March 20th, 2019

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
[email protected]

A TV series that once planned to film in Pittsburgh and then went to Atlanta for its first season is set to film its second season in Pittsburgh.

But it may be some time before Pittsburghers get a chance to see it.

Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer confirmed on Wednesday that “Manhunt” opened a production office in town this week.

In July 2016, Discovery Channel announced plans to shoot the first season of “Manifesto,” an FBI profiler drama, in Pittsburgh. However, Lionsgate Television producers had trouble finding a suitable male lead, and by the time they landed actors Paul Bettany and Sam Worthington, the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit funds producers anticipated getting had been allocated elsewhere. Production relocated to Atlanta.

The series aired on Discovery in summer 2017 as “Manhunt: UNABOMBER.” Discovery, moving away from a brief flirtation with scripted programming, didn’t renew “Manhunt,” but in July 2018, Hollywood trade publications reported the anthology series, following a different FBI case each season, was coming back to life after it was sold to Charter Communications. Charter has several series in the works for its Spectrum Originals channel including “L.A.’s Finest,” a cop drama spinoff of the “Bad Boys” movies, and a limited series revival of the former NBC sitcom “Mad About You.”There’s just one catch for Pittsburghers interested in seeing the filmed-in-Pittsburgh “Manhunt”: It won’t be possible to watch it, at least not initially. Charter has no cable systems in Western Pennsylvania. (Spectrum Originals is to Charter as Audience Network is to DirecTV; you only get the channel if you subscribe to the service.)

Odds are “Manhunt” will at some point have a secondary window of distribution — possibly on DVD — so Pittsburghers will have the opportunity to see it then.

While season one of “Manhunt” offered a deep dive into the case of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, reported last year that season two will be about the true story of security guard Richard Jewell who was first lauded and then accused of a bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta; Eric Rudolph eventually was convicted of that crime.

A spokeswoman for Lionsgate would not confirm the plot of season two.

TV writer Rob Owen: [email protected] or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.

In the last decade, the Carrie Furnaces have been the site of operas, modern art and dance parties.If the Pittsburgh Film Office has its way, movies are up next.

This January, the office submitted a proposal to the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) requesting $5 million to begin construction on a new film production park on the vacant brownfield beside the abandoned Carrie Furnaces mill in the borough of Rankin.

According to the proposal posted this week, the 20.16-acre development would include six sound stages, three production support buildings, a mill building restored for set construction and two commissary buildings.

Speaking to NEXTpittsburgh, Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer said the project is a key step in growing the region’s burgeoning industry.

In terms of filmmaking, “Southwestern Pennsylvania has been on a roll. We’ve been bringing in over $100,000,000 a year into this region’s economy every year for the past five years in a row,” says Keezer. “We’ve quadrupled the number of people working in this industry locally, and we could see a lot more of that.”

The city already has several warehouses that have been successfully converted into production studios, including 31st Street Studios in the Strip District, the Westinghouse office park in Churchill and the former American Eagle distribution center in Warrendale.

Currently, though, these facilities are unable to support much of the state-of-the-art lighting and camera equipment that has become the industry standard in the era of 4K televisions.

“We’ve been able to make due over the years,” says Keezer. “But what we keep hearing is the need for purpose-built space. It needs to happen in Southwestern Pennsylvania.”

Though she declined to name specific projects, Keezer says that in January, “we lost three shows to Canada in one week.”

This list of RACP award winners will be announced this fall, and Keezer hopes this project will be among them.


Twenty-six years strong, the annual JFilm Festival presents international Jewish-themed films that deepen audiences’ understanding of Jewish culture, tolerance, and our common humanity.


This year’s lineup features 21 narrative and documentary films—plus an Opening Night party, Q&As with visiting filmmakers, a Bagel Brunch, and two Film Schmoozes with the University of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Studies Department. Join us for eleven days of unique cinematic experiences that help audiences discover the stories, history, and experiences that connect us all.


21 films
11 countries represented
3 visiting filmmakers



Facebook Event Page

Training the Media Makers of Tomorrow


WQED’s NextGeneration Fellowship training program seeks to enhance the skill set of college students and community media makers by providing actual working experience for emerging creators. Four individuals per year will participate in the training program. Fellows will learn about the editorial process by developing, researching, writing, shooting and editing their own productions. In 2018 the Next Generation Fellows will focus on a different aspect of our changing city.

