Cleveland International Film Festival } March 29 – April 9, 2017 Presented by Dollar Bank

The Underdog in Us All

April 09, 2013   |   posted in The Daily


Director Doug Dearth is excited to be back in his home state; the filmmaker is originally from Canton, Ohio.

“My family gets to see I do more than lay around on the beach [in California].” Dearth is no stranger to the Cleveland International Film Festival.He was here during the 34th CIFF with “9000 Needles”.

This year, Dearth brings “Underdogs,” a story about a football team known for losing and a conflict between an inventor and a businessman. Essentially, it is a story that will leave viewers believing in themselves.

“It’s my hope that Cleveland audiences will take away a sense of community,” Dearth shared. “It’s empowering!” Dearth spoke that this film has a strong message to it about following one’s dreams. He believes if you trust that if you do what you do well, things will be okay. “We are all responsible for creating the world we live in. We can be the change.”

Dearth experienced his own underdog situation when he moved to California 20 years ago.

“Everybody told me to go back home!” Dearth admitted. But he took a look around and really focused. Dearth realized that even when luck strikes, you still have to have talent and that believing in yourself is crucial. He admits, “It’s okay to have dreams but have action every day to make a living doing this.” Dearth learned that it’s very possible to become what you want to be.

Filming “Underdogs” in Canton was the most exciting part. “They were so gracious to be a part of this project!” He shared how supportive the community was and how it was a bonding moment for so many of the families. He would receive letters from families; a particular letter from a grandmother thanking him for allowing her to have the opportunity to bond with her grandchildren stands out in his mind. “It was fun to see families come out and stay the entire night!”

Dearth is excited to be back to Cleveland. He believes in what a great location Cleveland is for filmmakers. He is excited to see so many of the films that are at the festival this year and even to run into and interact with many of the filmmakers that will be in attendance. He remembers from the 34th CIFF the amount of people that came to the festival and was happy to see this.

-Meaghan S. Earley
Photo: (l to r) Natalie Imbruglia, Doug Dearth, Logan Huffman, and Kyle Carthens. Photo by Janet Macoska.

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.6 MB]

Related Screenings:
04/09/13 @ 8:40 PM – Underdogs
04/10/13 @ 2:15 PM – Underdogs
04/11/13 @ 6:45 PM – Underdogs

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