Principal photography has wrapped in Costa Rica on Los Angeles-based goPOP Films’ supernatural drama Bellyache starring Marianne Rendon from Mapplethorpe and Charlie Says.
Van Ditthavong is directing from his screenplay set in present day about a grieving witch who escapes to a cabin alone to give birth.
The filmmakers also announced that besides Rendon the cast includes Ben Michael Brown (East New York), Christine Kellog-Darrin (The Wanting Mare, Stranger Things), and Alex MacNicoll (13 Reasons Why, The Society).
Bellyache is being financed through private equity and goPOP Films. Brennan O’Donnell, the producer, has been in Costa Rica for over 20 years. Alejandra Rosabal was the local producing partner. Most of the crew was Costa Rican.
“I see Bellyache as a fairytale exploring the sadness and pain associated with loss as well as the promise of hope,” said Ditthavong of the follow-up to his 2020 feature debut All Roads To Pearla.
“It was inspired by what was happening with some of my closest friends and family members during their decade-long journey to conceive and adopt. It reminded me of my wife and our own struggles with infertility, its harsh reality, and the stigma that comes with it.”
Producing Bellyache alongside O’Donnell are Samir Desai, Hugues Barbier, and Ditthavong via goPOP Films. Alejandra Rosabal, Mitchell Zack, and Hugues Barbier are co-producers.
The film will be screened at a number of festivals beginning in 2024.