Apply for a Next-Generation Fellowship:

If you’d like to submit your resume for consideration for the next Fellows session, please send your resume and cover letter to Minette Seate at [email protected]. Resumes must be received by March 13, 2019. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and residents of the City of Pittsburgh.

Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson
Iceland/France/Ukraine | 2018 | 101 min


Friday, February 22, 2019 
 @ McConomy Auditorium, CMU

Buy tickets here!



  • Q&A
  • Food Reception

CO-PRESENTED: Sustainable Earth



“Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice?”
– Jay Weissberg, Variety

Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything.

Languages: Icelandic, Spanish, & Ukrainian with English subtitles

Watch the trailer here.



  • Haifa International Film Festival, 2018, Special Mention
  • Hamburg Film Festival, 2018, Best Feature
  • Ljubljana International Film Festival, 2018, Best Film
  • Montréal Festival of New Cinema, 2018, Best Actress
  • Nordic Council, 2018, Nordic Council Film Prize
  • Seville European Film Festival, 2018, Audience Award
  • Valladolid International Film Festival, 2018, Best Actress



Benedikt Erlingsson is an Icelandic director, author, and actor. Erlingsson’s first feature film, “Of Horses and Men,” received the New Directors prize at the 2013 San Sebastián Film Festival and went on to win over 20 international awards. He is a 2016 Gan Foundation for Cinema award winner. His second feature film, “Woman at War”(2018), was selected at the 57th Semaine de la Critique.

Jacob Tierney | WednesdayJan. 23, 2019, 5:00 p.m.

The Oscar nominees for best documentary take viewers to hazardous mountaintops, war-torn Syria and the chambers of the Supreme Court — but not the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Last year’s Fred Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” won almost universal acclaim from critics and viewers and became the highest-grossing biographical documentary of all time, but that wasn’t good enough for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film didn’t garner any Oscar nominations.

Moviegoers weren’t happy about that, and many took to the internet to say so.

“I know from looking at social media that a lot of people are feeling that way, because they were so connected,” said Cara Friez, chair of cinema arts at Point Park University. “People were hoping this would be the opportunity to really let his story shine.”

A survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by movie site Fandango named “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” this year’s “most shocking” Oscar snub.

“Normally, documentaries are so overlooked, nobody really notices or cares, so that just shows you how much people loved Mr. Rogers,” Fandango correspondent Nikki Novak said.

Pittsburgh-area film experts and those devoted to preserving Rogers’ legacy said the Oscar news was disappointing but didn’t undercut the film’s impact.

“On one hand, it’s a disappointment; on the other hand, it’s good the documentary got so much interest,” said Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film office.

The early buzz surrounding “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” may have helped spur development of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a Fred Rogers biopic starring Tom Hanks that filmed in Pittsburgh earlier this year and is slated for release in the fall, Keezer said.

“It’s nice that we’re able to share Mr. Rogers with the rest of the world,” she said.

Both film projects highlight Rogers’ legacy.

“The most important recognition has come from the countless people who have rediscovered Fred Rogers and been inspired by his talent, scholarship, commitment, and grace thanks to this incredible film,” Fred Rogers Productions President Paul Siefken said of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”

Rogers founded Fred Rogers Productions, originally known as Family Communications, and the company continues to make children’s programming like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

Before the nominations were announced, many people thought “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” was a “shoo-in” to win best documentary, Novak said.

It’s unclear why it wasn’t nominated, though it may have something to do with the insular nature of the selection process, she said.

“Only documentarians vote on the best (documentary), and they can be a little snobby,” Novak said.

This year’s other “most shocking” snubs include Bradley Cooper, who didn’t get a best director nod for “A Star is Born” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” which was not nominated in any category.

Novak believes the Oscars usually get the nominations right — but there’s always a few oversights.

“Every year, you get something that will get snubbed or overlooked, and I think you just don’t want to (anger) Mr. Rogers fans,” she said.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” is coming to television soon. It will debut on HBO and PBS Feb. 9.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.

Pittsburgh plans to honor Western Pennsylvania legend George Romero, known as the father of American zombie films, on Monday at the Downtown location where his cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” premiered in 1968.

Romero’s widow, Suzanne Desrocher, will be joined by Mayor Bill Peduto, representatives of the Pittsburgh film office and fans in remembering Romero at 10:30 a.m. outside the Byham Theater on Sixth Street. Sixth Street will be closed between Penn Avenue and Fort Duquesne Boulevard from 10 a.m. until noon.

