Reel Cleveland: Surfing Lake Erie

And more local film news

Nine years ago, Scott Ditzenberger and Darrin McDonald began working on a documentary about the waves of Lake Erie. Realizing "it's a flat lake most of the time," they turned their attention to the motley crew of surfers who have tried to ride the waves that occasionally emerge. "We were going to capture the waves and then we realized the waves are not great," says Ditzenberger. "But we all agreed that the surfing culture and people were exceptional." The resulting documentary film, Out of Place, just premiered at the New York Surf Film Fest and the filmmakers are holding a fundraising event at 5 p.m. Sunday, November 15, at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, "The largest distributor of surf and skate genre films has already contacted us," says Ditzenberger. "We want to hold off for a few months before we make any solid commitment. The key right now is to break into the general indie film market." The Barn Owls and the All Golden — acts that appear on the soundtrack — will perform at the free event, and a brand new surfboard by Ohio-born designer Vince Labbe will be raffled off. Go to for more information.

The Akron Art Museum (One S. High St., 330.376.9185, is showing Prayers for Peace, an animated video that New York-by-way-of-Medina visual artist Dustin Grella created to honor his brother Devin, killed in the conflict in Iraq. Dustin Grella, who got his undergraduate degree from the University of Akron Myers School of Art, took footage from his brother's laptop computer that he had with him in Iraq. To honor Veteran's Week, the Akron Art Museum will offer free admission to veterans and active military personnel through November 14.

To accompany the screening of three Buster Keaton short films (One Week, The Play House and Cops), Cleveland Institute of Music doctoral student Shuai Bertalan-Wang will play a selection of Scott Joplin-penned ragtime music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 13, at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque (11141 East Blvd., 216.421.7450, Tickets: $8.

The Sugar Babies, a documentary about Haitian sugar cane-cutters and the harsh conditions the labor under, has a free screening at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church (20401 Hilliard Rd., Rocky River, 440.333.2255,

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