“AKRON: The Film”

“AKRON: The Film”

by Chris Horne

While you can catch glimpses of Akron in big budget productions, including a Stan Hywet cameo in a waste of excellent actors in 2012’s “Alex Cross,” or in documentaries like “More Than a Game,” starring LeBron James, or in low-hi horror flicks like JR Bookwalter’s masterful “Dead Next Door,” there is only one film that puts Akron center stage. That honor belongs to “AKRON,” a movie written and co-directed by Brian O’Donnell that pits romance and family drama with gay and lesbian characters without the film being overtly focused on their sexuality.

Instead, the filmmakers treat Benny and Christopher, freshmen football players at the University of Akron, like human beings who fall in love and who struggle as much with loyalties to family as they do in figuring themselves out. It’s a unique indie helmed by a native Akronite who uses the city as a backdrop to genuine human drama.

As a result, “AKRON,” which was initially funded on Kickstarter, has been screened at 12 festivals including Seattle, Paris, St. Louis and Tampa Bay, while winning five awards in Cincinnati, Rochester and Ft. Lauderdale, among others.

Now you can see “AKRON” in locally, as the film has been accepted into the Cleveland International Film Festival and will be screened in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland: Tower City Cinemas. Wednesday, April 6, 1:50 – 4 pm.

Akron: Akron Summit County Public Library. Friday, April 8, 7 – 9 pm.

To watch the trailer and learn more about “AKRON,” visit akronthefilm.com.