Reel Cleveland: Akron Film Contest

And more local film news

Last week, the Akron Film Festival launched a contest called "The New History of Akron." The concept is for local filmmakers to make a mockumentary about Akron that explores an "alternate history" of the city. "I want filmmakers to explore Akron and shoot in Akron, plus take a look at the city's history," says organizer Rob Lucas. "I hope to make it an annual event. It's a little different, and I hope we'll see different styles of documentaries. It can be as simple as still photographs, so you don't need to shoot it on video. They can do a Ken Burns-style documentary or something totally different. The idea is to make it as much fun as possible." Films can't be longer than five minutes, and entries are due December 6. They can be submitted online at Lucas is putting together a panel of judges and says the winning film will get a cash prize of $250 and be shown at the 2010 Akron Film Festival. Winners will be announced at a wrap party at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, December 10, at the Akron Art Museum. Entry fee is $15.

The third annual The Big Lebowski bowling party returns to the Corner Alley (402 Euclid Ave., 216.298.4070, from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, November 29. White Russians will be served, and anyone who wears a bathrobe while bowling gets a coupon for free popcorn at any Cleveland Cinemas theater. If the aforementioned references don't make sense to you, rent the movie or see it when it screens at 9:30 p.m. and midnight on Saturday, December 5, at the Cedar Lee Theatre as part of its Cult Classics Series. Go to for more information.

While Red, an adaptation of a Warren Ellis graphic novel, will be primarily shot in Toronto and Louisiana, its lead character, a retired CIA operative named Paul Moses (played by Bruce Willis), lives in Cleveland. Willis and the cast have no plans to come to town for filming, but the filmmakers are trying to make the Cleveland scenes look as authentic as possible. They've solicited help from Positively Cleveland, which sent them take-out menus, a Grady Sizemore bobblehead, empty Great Lakes beer bottles, a Browns helmet and newspapers (both The Plain Dealer and Scene). Flightplan's Robert Schwentke is directing the movie, which starts filming in January and is slated for release in November 2010.

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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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