CINCINNATI -- A new Emilio Estevez film starring Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling, Jena Malone and Che "Rhymefest" Smith will begin filming in January 2017, according to Kristen Schlotman, executive director of Film Cincinnati.
Baldwin, Schilling, Malone, Estevez and Smith will co-star in the socially conscious ensemble dramedy "the public," based on a screenplay written by Estevez, which he will also direct. Lisa Niedenthal, Estevez’s longtime producing partner, Alex Lebovici, and Steve Ponce of Oriah Entertainment are producing the film. Michael Bien of Cedarvale Pictures will serve as executive producer. Mary Vernieu and Michelle Wade Byrd are casting.
The indie flick is currently in pre-production in Cincinnati and principal photography will commence in mid-January 2017.
“Over the past few years, Emilio Estevez has been a tireless ambassador for Film Cincinnati. With our unique architecture, hospitality, home-grown talent and state tax credits, our region has become a frequent resource for the film industry, and Emilio has helped us tell this story,” a Film Cincinnati representative wrote in a news release.
"the public" centers around a standoff with police and library officials when library patrons, many of whom are homeless and mentally ill, stage an Occupy sit-in, turning the Cincinnati Public Library into an impromptu homeless shelter for one night during a brutal, life-threatening cold snap. The story begs the question "Who will care for those who are unable to care for themselves?" In "the public," both sides are given equal voice at this inflection moment for America where we are sharply divided on social justice issues.
Baldwin ("The Departed," "Still Alice") is set to play a crisis negotiator who tries to de-escalate the standoff. Estevez and Malone ("The Hunger Games") will play librarians caught up in the crisis. Schilling ("Orange Is The New Black") will play a character who helps expose the truth while a corrupt media spins the story for ratings, and Smith ("Selma") will play one of the homeless Occupy patrons.
Previously, Estevez directed, wrote and co-starred in the Golden Globe- and SAG-nominated (Best Picture, Ensemble) socio-political drama "Bobby" in addition to the critically acclaimed indie drama "The Way."
Lebovici and Ponce's recent credits include "The Billionaire Boys Club" with Kevin Spacey and Emma Roberts and "The Clapper" starring Ed Helms, Tracy Morgan and Amanda Seyfried.
In July 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich increased the tax incentive that Ohio offers for film projects to be produced in Ohio from $20 million a year to $40 million a year for the next two years. This legislation helps the Film Commission and the State of Ohio attract and retain business and helps Cincinnati sustain an industry and infrastructure. The motion picture tax incentive returns $2.01 into the Ohio economy for every $1 invested by the incentive. To learn more about the Film Cincinnati and its upcoming projects, casting calls, or employment opportunities, please visit its website here.