Producer, workshop highlight fest


“Youngstown Shakedown Part 2: Sonny Days” is just one of the highlights of the Youngstown Film Festival this weekend.

Twelve films were selected for the YFF — four feature-length productions and eight shorts. Now in its second year, the YFF received 48 submissions — three times as many as last year, according to festival founder and director Michele Simonelli.

Movies will be screened at DeBartolo Hall auditorium at Youngstown State University on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, and at the Tyler History Center, downtown, Saturday evening.

Tyler Davidson, the Chagrin Falls native who was a producer of the controversial film “Compliance,” will be on hand Saturday.

Davidson will screen his new movie, the lighthearted coming-of-age story “Kings of Summer,” which he also produced. Davidson will greet attendees before the screening and will answer audience questions. Tickets to this special event are $20.

On Sunday, the day will begin with a free workshop titled “Making Your First Film,” presented by Dale Galzozy and Tammy Tsai. It will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at DeBartolo Hall. Simonelli said the workshop will be another connecting point between the YFF and filmmakers.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the documentary “The Great Incarcerator, Part 2: The Shadow of Lucasville” will be screened. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown, this film revisits the 1993 inmate uprising at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, one of the longest in U.S. history. Derrick Jones, winner of the 2012 YFF, directed the film.

The festival will open on a light note at 6 p.m. Friday with “Youngstown Shakedown Part 2: Sonny Days,” the mob comedy set in Youngstown, directed and co-written by Tom Megalis. After that, it will switch into horror mode with three short films and the feature length “Night of the Cannibals,” which was filmed in the Mahoning Valley by local horror veteran Joe Mohn.

“We received quite a bit in the horror category, so we put them together in one program, which we are calling Friday Night Frights,” said Simonelli.

Awards will be handed out Sunday at the end of the festival. Simonelli and two members of the advisory board are the jurors.

—Guy D’Astolfo

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