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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Joseph Russo

Anthony and Joe Russo were born one year apart in a working class, Italian neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. The brothers grew up sons of a liberal politician during the 1970’s — a tumultuous political era that saw Cleveland become the first major American city to go bankrupt since the Great Depression. Welcome to Collinwood was influenced by the colorful ethnic rivalry and decaying industrial landscape that defined their hometown during their youth. Just prior to beginning film school, Anthony and Joe wrote, directed, produced, and Joe performed in, « Pieces. » Steven Soderbergh saw Pieces while attending the Slamdance Film Festival — he called the brothers a week later and offered to produce their next project. After Soderbergh partnered with George Clooney to form their production company « Section Eight », « Welcome to Collinwood » became the first film produced by the company.