The documentary film Tripped Up,
directed by Laura Watilo Blake, founder of eLBee Studio, a Cleveland-based visual media company and produced by Fran Belkin, a Mayfield Heights resident, is set to debut at the Cleveland International Film Festival this April. The documentary focuses on the travel company called Competitours
, which was founded by Clevelander Steve Belkin.
Belkin founded Competitours in 2009 after many experiences traveling around the globe and being inspired by a global travel scavenger hunt that he participated in. The unconventional travel agency offers customers an opportunity that mirrors such reality shows as The Amazing Race
. The contestants travel to various European countries and win a cash prize. Belkin is with the brave contestants every step of the way, enjoying each adventure for himself.
Producer Fran Belkin, formerly of Belkin productions, and the mother of Steve, has been a participant on the trip five times herself, says spending 11 days traveling all over Europe, never knowing what country you'll end up in the next day and doing crazy challenges in each location is almost indescribable.
"When I signed up in 2015, I decided to have it filmed," the producer explained in an email. "Also, my son Steve created this unusual trip, and I wanted to show the world what an exceptional experience he had put together."
Director Laura Blake had been a contestant as well.
"It was her dream to film it," Belkin said. "So when I offered to produce it, she jumped at the chance and brought Clevelander Bob Reiland along to film, too. They have been editing for the last two years (besides having jobs) and I have been working with them as we polished it."
The team behind the film is ecstatic to debut it in Cleveland.
"We are all proud Clevelanders and we wanted more than anything for Cleveland to be our world premier," Belkin said. "We have entered festivals in other cities, but we entered here first. Our families are here, our friends are here."
The film debuts at Tower City Cinemas on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:20 p.m with a second showing on Wednesday, April 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 23 at 11 a.m. and can be purchased here
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