For plastics recycling veteran Michael Domino, the show must go online.
Domino, founder and chief operating officer of Domino Plastics Co. Inc. in Port Jefferson, N.Y., was gearing up to show his recycling-centered movie Mott Haven: Cash for Keys at film festivals in Florida and New York when the COVID-19 crisis hit. The independent film already had won the People's Choice Award at the Chandler International Film Festival in Chandler, Ariz., earlier this year.
In an April 9 email to supporters, Domino and co-writer/co-producer Robert Mladnich said that because of COVID-19, all of these upcoming festivals have been postponed.
"The pandemic also precludes us from renting a theater and hosting our own premiere for cast and crew, which is a great disappointment for us," they wrote. "We do plan on having a gala premiere once the current health crisis is behind us."
Instead, Domino will make Mott Haven available on streaming service Vimeo on Demand.
"Not wanting the film to sit idle for another few months without being seen, we have decided to present the film on Vimeo on Demand," Domino and Mladnich wrote. "If you purchase the movie, we encourage you to write a review and share the link with your friends and family both privately and on social networking in order to spread the word and create a buzz."
They added that they are "extremely proud of this film, which was produced guerilla style on the streets of the Bronx, and believe it has the potential to be an independent film by which others are measured."
The story of Mott Haven uses recycling as a backdrop and is set in New York's South Bronx, where parts of the movie were filmed. Mott Haven is the name of a neighborhood in that area.
Other parts of the movie were filmed at recycling firm Palmer Plastics in Easton, Pa. Domino Plastics is a brokerage that does business throughout North America. Michael Domino opened the firm in 1983.
Mott Haven stars veteran actors Paul Wilson and Robert Davi. Wilson's credits include the 2014 film Big Stone Gap, which also featured his brother Patrick, as well as Ashley Judd and Whoopi Goldberg. Davi is a familiar face from his roles in 1980s classics Die Hard and The Goonies. More recently, he starred on the TV show Profiler and has appeared on episodes of Criminal Minds and CSI.
Wilson plays the owner of a struggling plastics recycling firm who gets some much-needed help from Davi. Domino has made other independent films, but this is his first feature-length effort and the first that includes plastic recycling as a subject.
The movie concludes with a public service announcement from Davi about how viewers can get involved to prevent plastic waste from reaching the world's oceans.