... There are some true stories though, that are true stories that happened to me that are in the film... Back home when everyone found out that I was queer, everybody came out of the woodwork and found me. I rekindled so many relationships because of it."

Somers, Lepp, and Uhl took questions after the screening and even stuck around to chat with audience members afterward.

Hailey Rose screening

The event was a pre-fest event for the Okotoks Film Festival (OFF), which is coming up in June.

Festival director Katie Fournell explains that the event came about because Hailey Rose had already toured several festivals last year and recently saw a theatrical release, so it wasn't eligible to be entered into this year's OFF.

"Sometimes films will get picked up by distributors at these biggest festivals and not end up actually getting to our festival, which is kind of what happened with Hailey Rose... So it basically was a conversation with the distributor where we said "Listen, this is why we want to do this, this is what we want to do,' and they were really excited about the idea of Scott and Sandi and everybody being able to join us for the screening, so they were willing to grant us this special screening as they're kind of finishing their theatrical wrap up of releasing the film as well. So it was sort of a 'Last time to see it in the theatre' thing that we were able to do."

Hailey Rose will be released digitally on May 16 and will be available on platforms like iTunes, Google Play, and Super Channel.