More details are being released about the film Afterward, starring Aaron Eckhart and Terrence Howard, which will soon begin production here in Humboldt County. Specifically, the local film commission has revealed that the film’s plot centers around the real life story of the family of Nicole Quigley, a 9-year-old girl who was tragically killed in 2008 during a traffic collision on Highway 299 involving illegal street racing.

You can read more about that case here, and read the latest on Afterward in the Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission release below: 

The news broke a few weeks ago that the movie Afterward starring Aaron Eckhart (Erin Brockovich, The Dark Knight), Terence Howard (TV’s Empire) directed by Dito Montiel (best known for indie feature films, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) is slated to film in the Redwood Region this month.

Afterward was first brought to the Film Commissioner’s attention in the fall of 2015 under a different title by producers Joe Napolitano (best known for Scarface) and Elizabeth Gast (producer/actress, best known for The Life of David Gale). Inspired by true events in Humboldt County, the film follows a father and daughter whose lives have been upended by a tragic car accident. In 2008, two individual’s street racing on Highway 299 caused the death of nine-year-old Nicole Quigley and seriously injured her mother, who has since passed away. Nicole’s twin sister Ashley was unharmed physically, and Afterward depicts a family searching for solace and closure in small town Northern California.

“If this movie helps one person get through personal tragedy or helps someone help others with personal tragedy, then we have done our job,” said Gast, who also experienced a tragic loss during the development of the film. “Events like this not only tear the family apart but also have a huge impact on the community, especially such a close-knit community like Humboldt County. We felt it was important to shoot the film in the location of Nicole’s family, which may allow the community to have some healing.”

The production is returning to charming Samoa in Humboldt for the second time after being shut down in March 2020. The Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commission has been working with the production regarding their safety protocol plan for Covid-19 which involves regular testing (including before they enter the county), personal protective equipment, working pods, SIP during off hours, no visitors on set, and much more.

In addition to their true love for this project, the producers all echoed that “safety has to be a priority.” They are currently following California’s White Paper (22 pages) of safety protocols, Humboldt County Public Health Protocols, and all union protocols. They praised the Film Commission for the assistance given to the production team during this difficult time to make a movie. The film is scheduled to be complete this fall. The producers hope to release the film in 2021 and hold a premiere in Humboldt County post Covid-19.