Macon, MS, August 04, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- As the heat of summer radiates outside of her home, Diana Salameh refreshes her iced tea and updates her Facebook with news about the film she has just completed. It may come to a surprise for many in this rural outpost between Columbus and Meridian, Mississippi, that a movie was shot here at all. Ever since being outed by a Columbus newspaper five years ago as being a post-operative transsexual, the filmmaker has lived and worked quietly in the town she has called home since moving from Charlotte, North Carolina twenty years ago.
Diana Salameh is most remembered in the region for being a doll artist who set up workshop in Uptown Macon in the 1990s. Her Old World Santa collection was sought worldwide and received local and national press. This recognition allowed Salameh to become Macon Business Person of the Year in 1994. Following an international relocation, Diana became active in her passion for filmmaking. Writing, producing, directing and starring herself, Diana's online celebrity grew when Youtube and other social networking sites offered the filmmaker an opportunity to distribute personally. The comical character of Granny Mae Bankhead became an online sensation and Diana toured the character as an act. She took her act on the road, performing as Granny Mae in stand-up venues throughout the country.
Despite being one of Macon's most colorful citizens, the recognition that Salameh has received for her latest projects in her hometown has been slow to come. Traditional family values are said to be a cornerstone of the community and a history deep-rooted in segregation is still felt. A multi-million dollar high school was erected in Macon only a few years ago, yet the majority of white students in the town attend the tiny, private Central Academy which is nearly devoid of an ethnic student body. In 2006, Macon gained national headlines when it was alleged that reverse racism was at work preventing whites from equal opportunity employment at the city government level. There is no visible civic or social organization which provides outreach or resources to the town's LGBT minority, nor is there a shelter available for those who face homelessness because of their sexual orientation or gender.
While driving down Highway 45 it would be easy to miss sleepy Macon in Noxubee County, Mississippi. The population is only around three-thousand people and the city itself is only 1.5 square miles, according to the United States Census Bureau. Macon is a "Main Street" community, making it a stop along the highway south of Columbus. Outside of a state championship winning football team and being home to legendary former NFL linebacker Darion Conner, Macon is usually left off most tourist guides. That is, until recently, when Macon resident Diana Salameh, shared the local scenery with movie audiences in the independent feature film, "Desiree: A Ghost Story."
Over the last year, Diana Salameh, has fulfilled a lifelong dream of creating a full-length motion picture. She began writing the screenplay after returning stateside from her second home in the Kingdom of Jordan. Utilizing several local actors for background and extras, Diana brought in Atlanta-based transgender actress Alexa Diaz to star in her film and production began in December 2011. The majority of the interior shots were filmed in an actual antebellum home in Mississippi and many locations around Noxubee County served as background shots. Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge gave permission to film the swamp scenes and exterior shots of the mansion were filmed at Carigen House in Starkville.
The film wrapped in late July and is headed for post-production in August. The release date will be announced on Salameh Productions and Southern Sisters Entertainment web sites.http://www.salamehproductions.com/desiree-a-ghost-story.html and http://SouthernSistersEntertainment.com later this year.