Emilio Estevez's new film 'The Public' puts Cincinnati in national spotlight at premiere

Film opens Santa Barbara film festival

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The Queen City took center stage Wednesday night as Emilio Estevez's Cincinnati-filmed "The Public" opened the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The movie prominently features Downtown's main library, where a group of homeless people refuse to head out into the brutal winter cold at closing time since emergency shelters are packed over capacity.

TRAILER: Cincinnati-filmed 'The Public' to debut at January's Santa Barbara Film Festival

Richard Chew won an Oscar for editing "Star Wars" and has worked on films like "I Am Sam," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and "Risky Business." He doesn't have to work any longer, but when Estevez asked him to work on The Public, he didn't hesitate.

"I said, 'OK. Sign me up!' because this is something I want to do because of it's content," Chew said.

Michael Douglas Hall, who went to high school in Loveland, played a homeless guy and thinks the movie will be fabulous, but is nervous about the audience reaction since that's uncontrollable. Working with stars was the best part of the whole experience for him.

"You grow up with Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and people that you really never thought you would get to meet. And then to say, I'm a colleague of these people - that's pretty awesome," Hall said.

Some of those stars had equally upbeat things to say about Cincinnati.

"I love Cincinnati! It is a really interesting city," actress Jena Malone told WCPO's Tanya O'Rourke on the red carpet. "It's got such a cool energy that I think has been protected there for a very long time."

"We love Cincinnati! In fact, Cincinnati is one of my homes now. Cincinnati has come so far in the last 15 years," added Che "Rhymefest" Smith.

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