In a city filled with talented filmmakers, from time to time we are invited to screenings of new films that tell Cleveland stories. Here are a few we’ve had the privilege of viewing over the last month:
EXACT CHANGE, Directed by Scott Plate, Written by and Starring Christine Howey
Based on her moving one-woman play about finding your voice and championing your identity, “Exact Change” is the powerful and personal story of noted Cleveland actor, journalist, and critic Christine Howey, who transitioned in 1990. This film adaptation was both as powerful and as poignant as the play, and it premiered to two sold-out theaters at the historic Capitol Theatre in June.
UNDEREXPOSED, a collaboration between Shooting Without Bullets and Cleveland Institute of Art
“Underexposed” brings visibility to Black youth culture in Cleveland in the wake of Black Lives Matter. The film chronicles the lives of ten teen artists as they find solace in art, making and performing as members of Shooting Without Bullets, Cleveland’s revolutionary youth advocacy program. This coming of age story illuminates the beautiful struggle in their discovery of self in the midst of extreme economic depression and stark racial segregation. To see these young people expressing themselves through their talent and their art was an amazing experience.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK, by Chris Webb
Multimedia artist, writer, poet, and Cleveland native Chris Webb’s current project animates blighted homes in Cleveland’s abandoned neighborhoods and uses them as narrators to speak on neighborhood problems and city history. Having gone to school on the west coast and returned to his hometown, Chris’ talents as an artist, storyteller, and agent for change are all on display in this film that highlights a pressing issue in our city.
THE NEW ERA by Grant Heineman
Grant Heineman, a rising senior at Heights High, was given a project by his American Government teacher: create a 20-minute documentary that is unique and relevant to what they’re learning in class. With the 2016 election fresh in everyone’s mind, and has become an issue that had penetrated the “high school bubble,” Grant got to work and put together a stylish and certainly unique look at the election through the eyes of his fellow students. The result is nothing short of A+ work.