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Reel Cleveland: Never Escape 

And more local film news

About a year ago, writer-director Jon Mancinetti, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, moved back home to Cleveland. He had done a film at school, but he wanted to make another and figured Cleveland was the right place to do it. "I wanted to go all out on something new," he says. "I wanted to make something big and huge and insane." He approached his brother Jeff, a Cleveland Institute of Art grad, and started making Never Escape, a film about a young man who's trying to find redemption in a post-apocalyptic world that he describes as Twilight Zone-meets-Fight Club. Mancinetti says the movie, which premiered in September at the Cedar Lee Theatre and shows again at midnight, Saturday, December 12, at the Capitol Theatre (1390 W. 65th St., 216.651.7295, clevelandcinemas.com), is "science fiction in the tradition of 28 Days Later or Children of Men." "I thought if I'm going to put so much time and effort into it, the story has to be good," says the 25-year-old Mancinetti. "I really focused on that. It's low budget, but I don't want people to know that when they watch it. The goal is to see it and think it's a mediocre independent-film budget, which is at least $100,000. If they think I spent that on the film, I've met my goal." Before the Capitol screening, there will be a pre-party at the Happy Dog Saloon (5800 Detroit Ave.) starting at 9 p.m. Admission is free with your $6 ticket to the film.

For more information, go to neverescapethemovie.com.

While It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story show ad nauseam during the holiday season, 1951's The Lemon Drop Kid is all but forgotten. The Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., 216.321.5411, clevelandcinemas.com) is trying to change that. It plans to screen a restored version of the film, which stars Bob Hope as a racetrack bookie who has a run-in with a gangster, at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 12, and 7 p.m. Sunday, December 13. Admission is $5 or two nonperishable food items. Proceeds will benefit the Heights Emergency Food Center program.

A Christian holiday film that claims to address "real issues" and "real tragedy," the locally produced Miracle has its premiere at 6 p.m. Sunday, December 13, at the Cathedral of Life (5375 Jaycox Rd., North Ridgeville, 440.327.7444, thecathedraloflife.com). It's free.

jniesel@clevescene.com

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