WORTH THE DRIVE: Film with Dayton connection among Cleveland Film Fest lineup

The educational, diverse film “Zero Gravity,” produced in partnership with Dayton-based 1913 Media Group, will be screened at the 46th Cleveland International Film Festival April 8 and 9.

Written and directed by Thomas Verrette, “Zero Gravity” follows a group of ambitious middle schoolers in San Jose, California. The students are on a journey of a lifetime when they compete in a nationwide tournament to code satellites aboard the International Space Station. The film “highlights the importance of empowering the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators who will fearlessly lead us into the future – even the unknown.”

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Thousands of students annually participate in the Zero Robotics ISS Competition, which is run by the MIT Space Systems Laboratory in collaboration with NASA and CASIS. The mission of the students is to build a GPS system around Mars to aid future exploration of the red planet by programming satellites in the space station known a SPHERES, which were inspired by Luke Skywalker’s training droid in “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

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Additional films with Ohio connections in the festival include “Poser,” which features the Underground music scene of Columbus, “Linoleum,” set in Ohio with a director and crew from Columbus, and “The Erie Situation,” filmed around Toledo.

Last December, the Dayton Daily News reported 1913 Media Group purchased a 210,000 square-foot former manufacturing facility at 721 Springfield St. in Dayton to house its future film production operations. The facility is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

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“Zero Gravity” will screen Friday at 5:10 p.m. and Saturday at 9:40 a.m. at the Connor Palace, 1615 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. It will be available for streaming April 10-17 on the CIFF streaming platform.

This year’s festival, which began March 30 and continues through April 9, will showcase 146 feature films and 182 short films representing 73 countries during its 11-day run.

For more information, visit clevelandfilm.org

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