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Hometown Heroes of SIFF: Cornelia Duryée’s 'West of Redemption'

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Katie Sauro

Originally posted on


West of Redemption, a Washington Filmworks incentive production that wrapped principal photography in 2013, marks the third feature from Seattle’s Kairos Productions that has premiered as part of SIFF. The other two features were The Dark Horse and Camilla Dickinson.

"Seattle is my hometown, so premiering at SIFF again means the world to me. I love Seattle; I am a fourth-generation Seattleite, and hope to make as many movies as possible here," said Cornelia Duryée Duryée, the film’s director and founder/owner of Kairos Productions. Her partner in the company is Larry Estes. "Being given the gift of Washington Film-works’ grants for the last two features is a blessing that Larry and I deeply cherish—and it is our fondest wish and prayer that the film incentive grows and grows each year, so that more and more movies can be made locally."

West of Redemption was shot in the Spokane area of Eastern Washington and stars Billy Zane (Titanic), Kevin Alejandro (Southland), and Mariana Klaveno (True Blood). The film was written by Meagan Daine, and produced by Larry Estes and Tony Becerra for Kairos Productions. Rich Cowan of Spokane-based production company North By Northwest served as executive producer.

By working with North By Northwest, West of Redemption was able to leverage high quality production value within a short pre-production schedule in order to meet the needs of its script and budget.

"We have been honored to work twice in Eastern Washington, at North By Northwest," said Duryée, whose Camilla Dickinson was also shot in Spokane. "What an incredible group of talented folks they are! Our West of Redemption main location on the dry farm really could only have been found over there, and we were very happy to make the movie in Eastern Washington again. They took really good care of us."

The end goal for the film, said Duryée, is to find its perfect home: "a wonderful, warm-hearted distributor." She added, "Since we will soon have two movies out—as Camilla Dickinson will be released late this summer or early fall—we have faith that this one will find its place some day, too."

Meanwhile, the team at Kairos has a full slate of upcoming projects.

"It looks like one of our next projects may be on the west side of the mountains, which should be fun," said Duryée. "It is a collaboration with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment on their show Strowlers, directed by my wonderful friend Ben Dobyns. We are very excited about that project, which we have watched Ben create for many years. Strowlers was incentivized by Washington Filmworks too, through their Innovation Lab. Bless them with a thousand blessings for empowering our shows!"

"In addition, we are talking to a wonderful local author about an option on her novel, and we are continuing work on Courageous Dying, my documentary about, among other things, the last seven years of my mother’s life. We are interviewing many people on the topics of death, dying and courage for the journey that we all must take some day."

West of Redemption will screen at SIFF on Monday, May 25, at 7pm and again on Wednesday, May 27, at 4:30pm. Both screenings will take place at Harvard Exit. For more information about Kairos Productions, visit


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