Crew films ‘arrest’ for movie

By Ashley Luthern


It’s a scene that occurs regularly in Boardman: A police officer books an individual on a misdemeanor theft charge for shoplifting.

Only on Tuesday, it actually was a scene complete with a film crew, as a township police officer arrested an actor for shoplifting while cameras rolled.

Pirooz Kalayeh, director for Sangha Films based in Los Angeles, said the team was filming an adaptation of Tao Lin’s novella “Shoplifting from American Apparel.”

“It’s a super-popular hipster book,” Kalayeh said.

The narrative story based on the novella will be intermixed with a fake behind-the-scenes documentary, or mockumentary, of the filming process.

Brad Warner, 47, stars in the role of Tao Lin, who shoplifts a shirt from American Apparel on his way to a book reading.

“In this scene, he’s getting booked and goes to jail and gets a reality check,” Kalayeh said, adding that the scene would be one of the longest of the film.

So far, the crew has shot on location in Boardman, Youngstown, Solon, Akron, Hollywood and Silver Lake, and it’s not their first time filming in the Mahoning Valley.

In December 2009, Kalayeh was in town filming an adaptation of local author Noah Cicero’s novel “The Human War.” The project has since wrapped but is still being screened.

“Shoplifting from American Apparel,” produced by Mark Parsia, should be completed Saturday and was funded through donations collected on the website IndieGoGo, Kalayeh said.

“We’re hoping for a limited theatrical release at indie theaters and to make a couple of major film festivals,” he said.

In addition to “Shoplifting from American Apparel” and “The Human War,” Sangha Films is also making a documentary of Warner, who is a Zen monk and the author of several books including, most recently, “Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma.”

To see a featurette from “Shoplifting from American Apparel,” visit

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