Film fest to premier GM Lordstown documentary
By ANDY GRAY
CLEVELAND — A feature-length documentary on the closure of the General Motors Lordstown plant will have its world premiere in March at the 44th Cleveland International Film Festival.
“Bring It Home” focuses on the families affected by GM’s announcement in November 2018 to close its Lordstown plant, which employed more than 1,600 hourly and salary workers at the time.
The film is directed and co-produced by Carl Kriss, a Chicago native who went to college in Ohio at Kenyon and now works for WKYC-TV in Cleveland.
“I was in Los Angeles, working as a film editor, and after the 2016 election I decided to leave my job and find out why Ohio went from blue to red (politically),” he said.
That research brought him to the Mahoning Valley around the time of the GM announcement.
“People’s frustration had less to do with politics than corporations taking advantage of the middle class,” Kriss said. “I wanted to look at the closing of the steel industry and the auto industry and the impact that has on families.
“I decided to focus the story more about people and families rather than politics because, at the end of the day, that’s sort of what’s missing in this country. There’s a lack of empathy, especially for people in the middle class and the struggles they’ve had to go through.”
Kriss and his co-producer Margie Glick originally pitched the film as part of the If/Then short film competition at last year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. They didn’t win the competition, but it inspired them to expand the idea into a feature-length documentary.
“That was really the catalyst that motivated us to keep going, that the story was worth continuing,” Kriss said.
The Cleveland International Film Festival announced its lineup on Friday. “Bring It Home” will be shown at 7 p.m. March 27 and 11:30 a.m. March 28 at Tower City Cinemas, 230 W. Huron Road, Cleveland, and at 2 p.m. March 29 at New West Theatre, 6702 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. Additional information is available at www.clevelandfilm.org.