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Reel Cleveland: Small Town Ohio

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A couple of years ago, brothers Bill and Turner Ross quit their Hollywood jobs and returned to Sidney, Ohio to make a documentary about what life in small-town America is like. The resulting film, 45365, doesn't have one clear narrative (or a voiceover, for that matter.) Instead, the filmmakers follow several subjects, including a man who gets arrested, the high-school football team and a woman preparing for her wedding.

"For a long time, we had been collecting stories and ideas about growing up in a small midwestern town," says Turner. "Rather than fictionalizing it, we thought it was more sincere to film in that location and tell other people's stories. If there was a situation where it was difficult to get access, we didn't do it. Dealing with minors, we made sure we had consent from all of them. That can be tricky. Those people were well aware that we were with them. Those stories are what they chose to show us. We didn't want to do a circus portrayal or an anthropological surface study of a town. We wanted to find people who spoke to the experiences of that town."

The film debuted at the South by Southwest film festival in March and took home the Best Documentary Feature award. Since then, it's been making the festival rounds with hopes of a fall theatrical release. It makes its Cleveland premiere at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, August 19, at the Cleveland Museum of Art Lecture Hall (11150 East Blvd., 216.421.7350, clevelandart.org/film). The Ross brothers will be on hand to introduce it and take questions afterward. Tickets are $8. Find more information at 45365movie.com.

The Indie Film Gathering, an international film festival featuring low-budget and independent films, takes place this weekend at the Westlake Holiday Inn (1100 Crocker Rd., Westlake). It kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday and includes a full day of screenings on Saturday and Sunday. Many filmmakers will be there to introduce their films and field questions afterwards. Go to theindiegathering.com for a full schedule.

The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque (11141 East Blvd., 216.421.7450, cia.edu/cinematheque) takes its summer-long comedy series outdoors for Comedy Stars Under the Stars. At 9:15 p.m. Saturday, it'll show five two-reel films. The screening takes place in the Cleveland Institute of Art outdoor courtyard. Tickets: $8.

jniesel@clevescene.com

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