Local filmmaker reaches funding goal

Staff report


The Mahoning Valley Film Initiative’s effort on the seedandspark.com crowdfunding website has exceeded its goal of raising $7,500 and as a result its movie “Worst. Christmas. Ever.” will begin shooting in the Mahoning Valley this year.

The dark comedy was written by Youngstown native John Chechitelli, who will also direct. It follows a hapless teenager whose life snowballs out of control after discovering that she’s pregnant on Christmas Eve.

The Mahoning Valley Film Initiative, a collaborative of local filmmakers, entered the project into SeedandSpark’s national month-long competition on Sept. 12. The goals of the contest are to raise at least $7,500 and gain as many followers as possible by Oct. 13.

Funded projects in the top 10 of followers will vie for an additional $25,000 and the chance to have Hollywood producers Mark and Jay Duplass produce their movie. “Worst” had more than 850 followers as of Friday at noon but was not quite in the top 10.

A fundraising and sign-up event for the film will take place at 7 p.m. today at The Federal, 110 W. Federal St., downtown.

Chechitelli’s previous film, “Youngstown: Still Standing,” will be screened at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.

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