Panel involved in ‘137 shots’ documentary speaks on Cleveland State’s campus

Photo by: WEWS

February 23, 2022

CLEVELAND, Ohio — It was a story that shocked and angered so many, including Jackie Russell.

“You’re used to hearing this about somebody else but not your own family,” said Russell.

Russell’s brother-in-law is Timothy Russell. Russell and Malissa Williams were involved in the September 2012 high-profile police chase that ended with officers firing 137 shots at the vehicle and leaving both dead.

What started as Rocky River native Michael Milano’s journalism graduate school project nearly a decade later is turning pain into education.

“There’s been multiple versions of the film, hundreds of different cuts and because it was such a sensitive subject manner, I really wanted to make sure we got everything right and that’s why it took many years,” said Milano.

Milano’s documentary 137 shots profile the story of the 2012 incident, and Jackie Russell who lived it is an actress in the film.



Film Crew Intensive Training Returns to Tri-C After Pandemic Hiatus

Photo by: Tri-C








SOURCE: WEWS News 5 Cleveland | Meg Shaw
February 22, 2022

CLEVELAND — Cleveland and Northeast Ohio have some deep roots in the film industry. According to the annual rankings from the magazine Moviemaker, Cleveland remains one of the best cities in the country to live and work in for those in the industry.

Now a film intensive class is returning to Cuyahoga Community College after a pandemic hiatus to help budding filmmakers get experience.

Led by an actor from the HBO Series “Band of Brothers” and the movie “Hook,” James Madio is helping aspiring industry professionals know the ins and outs of the film industry.



Multitalented Cleveland actress Alexis Floyd starring in Netflix series ‘Inventing Anna’

Inventing Anna. Alexis Floyd as Neff Davis in episode 102 of Inventing Anna. Cr. David Giesbrecht/Netflix © 2021DAVID GIESBRECHT/NETFLIX










SOURCE: | John Benson
February 22, 2022

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Alexis Floyd was a talented, arts-loving multi-hyphenate growing up in Northeast Ohio,

It wasn’t uncommon for Floyd to spend her hours after school rehearsing violin for Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra appearances at Severance Hall while eating dinner in the back of the family van before going to Cleveland School of Ballet lessons.

The daughter of a music educator and attorney, the precocious youth was also a competitive figure skater at the Cleveland Skating Club before venturing into musical theater with performances at Cleveland Play House, Dobama Theatre and Cleveland Public Theatre and more.



Next generation of Cleveland filmmakers emerges with boost from the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival

The students of GCUFFlinks are (left to right): Joshua Kahn, Ina Keys, Zamani Munashe, Cherish Hayes, Hayley Smith, Haley Johnson, Maya Peroune, Anthony Akins, Ximena Gomez and Nia Jones. Photo by Bridget Caswell.








SOURCE: The Land | Nate Paige
February 7, 2022

GCUFFlinks, an educational program launched in 2015 that prepares aspiring young filmmakers and actors from Greater Cleveland for the world stage, is already proving successful for its students with awards, gigs on feature-length films and more.

Under the tutelage of filmmakerauthor Konnie Peroune, GCUFFlinks assists youths aged 13-17 to develop a love for storytelling, filmmaking, and other key components of the craft, such as screenwriting, sound and light direction, camera work, and composing. Peroune holds an MFA in film from Columbia University of NYC, and taught Screenwriting at Cleveland State University.

The program is an offshoot of the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival (GCUFF) which is now preparing for its 11th year. The mission of the festival is to enrich Black culture through cinema and connect communities by reflecting, sharing, and celebrating the African Diaspora, all while showcasing and educating young filmmakers.



Peyton’s (new) place: Former Browns phenom takes leading role in ‘The Hunting’

Former Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis stars in “The Hunting,” a locally-produced horror film.








SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Joe Scalzo
January 31, 2022

When Mark Andrew Hamer started casting for his new horror film, “The Hunting,” he knew he wanted his cast and crew to have as many Northeast Ohio connections as possible.

He also knew filling one role, in particular, would be a challenge — Matt, a conservative small-town detective who teams up with a wildlife specialist (played by Solon High graduate Joelle Westwood) to investigate a series of mysterious animal attacks.

“It’s a bigger character,” said Hamer, a Youngstown native and former Forty Under 40 honoree from Crain’s Cleveland Business. “It’s a character that has to be more polarizing, and it’s a character that has to be physically dominant.

