Dayton is all over a critically-acclaimed film hitting theaters this Friday.
Local actors including musician John W. Harden, retired U.S. Marshal and Huber Heights police officer “Hickory” William Taylor and Dayton native Bryant Louis Bentley are extras in Emilio Estevez’s “The Public.”
The film opened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January.
The film starring Estevez, Gabrielle Union, Alec Baldwin; Christian Slater and Taylor Schilling is set to be released in theaters this week.
WHERE TO SEE THE FILM
The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton, will have the movie, which was filmed in Cincinnati, starting Thursday. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.
OPENING WEEK SHOWTIMES AT THE NEON
• Thursday, April 4 — 7:30 p.m.
• Friday & Saturday (April 5 & 6) — 11:20, 2:00, 4:40, 7:15, 9:50
• Sunday, April 7 — 11:20, 2:00, 5:00, 7:30
• Monday-Thursday (April 8-11) — 2:40, 5:15, 7:50
Cinepolis Dayton at Austin Landing will show the film beginning Thursday, April 4, as well.
• Thursday, April 4 — 7:40 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
• Friday, April 5 — 1:40 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:50 p.m., 10:40 p.m.
• Saturday & Sunday, April 6-7 — 10:40 a.m., 1:40 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:50 p.m., 10:40 p.m.
• Monday-Thursday (April 8-11) — 1:40 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:50 p.m., 10:40 p.m.
Regal Cinemas Fairfield Commons, 2651 Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek, also will show the film on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
ABOUT THE FILM
“The Public” centers around a police standoff with homeless library patrons who have staged a sit-in during a life-threatening cold snap.
Neon movie theater manager Jonathan McNeal said he plans to partner with the Dayton Metro Library and social service organizations like Homefull to provide additional information about issues addressed in the movie to his patrons.
He said there has been local excitement about the film due to Estevez’s family ties here, the local actors and crew members involved and the film’s message.
A noted actor in his own right, Estevez is the son of Dayton native Martin Sheen.
Sheen was born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez and still maintains ties to Dayton.
McNeal said he viewed the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and was impressed.
“It is thematically a thing we are dealing with, trying to improve the lives of homeless people and trying to make sure they have a voice,” McNeal said.
A Fairborn resident and owner of Cape House Collectibles in Beavercreek, Taylor plays a homeless man named Doc in the film.
Harden, a Dayton native who now resides in Clayton, plays a news crew member in the movie.
Both men have had roles in several movies filmed in the region.
Taylor played a moonshiner in James Franco’s “The Long Home” and a chef in a scene shot in this region for the Robert Redford movie “The Old Man and the Gun” with Redford, Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek.
Harden’s film credits include “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett and “Miles Ahead” starring Don Cheadle; The “Killing of a Sacred Deer” starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell and “We’re Doing Fine,” a locally produced movie shot in Dayton in 2013.
In an interview with this news organization, Harden said he loves acting and was honored to work as part of Union’s news crew in the movie.
“We worked on something that was very important, bringing a lot of attention to the homeless situation. It was an honor to be a part of this,” said Harden, a composer who has played with the Dayton funk band Faze-O.
Another local actor to look for is Dayton native Bryant Louis Bentley, who has a principal role in the film playing “Cactus Ray,” one of four homeless men who initiate a protest at the library.
Bentley, who has been acting professionally for 20 years and is now based in Columbus, said Estevez came up with his character’s name. “Cactus” was an old nickname given to Martin Sheen when he wore his hair spiked as a young man, Bentley said.
The actor, who graduated from Trotwood High School in 1989, went on to study at Sinclair Community College and worked for Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith and County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman, before ending his career as a Dayton Municipal Court Bailiff in 2002.
Bentley can be seen numerous times in the film’s trailer. “The film has a surprise ending,” he said in a Facebook message. “It’s funny, it’s suspenseful! I think the audience will enjoy it.”
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