Like the Guardians standing watch over Lorain-Carnegie bridge and the cultural diversity of the West Side Market, the Sax Man has become an icon of Cleveland.
Similar to other Cleveland staples, The Sax Man, real name Maurice Reedus Jr., embodies the spirit of Cleveland; a rich history with more tragedies than triumphs, but an unabashed stance to carry on. Instead of a watchful eye or ethnic treat, Reedus gives music. Whether it’s an Asian tourist, a lawyer with court on his mind or a mindless wanderer, one cannot help but to feel they’re accompanied by him.
With the help of five talented filmmakers, Reedus’ story will be seen across the nation in their documentary on the musician titled aptly, The Sax Man.
“Through the end of this year and next year, we’ll be submitting the film to over 50 film festivals,” proclaimed Beau Miller, Executive Producer of The Sax Man. “By 2014, we hope it will have gone on a journey far from Cleveland.”
The Sax Man tells the story of Reedus’ life; his venture with R&B group, Sly, Slick and Wicked, to his descent into street performing and legacy in Cleveland.
The idea to create the documentary came from Cinematographer, John Pope, and the personal anecdotes Reedus shared with him. Director, Joe Siebert, also a friend of Pope’s, felt compelled to share Reedus’ unique story with the world. Producer, Todd Bemak, is now submitting The Sax Man to many film festivals.
“[We] want as many people to see the film and to see Cleveland portrayed in this positive light,” exclaimed Miller. “And we’re optimistic it will do well across the country.”
After the success of Reedus’ sold-out show at the House of Blues last July and wrapping of the film, the crew found they did more than just share a story.
“It dawned on Maurice how much the people of Cleveland love him,” Miller added. “The film gave him a new outlook and an opportunity to see that he is cared for.”
Festival acceptance or not, the film’s a testament to Reedus, Cleveland and the human spirit. It enlightened The Sax Man of his appreciation and role in Cleveland, in addition to bringing out the generosity of people around the country to help fund the film.
“Funding a feature film completely on donations is very rare,” Miller stated. “We want to express gratitude to everyone that helped in Cleveland and across the country with the support of the film.
Festival acceptances will be announced through out 2014. The film’s world premiere, at the Cleveland International Film Festival, was the first film in the festival to sell-out every showing, requiring a fourth and final screening to be scheduled forSunday March 30th, at Tower City Cinemas. Visit ClevelandFilm.org for tickets. If it is sold out before you do, then simply visit Reedus for a tune to catch, a coin to toss or a Clevelander to befriend.