Cincinnati put in the spotlight at Sundance

Cincinnati put in the spotlight at Sundance
"The Fits" (Photo:
"The Fits" (Photo:
"Miles Ahead" (Photo:
"Miles Ahead" (Photo:

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati is in the spotlight at the Sundance Film Festival, which is underway now and continues through the end of the month.

Three movies that were filmed in Cincinnati premiered at Sundance over the weekend: "Miles Ahead," "Goat" and "The Fits"

"We're here making sure film makers, producers, directors, know where these projects were filmed and what kind of talent is available to make your project in Cincinnati," said Kristen Schlotman, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission.

All three films received mix reviews from movie critics.

"Miles Ahead," which was filmed in July of 2014, is an exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis. Cheadle also stars in the film alongside Ewan McGregor and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Deadline called Don Cheadle's directorial debut, "Miles Ahead," a "creatively unconventional" film.

The film is scheduled to open this spring.

Despite "Goat" being named named one of the six "must-see" films at Sundance by the Los Angeles Times, Variety's Peter Debruge finds director Andrew Neel's stance on hazing confusing.

"Andrew Neel's relatively sensitive expose into the world of fraternity hazing will shock some, while leaving others wondering what the fuss is about," wrote Debruge, Variety's Chief International Film Critic.

Based on Brad Land's memoir, "Goat," which was filmed in May, tells the story of a 19-year-old boy, reeling from a terrifying assault, who enrolls into college with his brother and pledges the same fraternity. The name of "brotherhood" tests the boy and his loyalty to his brother. The film is directed by Andrew Neel and features actors:  Nick Jonas, Virginia Gardner and Ben Schnetzer.

Debruge does talk about Cincinnati being an eye-opener to moviegoers.

"Land's Cincinnati, Ohio-lensed expose will come as an eye-opener to a certain kind of moviegoer, finally breaking the code of silence that has kept such practices veiled in secrecy for so long," Debruge wrote.

One of the more positively reviewed films from Sundance was "The Fits."

The movie is a psychological portrait of 11-year-old Toni, a tomboy assimilating to a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati's West End. The film is directed by Anna Rose Holmer, the film features actors: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett and Makyla Burnam.

"First-time writer-director Anna Rose Holmer crafts a meticulous mood of psychological isolation and beguiling mystery through her metaphorical tale, which exhibits less interest in traditional dramatic conventions than in situating viewers in its protagonist's particular headspace," wrote Nick Schager, of Variety.

Schager also writes while the movie made a promising debut, it's unlikely to many any commercial waves.

The biggest endorsement for the city of Cincinnati comes from actor Emilio Estevez

Estevez tweeted that he was with the Cincinnati Film Commission out in Park City, Utah.

In the interview, Estevez praises about what makes Cincinnati such a great city to live in and film in.

"I want people to see Cincinnati for Cincinnati. I don't want it to look like anything else," said Estevez.

He talks about the architecture, how things are within walking distance, and the excitement that isn't found in many other cities.

Estevez also mentions in the interview that plans to live in Cincinnati someday, preferably in Over-The-Rhine. His father, Martin Sheen, was born in Dayton, while his mother, Janet Sheen, was born in Cincinnati.

The Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission says they've has generated more than $54 million for the greater Cincinnati economy and created more than 8,800 jobs through motion picture and television productions over the last two years.

A study conducted by the Economics Center at University of Cincinnati analyzed the impact that the film and TV industry has had on the 15-county Cincinnati metropolitan area through the 10 major projects filmed in the region over the last two years, including the Oscar-nominated "Carol" and three productions screened this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

"The growth of the film industry in Greater Cincinnati is just the beginning of the opportunity we have to make the region a major production center," Schlotman said.

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