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June 5, 2014

Action thriller shoots film in Cleveland

Filmmakers promise to keep closures minimal

Photo courtesy Erica Simon

By Jaychelle Willis

It looks like John Travolta will be causing a lot of criminal activity around Cleveland for the next few weeks.

“Criminal Activities” — starring John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, Grease), Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths) and Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey) — began production Tuesday, May 27 on East 12th street and Chester Avenue.

This independent film includes executive producer Mark Johnson — who produced Fear Clinic and Miss Meadows — both of which were shot in Cleveland. Another includes Cleveland native Warren Ostergard (Freerunner).

Oscar nominated for his work in Little Children, Jackie Earle Harley will be making his directorial debut with “Criminal Activities.” Harley will also be starring in the film.

This action packed thriller centers around four men who reunite at an ex-classmate’s funeral. One mentions to the others inside information on a stock that could make them millionaires. Unfortunately, the deal goes south along with their investment. Things get worse when one of them borrows his share of the money from a mobster.

“Criminal Activities” joins the list of films including “The Avengers,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Draft Day” and “Fun Size” which have been filmed in Cleveland.

In the past four years, film production has created $350 million in economic impact and created more than a thousand full-time jobs, according to the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

While film production has great advantages for Cleveland, many commuters find it a hassle with road closures downtown. However, unlike past films that extended closures from hours to weeks on end, the filmmakers promise to only close roads for eight hours each production day.

Production for “Criminal Activities” will extend until June 26. The film is set to release in 2015.

Last updated June 5, 2014 at 3:56 p.m.