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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Hollywood film a love letter to Iowa

Tanna Frederick's "Two Ways Home" was released on Dec. 29.

For Tanna Frederick's latest project, the Iowa native took herself and the crew back home: literally.

The actress and producer hired fellow Iowan Joel West to co-star in the film “Two Ways Home.”

In fact, with just a few exceptions, the cast and crew all hail from Iowa. It’s where Tanna got her start.

When she was nine, she was acting in community theater with a woman who also appears in the film. 

"I had so much support in terms of choir, in terms of theater," Frederick said. "I had all these great teachers so I really wanted to, you know, bring something back to the state and highlight the state."

Iowa was happy to have her home.

They shot the film in 15 days. And the cost to do that? A bit under $200,000.

"We were able to save a lot of money, mostly just by asking for favors," Frederick said. "It was really a community effort."

“Two Ways Home” was even written by a family friend.

The movie is a fictional account of people in Tanna’s life, including her grandfather, ailing and still battling old war memories.

Tanna’s real grandfather, a farmer, died in a nursing home, something that doesn’t happen in the film.

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"And so it was really beautiful to play out that situation in the film, what could have been. Art really gives you an opportunity to sort of live out that dream."

Tanna is very proud of how they handle mental health health, including her character getting better.

“Two Ways Home” is now getting support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

And when it comes to model-turned-actor West getting down and dirty on the farm…

Tanna Frederick: He really got into that part but he still looks so pretty. I know. He’s an Iowa boy.