Everything Stays: A Naperville Native’s Family Focused Film

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Family has been everything for Cole Bacani all of his life. So when the Naperville native made the tough decision to leave them to pursue a filmmaking career in Los Angeles it didn’t come easy.

“I feel like people all have that one friend where they can leave them for a year and then you come back and everything feels the same, but I had 20 of those and they were all my cousins,” said Bacani. “How do you leave that behind? You just see your cousins everyday and they are really all the best parts of your best friends. I go out to L.A. and I hoped I could find that and I really haven’t yet.”

More About The Film

Bacani, who graduated this spring from USC, is now making a short dramatic narrative called Everything Stays. Though the film isn’t a biopic, it does center around Bacani’s decision of whether to stay with his Filipino family in Illinois, or chase his dream in California.

The Neuqua Valley alum says the movie will be filmed in Naperville and surrounding spots where he and his cousins spent a lot of time growing up.

“So [Everything Stays] takes place over the course of one summer,” said Bacani. “It showcases summer coming to an end in Naperville as the main character Max decides to leave and move to California and slowly tells all of his cousins. Within that montage we have Andy’s Frozen Custard, we’ll probably get some shots at Knoch Knolls, there’s a whole scene that takes place in a Dollar Store, so we’re looking for one that will let us film [inside].”

Writing and casting for the film is complete. Now Bacani and his crew have to go through a couple more hurdles so the film can come to fruition.

A Couple Of Hurdles

The first obstacle is money. Bacani started a Kickstarter last week, and has netted nearly $5,000, which is a third of the total goal.

“All the money will go towards paying cast and crew, being able to fly them out here because we have some really talented cast from L.A. that just has to be a part of the script, a lot of talented crew that can’t make this happen unless they are out here in Illinois. A lot of the money will go towards paying for locations, feeding our cast and crew, helping promote the film, and renting gear – that’s always a huge one,” said Bacani.

The second hurdle is one Bacani can’t control: COVID-19.

Luckily since Everything Stays is a short film, shooting is expected to be complete relatively quickly. Cast and crew will be tested for COVID-19 and will live in a couple of Airbnbs throughout the course of filming.

The hope is to submit Everything Stays into the Sundance Film Festival, and if it garners enough attention, make an even longer story.

“This script is 17 pages, but there’s also a feature length version, which is 120 pages and it’s already fully written, even more locations around Naperville, and the goal is to use this short film to gain attention so we can make the feature in like a year or two,” said Bacani.

Bacani hopes to release Everything Stays early next year.

Naperville New 17’s Christian Canizal reports.


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