Youngstown Independent Film Festival to feature locally-made film “Loyalty”

Local News

“Loyalty” tells the story of one man’s journey of restoring relationships and adjusting to society after being released from prison

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The first Youngstown Independent Film Festival will be taking place Saturday at Tinseltown in Boardman. 

“We’re so excited to have a mix of local filmmakers, mixed in with filmmakers from around the globe,” said Rebecca Martin, the film festival’s coordinator.

The festival will consist of three blocks. Each block will show short films.

The movie “Loyalty” will be one of the two full-length films being featured. 

All the actors and locations in the film are from Youngstown. 

“Loyalty” tells the story of one man’s journey after being released from prison. It shows the hardships of restoring relationships and adjusting to society. 

“It shines a light on a lot of obstacles that a person in that situation would have to deal with. You know, family life — the guy had a, he had a daughter as well — missing out on your kids’ life, and also even trying to find work,” said Jason Rosendary, director and editor of “Loyalty.”

David Romeo is the writer of the film. He said the idea came to him from his own experiences as a young man. 

“I didn’t go to prison or anything. The story kind of, is not my life at all, but it was inspired by that, ‘cause I used to be in a gang, and I used to do a lot of bad stuff, and then I changed my life around,” Romeo said.

Romeo said he has been a writer all his life — from poetry to plays, and now, films. 

Ramon Cuevas is the main actor in the film. He said it was easy to transition into his character because the story was familiar to him.

“I have about 20 years of experience in law enforcement and corrections. So, this character, I’ve seen him, probably a hundred times… He’s a guy who goes to prison. While he’s in prison, he reevaluates his life and the decisions that he’s made and he says he wants to do the right thing,” Cuevas said.

“Loyalty” premiered at Movies 8 in Boardman in September. For the time being, the film festival will be its only other showing. 

The festival will run from 2:30 – 9:30 p.m. Saturday, October 12. 

The times and films for each block are as follows:

  • Block One: 2:30 p.m. 
    • Emptying the Nest
    • Subnivean
    • Extra Innings
    • Blowing Up Right Now
  • Block Two: 5:00 p.m. 
    • Occurrence at Mills Creek 
    • Freebasing Red Bull 
    • Hair of the Dog
    • Calls for Archie
    •  Loyalty
  • Block Three: 7:30 p.m. 
    • Inside Akron’s Tent City
    • Go
    • Cops or Robbers
    • About Face

There will be a red carpet for each block 30 minutes before the start time. There will also be an award ceremony afterward open to the public at Krakatoa Tropical Food & Spirits.

Tickets for the film festival can be purchased on its website.

Martin says tickets are going quickly, so those interested in attending should purchase as soon as possible.

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