Lights, Camera, Indie Action




Matt Palka of Toledo immediately thought of Youngstown when looking for a city to film his latest indie creation.

With its various scenes of hard industry and natural landscapes, the city’s diverse culture offered everything the young filmmaker needed.

“From that first visit to Youngstown, I fell in love with the community of artists here. It’s a prolific and well-rounded group of artists that welcomed me into their community,” Palka said.

Filming started in early June on Fifth Avenue on the city’s North Side on the still-untitled film.

A bright yellow Volkswagen Karmann Ghia could be seen from Wick Park surrounded by actors and cameras. Screen writers Palka and Mary Kate Schellhardt also star in the film about a Hollywood actress who blows into town only to befriend a traveling musician.

Palka, who is a musician as well as a film maker, describes himself as a storyteller.

“Whether its in book, film or music, I love the creative process and the magic that seemingly bubbles up out of nowhere,” he said. “And working with a community of artists to discover endless possibilities is a close second to getting lost in nature.”

With Youngstown’s industrial past, artistry and film offer a look to its future.

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