Filmmaker Brings Hollywood Home: Pompton Lakes Film Draws From Local Talent

A film being shot in Pompton Lakes features local talent with virtually no formal training.

Fred Kouefati
Fred Kouefati directs action on the set of his first feature film, Credence, which is scheduled to premiere in January in his native Pompton Lakes.
Courtesy of public relations.

In many ways, the Passaic County borough of Pompton Lakes (pop. 11,114) is as far from Hollywood as you can get. But looked at through Fred Kouefati’s lens, it’s a place full of actors, producers, locations, extras and publicists.

For the past four years, Kouefati, 26, has stayed in the town where he grew up while working to fulfill his dream: making a feature-length film. Now, with help from seemingly everybody in Pompton Lakes, that dream is about to come true.

Credence, a crime drama set in contemporary New Jersey, was written, directed and co-produced by Kouefati, who stars as a police detective trying to do the right thing. Made for a mere $15,000, Credence features actors who, like Kouefati, have virtually no formal training. Many are childhood friends, including Steve Pokrywa, who is also a producer of the film. The film’s publicist is a pal from high school, and, Kouefati says, his high school English teacher influenced his writing style. Kouefati’s younger brother is a Pompton Lakes police officer, enabling them to shoot some scenes in the local police station.

“This small town plays such an important role in my life,” says Kouefati. “Being able to give something back…it just means the world to me.”

In January, Kouefati will premiere the film at the Rhino Theater in Pompton Lakes. (Tickets are on sale at hometownboysproductions.com.) He hopes to find a distributor soon.

Kouefati is thrilled to have the premiere in town. “A lot of people outgrow their hometown, but Pompton Lakes and my friends here made me the person I am today.”

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