Independent film makes debut in Ripley

RIPLEY- A local independent film that gained national attention made its theatrical debut in Ripley on Thursday.

Josh Miller’s film “Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey” was played at the Alpine Theatre where Miller said it was well-received.

“Everybody came up and said they loved the idea of the film,” he said. “They said they laughed, cried and it had important information that made them think when they make their next purchase.”

Miller, a 2003 Ravenswood High graduate, made the film based on his cross-country attempt to live off of only American-made products. The effort – and subsequent film – drew the attention of ABC, CNN and Yahoo.

Miller was drawn to the film, following the closure of Century Aluminum, which resulted in the loss of hundreds of well-paying jobs.

“It’s not as much as what I can live off and what I can’t,” he said. “It’s ‘Is the American Dream alive and well?’ I believe it is and we have to fight for it.”

Miller, who never before made a movie, knew he had a good idea with the project. The loss of industry and jobs is devastating to communities and regions, he said.

“I wish I never had to make this film,” he said. “I wish this wasn’t an issue.”

Being an independent film, Miller’s work is unlikely to appear at larger, chain theaters. It was screened by Parkersburg South High School students last month and it will also be shown in Dayton.

Miller said he’ll go anywhere within reason to promote his film, so long as the demand exists. Miller would like to turn the movie screenings into events, to feature American-made products.

He envisions companies with display tables selling or providing samples of their products.

“I want to connect American-made products with consumers,” he said. “This is more than a film movement. It is a movement for American jobs.”

The movie is available on DVD and for On-Demand download at its website, Later this year the film will see a wider distribution through iTunes and Amazon.