Thriller Film Shot in Youngstown Will Premiere Next Week

YOUNGSTOWN – A suspense thriller movie shot in the Masonic Temple on Wick Avenue will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

“223 Wick” – the address of the building – is a “fantasy thriller,” according to Melanie Clarke-Penella, who co-wrote the script with Jess Byard of Akron.

Cindy Castro DiRusso of the Youngstown area is one of the producers.

Sergio Myers of Florida directed the movie. Click here to view the official trailer.

“It’s about a Catholic priest who is sent on a sabbatical from his seminary because his [superiors] are not agreeing with his theories,” said Clarke-Penella, who is also the city’s director of downtown events. “He is drawn into a building through otherworldly happenings and once there he starts to connect his theories and reality that prove similarities between Catholicism and ancient Egypt.”

The movie will be available to view on Video on Demand services, Castro DiRusso said.

The cast includes Alexi Stavrou, Dawn Lafferty, Jack Dimich, Greg Pierot and Calvin Brown.

“223 Wick” was shot almost entirely in the hulking brick Masonic Temple building, which is integral to the story. “It’s borderline horror,” said Clarke-Penella.

She has two other films in various stages of completion – both shot in Youngstown.

“Among the Ashes,” a thriller starring Denise Richards and Richard Gunn, is awaiting its release. It’s about a young housekeeper who accepts a position with a wealthy family, only to realize that someone may be hiding a deadly secret. Not knowing who to trust, she must solve the mystery while avoiding the consequences.

Clarke-Penella is the executive producer for “Ashes,” which will be released in the first quarter of 2023. A local screening is planned for October, she said.

Shooting will begin next week on another film, “Organ Grinder Road,” a thriller that Clarke-Penella co-wrote with Kris Lucarell.

Pictured at top: The Masonic Temple at 223 Wick Ave. in Youngstown, where a suspense thriller was filmed.

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