CINCINNATI -- A new, intensely topical movie written and produced by Cincinnatians will get its big-screen debut Tuesday.
"75," named for the interstate corridor that forms a major backbone of drug trafficking networks in the United States, is a gritty and realistic look at the heroin crisis and its grip on Ohio communities. It's also deeply personal for its creators.
"Almost every actor that worked in the film, since they were local, had been affected by the heroin epidemic in one way or another," said David James, the film's director of photography. "I've lost some friends to it."
Bringing authenticity to the film meant mining those personal experiences for inspiration and creating a realistic representation of the city of Cincinnati. The crew filmed primarily in Pleasant Ridge, Mason and downtown, which grounds the setting firmly in real life and illustrates the scope of the epidemic.
For Myra Zimmerman Grubbs, who acts in the film and helped produce it, it's important to portray the experiences of everyone touched by the epidemic with human empathy.
"People are going to see the struggles that addicts and their families and their friends go through," she said. "We take a look at the whole family and how this is impacting everyone. … It just know no boundaries as far as the people that it's impacting right now."
The film's Tuesday premiere is already sold out, but you'll have more chances to see "75" in the future. Zimmerman Grubbs, James and the rest of the team plan to take it on the road to film festivals and seek a larger-scale distributor in the coming months.