Steven Caple Jr.’s debut feature film The Land tells the story of a group of teenagers with professional skateboarding dreams trying to get by in Cleveland. The filmmaker drew upon his own Ohio youth to make the personal film, which premiered at Sundance this year.
“The biggest thing was I wanted to capture all sides of Cleveland and these boys had a vehicle to get through the city, which was skateboarding,” Caple tells The Moveable Fest. “They’re constantly moving, so they would go to the condos in downtown Cleveland and the suburbs, to the backwoods with Skatetopia and the east side [with] the markets. Having these locations, [I could] show how big and diverse Cleveland really is while at the same time, showing the east side of Cleveland, which is struggling and people try to neglect, even at home. I’m shooting a music video right now and the editor, who’s with me in the room, just literally thought that this video took place in Detroit when we just shot it in Cleveland, just to give you an idea of how the city is decaying, so I wanted to show that, the side that people didn’t know existed [even] at home.”
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