Lakewood Young Filmmakers schedules Parma premiere for summer film projects


LAKEWOOD, Ohio — New indie short “Star Player” is invariably a blockbuster in the minds of the 40 local filmmakers who spent July attending the Young Filmmakers Academy’s Advanced Summer Program.

Now, the ’80s homage to “ET”, “The Karate Kid” and “Goonies” – about a teenage alien who crashes on Earth and joins the high school baseball team – will get the treatment of the Red carpet.

A Hollywood-worthy world premiere takes place at 6 p.m. today (August 18) at the Sari Feldman Auditorium of the Parma-Snow Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

“This film trumps any film we’ve made so far,” said Lee McLaughlin, community liaison officer at the Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy, who helped start the film less than a decade ago. non-profit organization based in Lakewood.

“Every year before that was a very independent feeling, because there weren’t a lot of effects. It’s more about the bottom line.

“With this one, we were like, do special effects. That’s what I’ve wanted to do for two years now, so we decided to do a sci-fi alien movie.

Students from the Young Filmmakers Academy’s Advanced Summer Program created the short film “Star Player.” (Courtesy of the Academy of Young Filmmakers)

“Star Player” was written, directed and edited by teenagers aged 12 to 17 who were mentored by professional filmmakers.

This included Young Filmmakers Academy co-founder Eric Swinderman (“The Enormity of Life” and “Made in Cleveland”), Garage Creative Studios creative director Mark Hamer (“I See You”) and Jeffrey Lange (“The Fast and the Furious, “”The Avengers”).

One of the participating students was Hawken School freshman Sofia Castellanos, winner of a 2021 Young Filmmakers Academy Diversity Scholarship.

“We’ve worked hard to put together a film that we think will stand out,” said 15-year-old Cleveland Heights resident Sofia, who recently completed her second Young Filmmakers Academy summer program.

“We had the opportunity to explore all aspects (of filmmaking) – including writing, building sets, acting, crew and editing. This year was such a treasure. I met incredibly talented people and I got to do what I love the most. I think we’ve created something really special.

In addition to the screening of “Star Player”, short films from the Young Filmmakers Academy’s beginner and extracurricular programs will be screened. A short Q&A with the young filmmakers closes the evening.

“It’s a quality movie,” McLaughlin said. “You don’t watch it like some movies kids would put on YouTube. It’s like, wow, this is a real movie.

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