“So when you start thinking in terms of that, the first thing you think of is ‘athletes.’ And not just athletes, but football players. Then you start looking at, ‘Who is important to Cleveland?’ “

The Browns had already produced one running back who went into acting in Jim Brown.

Why not another?



There’s an increasing amount of filmmaking action in Cleveland

Scott Suttell











SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Scott Suttell
January 26, 2022

Cleveland is a good place for film professionals to live and work — and it’s getting better, according to the latest ranking from Moviemaker magazine.

The company each year ranks the best big and small cities for people to live if they’re trying to make a living in the movie business. It sets aside the two most obvious places — Los Angeles and New York — and then ranks cities on factors including tax incentives, infrastructure development, access to film-school talent, diversity of settings, and more.



Comic David A. Arnold, a Cleveland native, to tape Netflix special on Playhouse Square stage

David A. Arnold is a nationally known stand-up comic from Northeast Ohio. (Submitted)

David A. Arnold is a nationally known stand-up comic from Northeast Ohio.








SOURCE: The Morning Journal | Breanna Mona
January 26, 2022

“Being on stage as a comedian is like taking a bath — if it’s been three days, I gotta go.”

Comedian, writer, producer and actor David A. Arnold says he’s had “multiple irons in the fire” his whole life, but stand-up is very much his favorite job.

In a phone call ahead of his Netflix taping “It Ain’t for the Weak” at Playhouse Square Jan. 29, he says he’d do standup all day every day if he could.



Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022









SOURCE: | Greg Gilman
January 25, 2022

Before we begin our latest list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker: Some obvious background.

The COVID pandemic continues to rage on two years after the virus landed on American shores, and one of the few silver linings has been a revolution in telecommuting — giving us all more freedom than ever before to live and work where we want, how we want.

The movie industry is no exception. Post-production coordinators are managing workflow between editors and animators from the comfort of their own homes, and the writers’ room may also be a bedroom. Production, however, can’t always be facilitated through Zoom calls. So for on-set crew, producers, and directors, it remains essential to be close to someone yelling “Action!”

Fortunately, there is no shortage of production hubs springing up in cities, big and small, around North America. And a few — like Albuquerque and Atlanta — are even shaping up to rival MovieMaker Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker Hall of Famers Los Angeles and New York. Dozens of other municipalities are nipping at their heels with very attractive tax incentives and infrastructure development, luring more projects to previously overlooked areas.

Let’s dive into the evolving filmmaking landscape across the continent, starting with America’s iconic entertainment capitals. These are the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022.



Former Browns RB Peyton Hillis Stars in Low-Budget Werewolf Movie Filmed in Mantua

Courtesy Mark Andrew Hamer












SOURCE: Cleveland Scene | Sam Allard
January 25, 2022

Former Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who electrified Cleveland when he ran for 11 touchdowns and more than 1100 yards during the 2010 NFL season, is starring in a locally filmed horror slash police procedural now available on streaming platforms.

The Hunting, directed by local film producer Mark Andrew Hamer, follows the exploits of a small-town detective (Hillis) and a wildlife specialist (Solon High School alum Joelle Westwood), who are tasked with solving a mysterious spate of missing-persons cases in and around Mantua, Ohio. It is, per the film’s publicity materials, a modern update on the werewolf genre.



Cleveland State’s quest to be Northeast Ohio’s motion picture training hub

Cleveland State University film students at work in the studio. Photo / Cleveland State University.









SOURCE: Cleveland Jewish News | Bob Abelman
January 25, 2022

Humble beginnings. There is no better way to describe the School of Film & Media Arts at Cleveland State University.

CSU had no film program until the fall of 1977, when one faculty member was hired to teach a few courses in film history and film appreciation for the Department of Communication. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that an additional faculty member was hired to teach some basic small-format production courses on very limited equipment in a very finite studio space with a very restricted budget.

By 2005, the department became a school and, over time, its film sequence became one of the most popular programs. Today, the new School of Film & Media Arts, with tracks of study in writing/directing, cinematography, writing/producing, post-production, interactive media and acting/directing, calls a 36,000-square-foot space on the sixth floor of Idea Center in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square district its home.

With two new 2,000-plus-square-foot sound stages with 24-foot ceilings, state-of-the-art teaching laboratories, digital editing bays, professional production equipment and a viewing room/theater with 7.1 surround sound and a commercial theater-quality projection system, the program is the only stand-alone, degree-granting film school in Ohio.