The film follows three aspiring actors who move to Los Angeles to pursue acting careers. Lurtz plays a small town Christian woman who gets caught up in the seedier side of Hollywood while her two friends, who face their own problems, witness in horror.
"People get themselves in all these predicaments and temptations, and leave the path of where their life should take them," said Lurtz, 40. "The whole point of the film is there's always a chance to turn it around."
"Lost Angel" was filmed primarily in Los Angeles and some scenes were shot in Boston and West Palm Beach, Fla., where Lurtz now lives with her husband, Peter Lutrz, an electrical contractor, and two Great Danes. A 1988 Marietta High School graduate, Keri Lurtz said she loved watching movies growing up and had a lifelong dream of becoming an actress.
She attended Florida State University and Georgia State University, where she graduated with an education degree in 1993. In 2006, she graduated from the Palm Beach Film School. In between those graduations she moved to Aspen, Colo., traveled and earned a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo.
She earned her break in film when she starred in a short film titled "Both Sides Now," by Christopher Swank, who appears in "Lost Angel." Since then, she has starred in over 25 films, including "The Green Glass," which won the Audience Award at the Palm Beach Film Festival.
"Lost Angel" is Lurtz's first feature film. So far, it has received favorable reviews, winning Best Feature Film at the Delray Beach Film Festival.
But audiences should not mistake the film for a biopic. Keri Lurtz says she had a great - and less than dramatic - childhood in Marietta. Her father, Larry Stevens, is a Kennesaw State University business professor and her mother, Lynn Stevens, is a practicing attorney.
"Being from a Southern town like Marietta has made me truly," she said. "It's my roots."
Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs has known Keri Lurtz since she was in high school and is a close family friend.
"Keri has always had a very creative and imaginative flair, and I am so happy for her that she has had the opportunity to make this film," Grubbs said. "I am looking forward to it."
While she is an actress, writer and director, Keri Lurtz said her passion lies with acting. She said she hopes her performance and the rest of the movie can inspire others, like it did a woman who saw a screening of the film in Florida.
"A woman who lost her child to drug addiction saw the film...and she contacted me saying, 'I want other people in my group that have lost their children to drug addiction to come,'" Keri Lurtz said.
The one-time showing of "Lost Angel" will be 8 p.m. Friday at the Strand Theatre. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online at www.earlsmithstrand.org, as well as at the door the night of the event.