'Penny Land' available to stream on Amazon Prime

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In July 2018, "Penny Land," a film with a host of Berkshire ties, made its New England debut at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. But that's not exactly the same movie as the one currently under that title on Amazon Prime.

"When I screened it, something wasn't quite there," said Monterey resident Billy Hahn, who wrote, directed and co-produced the film.

Hahn made tweaks that cut its roughly 85-minute run time by about five minutes.

"It's just a leaner version," he said of the film available to stream, rent ($2.99) or buy ($9.99) on Amazon.

Predominantly shot in the Berkshires and premiered at the Manhattan Film Festival, the film tracks a man's growing interest in penny stocks. Soon, his hobby becomes an obsession that ultimately endangers both him and those close to him. Local actor David Joseph stars; other familiar faces include Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Michael Burnet, Jeff Kent and Robert Lohbauer.

Hahn uploaded "Penny Land" to Amazon about three weeks before a Tuesday phone interview, authoring the film's closed-captioning himself. (It's only available in English.) During that period, the film had amassed approximately 5,000 streaming minutes, which is how royalties are calculated on the platform, according to Hahn. It's a bit of a slow start, he admitted, but he remains hopeful.

"It's not a sprint," he said. "It's a marathon."

Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at bcassidy@berkshireeagle.com, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.

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