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Boardman native's first film will hit theaters next month



Published: Thu, January 3, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

A film with strong ties to the Mahoning Valley will open in the near future.

“The Power of Few” was written and directed by Leone Marucci and co-produced by Fred D’Amico, both Boardman natives. It will premiere in very limited release in February, starting in a handful of cities — including Youngstown — and then expanding.

The modestly budgeted indie film is the first release for director Marucci. Nevertheless, it boasts an amazingly impressive cast that includes Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson and Moon Bloodgood.

Marucci and D’Amico are lifelong friends who have worked together in the film industry for years. They came up with the premise for “Power” 15 years ago and have been working up to this moment ever since. D’Amico describes the film as a “Pulp Fiction”-esque religious thriller.

Filmed in late 2010 in Louisiana, “Power” unfolds over 20 minutes of one afternoon in New Orleans. Spies, cops, fanatics and well-armed children cross paths when an extraordinary smuggling operation causes a religious conspiracy to collide with urban crime.

A trailer of the film is set to go up as early as next week on the official website, thepoweroffew.com.

Marucci and D’Amico are both graduates of Boardman High School and Ohio State University. Marucci moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Ohio State in 1996 and has worked in the film industry ever since. He founded Steelyard Pictures in 2000 to produce his work and has achieved a good bit of success making commercials (some clients include Taco Bell, the NFL and Guess).

The TV work sustained him and allowed him to get his film career started.

D’Amico worked with Steelyard for years before returning to Youngstown two years ago after his father, a well-known real-estate agent, died. He wants to use “Power” as a springboard to building a film industry in Youngstown.

As for “Power,” the first question that comes to mind is “How does a first-time writer/director land a star as big as Christopher Walken?”

Marucci has the answer:

“With any actor, it comes down to the material,” he said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. “An incredible cast gravitated toward this and pushed it into production. Walken vetted me very hard. There were a lot of phone calls and read-throughs. I’ve been making films my whole life, but this is the first at this level, and [Walken] wanted to be confident that we could pull it off.”

Other Youngstowners who had a hand in making the film include art director Paul Nero, who is a Mooney High and Youngstown State University graduate; and coordinator Gwendolyn Marucci, Leone’s wife. Marucci’s father, Leonard, and his uncle Dan Berquist also worked as assistants on the project, and Dave Dante and Gavin DiRusso were part of the crew.

HUNGRY FANS WILL BE ROOTING FOR THE IRISH AT O’DONOLD’S

Christian Rinehart, owner of O’Donold’s Irish Pub and Grill in Youngstown and Austintown, is a fan of the Fighting Irish, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

On Monday night, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will battle Alabama for the national championship of college football. Rinehart is rooting for Notre Dame, of course, and his Irish pubs will assuredly be filled with fans who also want the Irish to win.

That’s because if they do, their food tab will be on the house.

To be eligible, patrons must be at either O’Donold’s location by 8 p.m. and stay for the whole game.

ANTIQUE MOTORCYCLE EXHIBIT REVS UP AT PACKARD MUSEUM

The National Packard Museum in Warren is gearing up for its annual antique motorcycle exhibit.

This year, it will be called “Motorcycles ABC: Antiques, Bobbers and Customs.” The exhibit will open Jan. 12 and run through May 19. “Motorcycles ABC” will include some very rare bikes, including a 1911 Flanders and a 1917 Dayton.


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