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Indie filmmakers make horror movie based on Lake Lanier’s history

The Andersons discuss what is buried underneath the man-made lake

William Bush-Anderson and Cindy Kunz-Anderson are directors, producers, and writers currently working on the indie film, Lanier coming in the fall of 2023.


The movie is a horror film based on true events about the former Black town in Georgia called Oscarville that was bulldozed to make way for Lake Lanier. As the largest man-made lake in Georgia and a popular attraction, this is actually a place that is marked by a history of violence.


WSB-TV, recently reported that Lake Lanier is not allowing anyone to swim this year for safety reasons. One of the directors shared their thoughts on the recent news.

“People are speculating the movie caused this but some [people] that worked on the movie told me that they’re doing this because no insurance company wants to insure the downing,” Bush-Anderson said.


The Andersons shared further details on the history of Oscarville, and what they want viewers to take from their upcoming film.

What is the history of Lake Lanier? 

William Anderson: Lanier’s DNA is about the racial cleansing that happened in Georgia. Basically in 1912, in a town called Oscarville, there was a woman named Mae Crow who basically died and word spread that a Black man did it in Oscarville. Because that happened, then the people from that town came into Oscarville and started to destroy it. They were like driving people out of Oscarville and there were only about 1,100 Black residents, but they were just going through the town and forcing them out of the town. [Basically] saying, “You know, what happened? You know what these three black teenagers did?”

As directors, what has the day-to-day looked like for you all in the past year?

Cindy Anderson: The hardest part is really pre-production. Obviously, you have your script and now it’s like, “OK, where do we want to film this?” Who is going to act in it? [What is] all the crew we would need? What do we need? There are so many things that go into a movie that a lot of people don’t think about and you have to plan all of it. [For example], if we film this scene on this day, we need this person to set the scene, we need this actor and that actor, they have to come in and get their makeup done, they get need to get mic’d up, and all of those things. Really, I think reproduction took us three months. Three full-fledged months.

WA: We had to adopt the less is more mantra. With indie filmmaking, if I give the audience less, they’ll have to connect the dots to make it even bigger than what it is.

What do you want people to take away from the film?

CA: My take is, if you try to fight fire with fire, it only creates a bigger fire and nothing good comes from it. That’s pretty much what I would say.

WA: Mine is if you don’t believe in history, you’ll become a part of it.

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