Rich Howells

VIDEO PREMIERE: Scranton documentary ‘Half Empty’ explores ‘Life in America’s Unhappiest City’

An oft-cited study of the “unhappiest” cities in the country by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard University, released in 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research, placed Scranton at No. 1 in a list of “the least happy American regions.” How can someone find happiness in America’s unhappiest city? Do […]

 Rich Howells

EXCLUSIVE: A first whiff of ‘Tray,’ the upcoming documentary about NEPA pizza

EXCLUSIVE: A first whiff of ‘Tray,’ the upcoming documentary about NEPA pizza

Scranton natives using Indiegogo to crowdfund movie about food and community

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, pizza is curiously ordered by the “tray,” not the pie, and that’s not the only thing unique about the area’s relationship with the cheesy Italian dish. Growing up in Scranton, Jeremy Saltry and Joey Dominick know just how ingrained – baked in, if you will – pizza is in NEPA culture, so […]

 Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: Director Robert May searches for cinematic justice in ‘Kids for Cash’ documentary

ARCHIVES: Director Robert May searches for cinematic justice in ‘Kids for Cash’ documentary

When federal prosecutors charged Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan in 2009 with accepting millions of dollars from a new, privately-owned juvenile detention facility where they had harshly sentenced over 3,000 children, everyone in the country seemed to have an opinion on the scandal dubbed “kids for cash,” particularly about the corrupt judiciary. […]

 Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: While filming documentary in Scranton, Rocky impersonator is ‘living the dream’

ARCHIVES: While filming documentary in Scranton, Rocky impersonator is ‘living the dream’

Sylvester Stallone may have shot his last “Rocky” film, but another Rocky’s story has just begun. Last Saturday morning, a small film crew drove into Scranton to embark on their second day of shooting an as-yet-untitled documentary inspired by “Cue the Rocky Music,” a memoir written by city native Mike Kunda. The book recounts Kunda’s […]

 Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: Jason Miller documentary ‘Miller’s Tale’ premieres as Broadway revives ‘That Championship Season’

ARCHIVES: Jason Miller documentary ‘Miller’s Tale’ premieres as Broadway revives ‘That Championship Season’

Before actor and playwright Jason Miller was directed by award-winning filmmakers like William Friedkin, he was the star of a short film by an inexperienced college student. As he often shied away from the national spotlight, Miller probably enjoyed the latter more. Rebecca Ferris, founder of Cottage Films in New Orleans, grew up in Scranton […]

 Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: ‘Cue the Rocky Music’ for the Rocky Balboa of West Scranton

ARCHIVES: ‘Cue the Rocky Music’ for the Rocky Balboa of West Scranton

A familiar theme song begins to run through Mike Kunda’s head as he ascends the front steps of West Scranton High School. When he reaches the top, he turns around and raises his hands in the air triumphantly. Sporting a leather jacket, black fedora, and fingerless gloves, he is no longer the scrawny little kid […]

 Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: Scranton filmmaker tells actor Jason ‘Miller’s Tale’ in upcoming documentary

ARCHIVES: Scranton filmmaker tells actor Jason ‘Miller’s Tale’ in upcoming documentary

Rebecca Ferris, like many people in Scranton, knew actor/playwright Jason Miller years before his untimely death in 2001. What puzzled her, though, was why the actor surrendered his virtually overnight national success for regional theatre and the quiet life of his hometown. It’s a question that many have asked over the years, so Ferris decided […]