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Talent with local ties fills screen in 16-Love
Chandler Massey stars in teen film written by wife of Gainesville native
Chandler Massey, left, and Lindsey Shaw star in "16-Love," a film scheduled for limited theater release this weekend before it appears on television.

‘16-Love' film screening

When: 7 and 9 p.m. Jan. 20-22

Where: Hollywood 15 Stadium Cinemas, 120 Green Hill Circle NW, Gainesville

How much: $10 adults, $7.50 students and seniors

Contact: 770-539-9200

With his big screen debut this weekend, Gainesville native grandson Chandler Massey is coming into his own as a full-fledged Hollywood heartthrob.

Massey is the grandson of Gainesville residents Abit and Kayanne Massey, and his movie "16-Love," will debut in theaters this weekend.

According to the movie's production company, "‘16-Love' tells the story of 16-year-old tennis ace Ally Mash, who lives and breathes the game until a twisted ankle lands her with hot rookie, Farrell Gambles (Massey). She makes him a champion and he shows her what true love is."

The movie is being released to a limited number of theaters on Friday before it heads to television rotation.

Hollywood 15 Stadium Cinemas at 120 Green Hill Circle NW in Gainesville is one of the locations chosen to debut the film.

The movie, rated PG, will be showing in Gainesville at 7 9 p.m. Jan. 20-22.

Considering the multiple local ties, it's fitting that Gainesville was chosen as one of the host cities.

The script was written by Leigh Dunlap, wife of Gainesville native Jim Dunlap Jr. She is also the creative pen behind the movie, "A Cinderella Story," which starred Hilary Duff.

Dunlap handpicked Massey to play the male lead in her film.

"I fought the creative battle of my life to get (Massey) cast as the lead in ‘16-Love.' He was perfect for the role in every way," Dunlap says in her online blog.

"Not only is he a great actor and heartthrob handsome, but he is also a great tennis player - something very important in a movie about tennis players.

"The moment I walked onto the set, all I heard from everyone — from the director of photography to co-stars to grips —was ‘Chandler's a star.'"

"16-Love" may be Massey's first movie feature, but he's no stranger to the world of acting. Massey has portrayed the character Will Horton on the daytime drama "Days of Our Lives" since 2009. In 2011, his portrayal earned him a nomination for a Daytime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series category.

Massey has also made appearances in "One Tree Hill" and "Army Wives."

"It was one of the greatest experiences of my life," Massey previously told The Times about shooting the film.

"I've done some guest star roles on TV shows, but this was a completely different machine. I loved every minute of it. Being in films is definitely my ultimate goal."