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Marisa Guterman

February 27, 2024

As an Interdisciplinary Studies Field major, wearing many different hats on her debut feature film LOST & FOUND IN CLEVELAND felt organic for writer-producer-director Marisa Guterman ’10. Using the foundation of her created focus at Berkeley – Art’s Potential for Social & Political Change – she put her studies into action.

LOST & FOUND IN CLEVELAND is a look at the post-Industrial American Dream in the Industrial Midwest – a slice of life depiction over a 24-hour period that follows the personal odysseys of five very different people, whose lives intertwine when America’s favorite televised antiques appraisal show comes to Cleveland. It’s Best in Show meets The Wizard of Oz.  

The Wizard of Oz was a political allegory at the turn of the last century, where Dorothy represented the common man, Tin Man the factory workers, Scarecrow the farmers. LOST & FOUND is a modern retelling of the condition of the American Dream 120 years later, set against the backdrop of America’s Rust Belt. Much like Tin Man, Scarecrow and Dorothy in the original myth, these everyday heroes – a retired LTV steel plant worker, a mailman and a Latino child – are emblematic of the archetypes who occupy contemporary life. Instead of a heart or a brain, they bring their objects to the Roadshow to the Great & Powerful Oz. 

Through storytelling and the power of film, she explored the themes and motifs that echoed her research at Berkeley. Guterman says, “In a world marked by cynicism, a film about the sincerity of hope becomes a rebellious act.”

The kernel of the idea for the movie gestated while she was a student at Berkeley. It came to fruition when she met Keith Gerchak, co-founder of their production company Double G Films. For a better part of a decade, they navigated the rigorous and unpredictable course of the independent film world on their own Yellow Brick Road journey. With the film now completed, they are gearing up for an anticipated Holiday 2024 release. 

Casting the film themselves, their award-winning ensemble includes Martin Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, Liza Weil, Stacy Keach, June Squibb, Santino Fontana, Esther Povitsky, Loretta Devine, Jon Lovitz, Jeff Hiller, Rory O’Malley, Dot-Marie Jones, and Mark L. Walberg (Host of Antiques Roadshow). 

Their impressive creative team includes Cinematographer Davon Slininger (La La Land, Don’t Look Up), Editor Tricia Holmes (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), and Composer Sven Faulconer (The Elephant WhispererTop Gun: Maverick). Their producing partners are Oscar winners Shaun Redick & Yvette Yates (Get OutBlackkklansman) and Tony winners Kevin McCollum (Rent, Avenue Q) and Hunter Arnold (Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown). Their score is played by a 50-piece orchestra comprised of the musicians from La La Land and John Williams’s films. 

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