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Filming Underway for Feature-Length Movie in Beaufort County SC

The Final Load movie producer Walter Czura head shot

Walter Czura producer and screen writer of “The Final Load”.

Young actress Maddie Henderson on set of "The Final Load" movie

Maddie Henderson on set of “The Final Load”

Director of Movie Chris Helton

Chris Helton Director of “The Final Load” Movie

Strong Cast Leads Film Depicting Story of Former Pot Smuggler Seeking to Save His Home and Family with One Last Heroic Run. Reflects Historic True Events.

My original screenplay is set against the backdrop of South Carolina’s real-life marijuana smuggling escapades of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s in which I was involved.”

— Walter Czura

BEAUFORT, SC, USA, January 27, 2023 / — Filming of a new feature-length motion picture “The Final Load” is now underway at multiple locations across Beaufort County here. Produced by Hilton Head Island businessman Walter Czura with his movie production company, Fortress Films, the film is being directed by Chris Helton of Atlanta and Savannah, Ga. and his firm, Silver Line Films, Inc.

The independent film carries the strength of an impressively experienced cast headed by award-winning Hollywood actors Jeff Fahey and Judd Nelson who together have appeared in more than 300 films and TV episodes.

Additional cast members include social media celebrity Maddie Henderson with more than 4.3 million followers on TikTok; prominent Broadway actors Meredith Inglesby and her husband Steve Blanchard, plus TV Reality Series actor Shep Rose from Bravo’s “Southern Charm”, accomplished British actress Katie Amess and American actor and director Drew Waters who has 37 film and TV credits under his belt.


The film’s screenplay is set against the backdrop of South Carolina’s real-life marijuana and hashish smuggling escapades from the late 1970’s to early 1980s. These were the ones which set in motion “Operation Jackpot” the huge criminal investigation by current SC Governor Henry McMaster which became a celebrated episode in President Ronald Reagan’s “War on Drugs.”

In the film’s original screenplay, written by Czura, the main character (played by Fahey) is a former convicted smuggler who must consider committing a major crime again to smuggle 30,000 lbs of marijuana to cover payments that will save his plantation estate and shrimp boat from imminent foreclosure plus pay for his wife’s $325,000 pancreatic cancer treatment.

“It’s a heartfelt, gripping story in a contemporary setting,” says Helton. “It shows how far a man will go (including the risk of returning to prison) to save his home and family while involving his granddaughter along with him.”

Judd Nelson plays the antagonist in the movie as an ex-DEA agent who holds a grudge against the main character, while Fahey’s granddaughter, performed by Maddie Henderson, plays the key supporting role.


Czura said “The Final Load” is a project very close to his heart. “It reflects upon an era I personally experienced having been involved along the edges of the smuggling operations during those years — and as a result, I spent time in prison. It involves the type of characters who I cared about and I hope those who watch our film in theatres and streaming will relate to both the tension and dramatic episodes that it creates.”

Helton points out that “The Final Load” offers a compelling story with a good script and very strong cast. “It boasts a Hollywood vibe. I think audiences will relate to the characters, and we are confident about its success,” stated Helton.


The Final Load is one of the first feature-length films to be initiated in South Carolina since the SC State legislature provided new support to encourage more movie-making across the State which had been largely absent for more than a decade. “Our local State Representative Weston Newton of Bluffton has been one of the major supporters of re-energizing the movie industry here,” said Czura. “I’m excited that we can now expect more major film projects showcasing the beauty and attractions of South Carolina, and I hope to be a part of it moving forward.”

The film is expected to be ready for release by the Fall of this year.


CZURA is a former attorney who created a highly successful outdoor advertising business in the Southeast following his prison sentence. He has also actively pursued writing screenplays on the side. A year ago Czura established Fortress Films, and premiered his first feature length film, Sherman’s March to the Sea, an historical drama which premiered at the Poison Peach Film Festival last January in Augusta, GA.

HELTON is a former U.S. Marine who got into movies as an actor and is now directing his fourth film. He has also produced five others. He has one feature- length film currently in post production. His film “Dead Water” appeared in theaters across the country in 2019 before the pandemic.

Tom Gardo
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