The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
April 03, 2016 | posted by Lara Klaber in Filmmakers
A pregnant director. A long writing process. A pricey film. “My Blind Brother” is Sophie Goodhart’s feature that had its own behind-the-scenes drama before the shooting even began.
Speaking of shooting, it was filmed in several locations around Cleveland. Locals may recognize portions of Tremont, Rocky River, Lakewood, Olmsted Falls, Hinckley, Brook Park, and North Royalton.
“Without Ohio there would be no movie,” says Goodhart. “… You have so many different options here. I loved it. And because of the changeable weather, you can shoot any season on any given day!”
Location aside, she also thought the locally based crew was “some of the best” and the people are “really welcoming.”
The feature grew out of a short by the same name that Goodhart wrote about sibling rivalry. She says, “It’s a personal story about my sister and me … a delicious melting pot of shame, resentment, and guilt.”
Goodhart’s short screened at many festivals,and was nominated for a Palme D’Or at Cannes and shortlisted for an Academy Award. After that, she “put the idea to bed,” she says.
Some time later, she was writing something about the Jenny Slate character. (In the story, Slate’s boyfriend is killed just after she dumps him.) Goodhart realized that Slate’s story would fit perfectly into a story about two brothers.
However, she notes, “it took me a while to write ... then I tried to find money.” And, she admits, “It was not a cheap story to film.”
Goodhart adds, “I really needed to find a great, brave producer.”
Enter Tyler Davidson, producer from Ohio-based Low Spark Films, who many Cleveland International Film Festival patrons will recognize from “The Kings of Summer” (2013 CIFF 37 Opening Night) and “Swedish Auto” (2007 CIFF 31 Opening Night). He was all in from the beginning.
“I like to be on set every day, ideally sitting at the monitor with the director, in case they need a sounding board,” says Davidson. He raves about the “mutual respect and trust” that existed between him and Goodhart. “It made for one of the best filmmaking experiences of my career,” he says.
Goodhart sends the love right back: “It was great collaborating on this with him.”
—Anne M. DiTeodoro
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