YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — More than a hundred years ago, the Warner Brothers started making movies. The Warners were Polish immigrants who settled in Youngstown before heading to California, but the proud tradition of movie production continues in the Valley still today.
Youngstown has a rich history when it comes to boxing and movies. First News got to visit the set of what will be a movie about boxing in Youngstown.
Writer and director Joseph Vaglica started writing his independent film in 2019 while visiting Youngstown. He was inspired by Stambaugh Auditorium’s steps, which reminded him of a scene in his favorite movie.
“It reminds me of the ‘Rocky’ steps. So while I was here, it just triggered me to start writing a little bit,” Vaglica said.
The story is about a man who loses everything and turns to boxing as an outlet. Vaglica plays the main character.
“He ends up losing his father, his wife, his house, his job loss — everything,” Vaglica said. “His father had never gone pro, so he’s going to go and win one pro fight.”
Opposite Vaglica is Natalie Kander, who plays his girlfriend. Kander is originally from Eastern Europe but now lives in Cleveland, acting part-time.
“It’s very different from what I’m used to playing,” Kander said. “I’m used to playing in horror films.”
Floyd Jackson, of New Castle, is a security guard with a passion for acting. He says this is his 36th time on-set filming.
“I’ve been in different things like ‘Law & Order.’ I’ve worked with Will Smith in ‘Concussion,’ Denzel Washington twice. I just want to get out and get better,” Jackson said.
The movie is still being filmed. A release date has yet to be announced.