Pursuing Their Passion

March 23, 2014, 12:15 AM   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Filmmakers

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Husband and wife. Guitars and drums. Shovels & Rope.

“‘The Ballad of Shovels and Rope’ is about pursuing your passions in the face of doubt and uncertainty,” explains Jace Freeman, the film’s director. The screening at the Cleveland International Film Festival is the film’s world premiere.

The musical act, Shovels & Rope, is a husband-and-wife duo, Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent—“two hardworking, creative people paving a way for themselves in a difficult environment,” says Freeman.

Freeman and producer Sean Clark met the couple via a mutual friend and produced a few videos for them to use for promotional purposes. During the video shoot, everyone hit
 it off, plus the filmmakers really enjoyed the music. After the initial project was completed, Freeman and Clark knew they wanted more.

“It was evident that this was a unique combination of talents,” says Freeman. While filming one of their songs “that had this Bonnie-and-Clyde, you-and-me-against-the-world feel,” Freeman decided to capture the story of these two young lovers setting
off across the country to pursue their fortune.

The duo, plus their dog, were travelling from town to town playing gigs and living out of their van while writing their first record. Freeman and Clark followed them on the journey to over a dozen cities throughout the U.S. and filmed more than 100 hours of them recording their music in hotel rooms and in their van.

Being in such close quarters with their subjects, the filmmakers had to establish trust. They also wanted to be as unobtrusive and as observational as possible.

“It is difficult to try to insert yourself in the most intimate of relationships,” says Freeman. “Being on the road together for extended periods of time definitely helped to develop a feel of solidarity and kinship.”
 The hard work is paying off for the musicians. Shovels & Rope made their network television debut on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” in January 2013. Producer Clark was so proud. “It was the first tangible indication that this crazy plan of theirs to make a sustainable career by playing music may actually come to pass,” he says.

Even those who are not fans of Shovels & Rope’s music, this “fun musical journey with a great soundtrack” is still for you.

“If you don’t come out of the film loving the band,” he continues. “I promise at least you’ll be in love with Michael and Cary Ann.”

Anne M. DiTeodoro

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Related Screenings:
03/23/14 @ 8:00 PM – The Ballad of Shovels and Rope
03/24/14 @ 7:20 PM – The Ballad of Shovels and Rope
03/25/14 @ 12:15 PM – The Ballad of Shovels and Rope

Related Events:
03/23/14 @ 6:00 PM – Evening at the Beachland Ballroom

Coming Soon to a Cleveland Cinema Near You

March 23, 2014, 12:10 AM   |   posted by Lara Klaber in After the Festival

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It’s the dilemma that haunts every festival filmgoer sooner or later: two films that both sound fascinating are screening in the same time slot. Which one to see? Fortunately, some of our films will be back! We already know about a few that have scheduled returns to the Cedar-Lee Theatre, so mark your calendars:

Le Week-End and Dom Hemingway are both returning on April 18th.

Only Lovers Left Alive will return on May 9th.

For No Good Reason returns on June 6th.

Again, all of these will be playing at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

We have also received word that Belle will be returning to Cleveland in May, although we do not have an exact date or location yet.

We are always so happy when the films that our audiences love return to Cleveland, so we will continue to post information about coming attractions as we receive it. In the meantime, mark your calendars and maybe even plan your schedules accordingly.

Lara Klaber

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Related Screenings:
03/20/14 @ 7:15 PM – For No Good Reason
03/22/14 @ 4:00 PM – Le Week-end
03/23/14 @ 7:10 PM – Le Week-end
03/23/14 @ 9:30 PM – Only Lovers Left Alive
03/29/14 @ 7:15 PM – Belle
03/30/14 @ 7:00 PM – Dom Hemingway

Lots to do on Waterloo

March 23, 2014, 12:05 AM   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Festival Events

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The Waterloo Arts District is standing by to welcome Festivalgoers who attend tonight’s screenings at the Beachland Ballroom. Many of the local merchants and popular venues, including the Beachland Tavern and the Callaloo Café, are staying open until 8 pm to accommodate Festival crowds.

Many of the galleries are staying open late as well, including Waterloo Arts, Space: ROCK, Gallery One Sixty, and the Maria Neil Art Project, which is functioning as the “Unofficial Hospitality Suite” for filmgoers and serving wine and snacks.

For music lovers in particular, the Slovenian Workmen’s Home is hosting a Polka Dance until 7 pm. Entry is $12 per person. Blue Arrow Records will be open until 7 pm, and MUSIC SAVES is staying open late, too. Browsers can also explore Star Pop vintage + modern for memorabilia, and Native Cleveland for clothing.

