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Bourbon film starring Steve Zahn to screen at Kentucky Theater

State's distilleries make it to the big screen

"NEAT: The Story of Bourbon" is the title of a documentary about Kentucky's native spirit. It features Central Kentucky resident, actor Steve Zahn.
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"NEAT: The Story of Bourbon" is the title of a documentary about Kentucky's native spirit. It features Central Kentucky resident, actor Steve Zahn.

“NEAT: The Story of Bourbon,” the documentary about whiskey made by guys from Lexington and Louisville, will have a ‘hometown screening’ on Sept. 7.

And Central Kentucky resident, actor Steve Zahn, ended up with a part to play.

A.J. Hochhalter, a Lexington composer who made the movie with his friends Corey Maple and Gannon Diggs of Lexington and Micah DeYoung of Louisville, said they wanted to screen “NEAT: The Story of Bourbon” for all the locals from various distilleries who helped them make their ode to Kentucky’s native spirit.

A screening at 8:15 p.m. in the Kentucky Theater on Thursday is expected to sell out so a 9:55 p.m. encore showing has been added. It is open to the public.

Tickets are available at the theater and online through the film’s Facebook page. The filmmakers are weighing several offers for wider distribution that would mean the film is shown outside Kentucky sometime in the next year.

The filmmakers were able to visit many of the state’s storied distilleries, past and present, including Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Castle & Key and Jim Beam (including a visit to Fred Noe’s home).

“I’d say we got a pretty good gist of the business,” Hochhalter said.

He said that Zahn, a mutual friend, became interested after he sent him a screener. Zahn was working on “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

“One night in his trailer he turned it on, and told me loved it,” Hochhalter said. “He called me the next day, said he wanted to help.”

Zahn took a break from doing interviews for the movie and flew to Lexington.

Zahn appears as himself and shares useful facts about bourbon.

“He showed up at Spindletop at 6 a.m. and filmed with us all day,” Hochhalter said. “We had a lot of fun, and brought another fun-loving Kentuckian to the film.”

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