Emilia Jones as Ruby Rossi in 'CODA'
Source: Apple TV Plus

This New England Fishing Village Serves as the Backdrop to 'CODA'

By

Aug. 12 2021, Published 4:34 p.m. ET

Ever since it premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, CODA has been making waves. The movie centers around Ruby Rossi — a high school senior and CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) — who is torn between staying at home after high school to help with her family's fishing business, or go to college to pursue her dreams of singing.

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CODA is the Hollywood adaptation of a 2014 French film called La Famille Bélier, which is set on a dairy farm in the French countryside. The new version follows a fishing family and is set in a New England fishing village, which has audiences wondering where exactly CODA was filmed.

actor Daniel Durant and director Sian Heder
Source: instagram

Actor Daniel Durant and director Sian Heder

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Where was 'CODA' filmed?

CODA won the audience award and grand jury prize at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and broke the festival's acquisitions record when it was snatched up by Apple for $25 million.

The film follows Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones) as she tries to figure out her place in the world, separate from her deaf family.

Joining Emilia are deaf actors Troy Kotsur as Ruby's father, Frank; Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin as Ruby's mother, Jackie; and Daniel Durant as Ruby's brother, Leo.

CODA was filmed in the Massachusetts fishing village of Gloucester, which lends the movie a lot of authenticity when it comes to the portrayal of the family's hardworking life as fishermen.

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Growing up, director Sian Heder often visited Boston's North Shore with her family and immediately thought of the fishing community in Gloucester as the background to her film.

Per WBUR, she said she thought of Gloucester specifically because "it has the combination of being very picturesque and quintessentially New England, but also with a working-class grit to it." Since she was familiar with the area from her childhood visits, Sian was able to include some authentic details that capture the real town.

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This includes having some locals in scenes of the movie. Fisherman Paul Vitale, who has been fishing in Gloucester for 24 years, lent his boat and fishing expertise to the production, and Sian even ended up using shots of Paul in the movie.

Per Northshore magazine, local businessman Sam Parisi and the city's harbormaster also appear in the movie, lending a cultural specificity to the film while also allowing the story to remain universal.

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Nick Pratt, owner of the local bar Pratty's, which also appears in one scene of CODA, said that Sian's attention to detail and complete immersion in her project was clear when the production was filming. "Even if it was just the short scene, you could really see the passion when they made this movie," he told the magazine. "You could tell the director cared a lot about what she was doing and what she was creating."

And Emilia also shared her experience of the cast being "kind of on our own" in the small fishing town. "Marlee's an amazing cook so on the weekends, she would invite Troy, Daniel, and me over for dinner," she told Vogue. "We'd watch football and play games. I've honestly never felt so close to castmates before."

CODA premieres in theaters and on Apple TV Plus on August 13.

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