Reel Cleveland: A Pet Rescue Doc

And more local film news

Tom McPhee's award-winning documentary, An American Opera: The Greatest Pet Rescue Ever!, a film about what happened to the pets left behind when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, is on a tour that includes stops at more than 100 different cities (with plans to expand to Canada too). The movie includes interviews with rescuers and adopters as they try to take care of the countless pets that were left homeless after their owners had to evacuate the city. "When everyone thinks they're doing the right thing, so much can go wrong," says McPhee. "You have people coming in as volunteers who are stealing from people's homes while they're trying to help their animals. I saw so much psychology going on. I started to wind that into a story. The pet portion of this was completely man-made. If people had been able to take their pets with them when they evacuated, you wouldn't have had this problem." The movie screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at the Cedar Lee (2163 Lee Rd., 216.321.5411, A VIP reception at 6:15 p.m. includes a meet-and-greet with McPhee. VIP tickets are $25, with $10 of each ticket going to a local animal charity. You can purchase tickets and find more information about the film at

Positively Cleveland's Hastily Made Tourism Video Contest wrapped up last week as the winners were announced on May 28 at the Positively Cleveland offices. The five judges — including Plain Dealer columnist Mike McIntyre, Cleveland International Film Festival's Marcie Goodman, Cleveland Film Commission's Ivan Schwarz, Cleveland Plus Marketing Alliance's Rick Batyko and Mike Polk, creator of the original hastily made videos that inspired the contest — picked the winners from five semi-finalists selected on the number of views and ratings they received on YouTube. The two winning videos — "Marissa and Kevin" and "Oh Mommy!" — paired catchy songs with shots of recognizable city spots, ranging from PlayhouseSquare to the West Side Market. Overall, the contest was a hit, with 20,000 people viewing the videos. All five of the semi-finalist videos are still posted at

One of the best-known cult films of all time, Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space, screens at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., 216.321.5411, as part of its ongoing Cult Film Series at 9:30 p.m. and midnight Saturday, June 6. Tickets: $5.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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