Sons of Toledo, a short film about the lives of barbers fighting to keep their community together, will have its world premiere at the fourth annual Mammoth Film Festival February 3-6, 2022 in the resort town of Mammoth Lakes, CA.
The film is based on the true stories of Toledo’s Black Barber community, their role as community advocates in their neighborhood, and the hardest role they fulfill for far too many of their customers, performing the final cut. Sons of Toledo tells the story of a young barber, who after receiving the early morning news of his younger brother’s murder, he pushes through the muddy waters of grief to find the courage to do the impossible- give his brother one last cut.
Filmed on location in Toledo, Ohio in the summer of 2021, the film features all community performers from the city’s barber shops shot in a pseudo-doc style to authentically center on the voices and stories that are underserved and under-heard in many of today’s conversations around gun violence and youth.
The film was funded through donations under a non-profit model to ensure all resources returned to the communities featured in the film. The local screenings in and around Toledo featured community conversation, free haircuts for the city’s youth and Testing and Vaccination clinics in an effort to utilize story to assuage the dual Covid and Gun violence pandemics facing the city for the past 20 months.
The film primarily features first time filmmakers and actors seeking to shine a light on the Glass City and its “mud made” mentality and identity; all core themes in the film.
“The script was created from interviews and written in the shops with the barbers, based on their stories and experiences giving the “final cut” to many of the young men from their shops,” shared Matt Foss (co-writer and producer). “We set out to tell this story while trying to build capacity for listening and telling more as there’s a need here in Toledo, believing these true stories can catalyze meaningful conversations at an urgent time in our community and hopefully in service of those happening across the country.”
The film was directed by Monty Cole, an award-winning theatre and film director from Chicago, who co-wrote the script with Foss: “Matt and I talked a lot about how to create moments of listening. While making this film, we were constantly listening for moments to center the community, allow them to truly be themselves, speak for themselves and give the world the opportunity to listen to them.”
Cole described his experience in the city, saying “There’s a suffering that’s happening in Toledo, Ohio but there’s also a groundswell of healing that has come from inside the community. It’s incredible to watch and we’re so thankful that the Mammoth Film Festival has given us this opportunity for us all to stop and listen to Toledo.”
The film was created by a mix of Chicago film artists and first-time filmmakers in Toledo. Grammy award winning musician, Andrew Dost, scored the film.
A full screening schedule will be released shortly from Mammoth Film Festival on date and time of the premiere (https://www.mammothfilmfestival.org/) and subsequent screenings and premieres will be announced in the upcoming months.
SONS OF TOLEDO
Directed by Monty Cole
Written by Matt Foss & Monty Cole
Produced by Matt Foss and Diana Perez Riveros
Director of Photography -Candice Majors
Production Designer – Eleanor Kahn
Editor – Rob Seiffert
Music Composer – Andrew Dost
Featuring: Marcus temple, Cincere Temple, Jamal Grant, Jeremy Pratt Jr. Shinaul Jones, Shaun Temple, Alison H. Day