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Mancini Realty Foots Fee For Somers' Kingsley Film

SOMERS, N.Y. – After a movie production company balked at paying a $500 licensing fee to film in Somers, a local couple has stepped forward and offered to cover the cost.

“We have a very generous offer of a donation from Mancini Realty to pay the licensing fee for the Ben Kingsley film they want to shoot here in Somers,” Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said at Thursday’s Town Board meeting. “The Mancinis thought it was a really good project for the town.”

Producers of “A Birder’s Guide to Everything,” also starring Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad," want to spend about a week shooting scenes around Somers. They asked the town board last week to waive the customary licensing fee of $500.

Board members were reluctant to do so. A compromise was suggested, but an agreement was not finalized. Joan and Rick Mancini, owners of Mancini Realty, offered to pay the $500. 

“Joan and Rick Mancini are lifelong residents of Somers and raised five children here,” said Lauren Pistone, speaking for the realty firm. “They want to bring more awareness of the wonderful town that Somers is. They don’t want the town to lose out. They’re getting nothing out of this.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege when movies want to be filmed in the town where you grew up,” said Rick Mancini. “Everyone needs a little excitement now and then.”

At Thursday's Town Board meeting Murphy said, “The police chief spent about three hours today with the film director, going around town, just looking at where the filming would be done. That’s so they could understand what the needs would be in terms of safety and security.”

If the shooting of the film goes ahead as planned, work would begin about July 23 and continue until Aug. 2 or 3. Sites under consideration include Somers High School and Route 100, between Routes 35 and 118.

The movie company would be calling upon local businesses, such as gas stations and restaurants, to supply needs, said Kara Janeczko, the film's location manager.

“It would bring a small influx of business to the town,” she said. “We were charmed by the town of Somers and we really hope to find a home for the film here.”

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