Whether you’re seeing one or both of the films playing at the Beachland Ballroom, there will be no shortage of fun activities on Waterloo. Be sure to make the most of your opportunity to explore one of Cleveland’s thriving districts while you’re there.

Lara Klaber

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Related Screenings:
03/23/14 @ 6:00 PM – Mistaken for Strangers
03/23/14 @ 8:00 PM – The Ballad of Shovels and Rope

Related Events:
03/23/14 @ 6:00 PM – Evening at the Beachland Ballroom

CIFF Day at The Hanna Theatre

March 23, 2014, 12:00 AM   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Festival Events

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Today The Cleveland International Film Festival hosted its first Day at Playhouse Square's Hanna Theatre. Festival patrons at the Hanna enjoyed screenings of the Hollywood Shorts Program, "Five Dances", "Handy" and "The Sax Man."

The Hanna Theatre opened in 1921 and went on to host such stage and film luminaries as Al Jolson, Katharine Hepbern, Henry Fonda, Ethel Barrymore, Ginger Rogers, Helen Hayes, Mary Martin and Yul Brynner.

Alan Brown, director of “Five Dances” introduced his film, as did Vincenzo Cosentino, director of “Handy.” Both filmmakers hosted a Q&A following the screenings of their work.

The day concluded with a screening of the popular film, “The Sax Man.” Todd Bemak, the executive producer, along with several members of the film’s crew, Joe Siebert, Beau Miller and John Pope were in attendance. True to form, the sax man, Maurice Reedus, Jr., played outside the Hanna Theatre.

Photo by Elaine Manusakis

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Related Screenings:
03/22/14 @ 2:30 PM – Hollywood Shorts Program
03/22/14 @ 4:30 PM – Five Dances
03/22/14 @ 6:30 PM – Handy
03/22/14 @ 8:45 PM – The Sax Man

Related Events:
03/22/14 @ 2:30 PM – Day at PlayhouseSquare's Hanna Theatre

Illuminating a Year On Ice

March 22, 2014, 12:20 AM   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Documentaries

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Casey O’Brien isn’t an actor. He isn’t a producer, director or writer, either. He just happened to be in Antarctica when photographer Anthony Powell was looking for cast members for his documentary film “Antarctica: A Year on Ice.”

O’Brien graduated from college in May 2006 with no thoughts of what to do next. He took a gamble and flew out to Colorado for a job fair and unexpectedly secured a job with The Raytheon Company, “a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world.”

“I was basically working in a warehouse,” says O’Brien. When asked about his daily schedule he laughs. “My day to day was cold and backbreaking”

In Antarctica, O’Brien worked on McMurdo Station, one of three American bases on the continent. The station is operated through a branch of the National Science Foundation called the United States Antarctic Program.

McMurdo is by far the largest station on the continent, housing approximately 1,200 people in summer months and around 125 people throughout the winter. O’Brien spent August 2007 through October 2008 on McMurdo, splitting his twenty month contract between six-months and fourteen-month stints.

The film sheds light on the people working on McMurdo station.

“The title does kind of say what it [the film] is about,” says O’Brien. “It starts in August and chronicles a set of people’s lives and wildlife through time lapse photography.”

O’Brien affectionately refers to Powell as ‘Ants’ whom he says, “put up a flier and it said ‘if you want to be part of a movie call me.’”

“I worked sixty hours a week, 7am to 6pm, six days a week,” O’Brien says. “The allure of Antarctica fades, especially if you’re there for fourteen months. I would love to go back, but by the end of it, I was ready to go.”

The film is not all about the station, like O’Brien says, “it is about the film work Ants [Powell] does. If you watch it, you’ll learn.”

O’Brien continues, “It’s pretty humbling to be on the ice. It gives you a sense of your place in the world when you go to a place like that.” he pauses and says, “You know, one person in the world is pretty insignificant when you compare them to something like Antarctica.”

Molly Drake

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.1 MB]

Related Screenings:
03/22/14 @ 5:20 PM – Antarctica: A Year on Ice
03/23/14 @ 8:15 PM – Antarctica: A Year on Ice
03/24/14 @ 9:25 AM – Antarctica: A Year on Ice

Related Events:
03/22/14 @ 12:00 PM – Terminal Tower Observation Deck
03/22/14 @ 2:30 PM – Day at PlayhouseSquare's Hanna Theatre

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