Hometown filmmaker feels 'D-LOVE'

Hoboken Film Festival premiers West Milford native's movie

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  • Photos provided Dave Rogers, formerly of West Milford, wrote and stars in D-LOVE, a full-length movie that is premiering on Saturday at the Hoboken Film Festival in Greenwood Lake, N.Y.

  • Dave Rogers

"He made me realize I had to slow down and appreciate life — relax in a spiritual way."
Dave Rogers, former West Milford resident, writer/star of D-LOVE


West Milford native Dave Rogers wrote and is starring in a new film, “D-LOVE,” which is making its world premiere at the Hoboken International Film Festival in Greenwood Lake this Saturday.

This full-length film is not what you might think. It’s not about any amorous activity, but rather about a man named Ditlev — who came to be known as D-Love — and his effect on a couple in Los Angeles.

It all started at the airport Rogers and his wife, Elena Beuca, had just arrived home at L.A. Airport after a trip to her homeland, Romania. Tired and hungry, they just wanted to get out of the airport. They were approached by a vagabond-looking stranger who asked them for a lift.

Rogers described his first sight of D-Love and his instinct to help him.

“I knew at first something was different about this guy and I wanted to help him out,” said Rogers. “My first impression was that he was a calming force. Elena thought he was homeless. I saw him as a world traveler. He was tall, skinny, with long blond hair, shaved on one side of his head and a ponytail on the other. He was wearing very bohemian-style clothes and looked like a 70s hippie.”

In some ways, he reminded Rogers of himself, 20 years earlier.

They took him home with them and the rest of the story became the basis for the film.

‘Slow down, appreciate life’The couple had just passed through some difficult years in which Rogers lost both his parents and Beuca lost her brother. Living in L.A., they were also affected by the hurry-up nature of modern life.

“At the time I was easily agitated,” Rogers said. “He made me realize I had to slow down and appreciate life — relax in a spiritual way. My mom was very spiritual and I felt connected to my mom through him.”

“The main lesson for me was a switch of perspective – to see things in a whole different way,” Beuca said, “Especially in L.A., everything is in a hurry, to get the next job, the next thing, whereas D-Love lived in the moment. He made us slow down and live in the present.”

Movie in the makingAfter D-Love left, Beuca thought about telling the story. She wrote bullet points and the couple hired a writer. But after six months, they weren’t happy with the result, so, as Rogers recalled, “I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I can do this.’” So he wrote an outline and went on to write the screenplay.

They wanted D-Love to play himself in the movie, but getting in touch with him was difficult since he doesn’t have a phone. He has been wandering for close to nine years. Originally from the outskirts of Copenhagen, he has lived all over the world, including South America and India.

Occasionally, he would travel to a place where he had access to a computer. One of those times, he contacted the couple through Facebook. He came back to be in the film.

The route to making filmsRogers came to this point in time through a circuitous route. Born and raised in West Milford, he graduated from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania with a degree in sociology. After college, he started traveling, living and working for several years in restaurant kitchens, first in Alaska, then in different states, and overseas in Greece and France. Rogers came back to the states and worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for nine years, while living in Hoboken.

After visiting a friend in Hollywood, he decided to take a chance on fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an actor. He moved to L.A. and started taking acting classes, where he met his future wife. They created several projects, including short films and a play. Gradually, Rogers became more comfortable with writing and Beuca with directing. They play themselves in the film.

Another West Milford native, Billy Howerdel, is a co-producer of “D-LOVE” and has a supporting role in the full-length film.

More film festivals to comeRogers is especially excited to be back in West Milford for the festival. In the near future, “D-LOVE” will be shown at festivals in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and Vero Beach, Florida. The film will also be shown at “Dances with Films” in the Cayman Islands.

You can see “D-LOVE” on Saturday, May 20, at 6 p.m. at the Thomas Morahan Waterfront Park in Greenwood Lake, N.Y.

To see the trailer of D-LOVE, go to www.dlovethemovie.com.

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