“Night of the Living Dead” premiered at what was then the Fulton Theater on Oct. 1, 1968.

More than 30 organizations have committed to a series of events over the next month, including screenings, lectures and festivities, to recognize Romero’s work and highlight Pittsburgh as a destination to learn about his impact on American pop culture.

Romero, who died July 16 of lung cancer, is credited with incorporating conformity, racism, mall culture, militarism, class differences and other social ills into his films.

His second zombie classic, “Dawn of the Dead,” shot at the Monroeville Mall, debuted in 1978.

The Library of Congress in 1999 inducted “Night of the Living Dead” into the National Registry of Films.

Road closures will be in affect September 12th through 19th due to filming in Downtown Pittsburgh. Below are the list of locations that will be affected, please plan ahead for your best alternative routes.

Location 1: Southbound lane of 9th St. between Ft Duquesne and Penn Ave (Northbound lanes are to remain open for CAPA buses and general traffic)
When: – Wednesday 9/12 5am – 12am Friday 9/12
– Monday 9/17 5am – 2pm Wednesday 9/19
Please note: Inbound traffic on Penn Ave will be diverted into the bike lane between 9th and 8th
When: 9/13, 9/14, 9/17, and 9/18 from 7am – 7pm

Location 2: Exchange way between 10th and Tito Way
When: – Wednesday 9/12 8am – 10pm
– Friday 9/14 9pm – 3am
– Wednesday 9/19 7am – 12pm
Location 3: Garrison Place between Penn and Liberty
When: – Wednesday 9/12 8am – 10pm
– Friday 9/14 9pm – 3am
– Wednesday 9/19 7am – 12pm
Location 4: 9th Street between Penn and Liberty
When: – Wednesday 9/12 8am – 10pm
– Friday 9/14 9pm – 3am (9/15)
– Wednesday 9/19 7am – 12pm

Please check back on our website at for any updates or future closures.

The Next Generation Fellows program is a media arts training program open to students and non-students who would like to learn about television and media production in a professional broadcast environment. The Fellows are also given the training and opportunity to produce their own mini documentaries that will be shared on WQED’s broadcast platforms. The Fellowship also comes with a small stipend. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age and participants are required to live in the City of Pittsburgh.

For more information and to apply please follow the link below:

Sharpsburg and Etna are merging in more ways than just the detour around the Freeport Road bridge construction. They just exchanged a police officer and both are becoming the lair of the Mindhunter.

Jake Silver, assistant location manager for Late Seventies Productions of Pittsburgh, asked Sharpsburg council at its meeting last Thursday for permission to close some streets for filming of the Netflix series, Mindhunter. He’d already gotten Etna’s approval a month earlier to do some filming there.

Sharpsburg council is considering a request to close South Main Street for most if not all of the day on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. Only local traffic will be permitted on an intermittent basis during filming.

Also, parking along second through fifth street would be restricted where visible to their cameras during filming so late-model cars in the spaces closest to South Main will not impact the show’s 1980’s theme.

Mr. Silver also asked for the closing of the ramp from Sharpsburg to Route 8 on another day. Borough manager Bill Rossey told him they would need Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approval for that. Etna already okayed closing their ramp onto Route 8, according to Mr. Silver.

“Every month, people complain about parking,” Brittany Reno, Sharpsburg council president, told Mr. Silver. “So we’d have to figure out an alternative place to park.”

The location manager told council he’s been working with local businesses in the area and have asked them if they would open their lots to parking that day.

Chief Thomas Stelitano said he’s concerned about trucks going through Sharpsburg to Etna. Mr. Silver said he’d already spoken with local businesses about deliveries as well. “I have deals going with them for parking,” he said. “Not one of them has complained.” Already, Fazio Mechanical Service at 300 Main Street has agreed to open its lot that day , according to Mr. Silver.

Councilman Matthew Brudnok said he felt comfortable with the plan as long as residents have access to parking.

Fliers will be posted to let residents know where to park during filming and Sharpsburg and Etna police will be hired by the production company to direct traffic, Mr. Silver said. He told council they had once filmed on Middle Street with no problems. Information also will be posted on the borough’s website, said Chief Stelitano.

“Thanks for bringing the big screen to Sharpsburg,” Ms. Reno said.

Rita Michel, freelance writer, [email protected]