OHS grad-turned-director premiers film at Apollo

By Jonathan Delozier - jdelozier@civitasmedia.com

Courtesy Photo Oberlin High School graduate Josh Folan will show his third film, “Catch 22,” on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Apollo Theater.

Imagine waking to find a dead woman in a nearby bathtub — and having no memory how either of you got there.

That’s the set-up for director Josh Folan’s latest movie, “Catch 22,” which will be screened at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Apollo Theater in Oberlin. A pre-party will be held at 9:30 p.m. at The Feve on South Main Street.

The 1999 Oberlin High School graduate is bringing the thriller to his hometown. It tells the story of five friends as one prepares to serve a prison sentence.

“It’s all kind of a last hurrah for them until they find the dead girl in the tub,” said Folan. “The story is about all this stuff that’s happened between the five of them. They’re all blue collar guys with some pretty serious faults. The dead girl is a catalyst for them to deal with these issues between them.”

“Catch 22” premiered at the 2016 Soho International Film Festival in New York and later earned official selections at the Film Festival of Columbus and the Palm Beach International Film Festival.

The film is based on a story by Folan’s friend, Seanie Sugrue.

“A good friend of mine had been in a bad place with alcohol and drugs for quite a while,” said Folan. “In the summer of 2013, he’d been sober for six months and asked if I wanted to go see a movie. As we were leaving the theater, he began telling me about this story that was in his head. I’d never known him to be a writer and I wanted to hear about it. Basically, what he told me was the foundation for what ‘Catch 22’ is now. I hammered the plot points into my phone as we walked home. We scraped together the money to make it and produced it together. It’s not a biopic, but it’s certainly fueled by where he was in his life prior to that.”

Folan, now 35, holds a business degree from Ohio State University. After graduation, he realized his true passion, which has led to a decade of work acting, directing, and producing.

He’s since directed three films. The slacker comedy “What Would Bear Do?” in which he acted and directed, was shot in northeast Ohio and released in 2013. He also portrayed “Josh the Bartender” in 35 episodes of “All My Children” from 2006 to 2009.

Between work on the soap, he and other cast members began producing and acting in off-Broadway theater shows.

“I briefly worked as a financial advisor in Columbus,” said Folan. “Through college, I had landed little modeling jobs occasionally in Columbus and Michigan. They were jewelry ads and things like that. Some of my pictures reached New York, so I came out and met with people. It went really well. There was a period where I was flying back and forth for about six months. I slept on a friend’s couch.”

When he realized he hated his full-time job in the finance industry, he promptly quit. Two months later, he booked a job with Comedy Central that was half modeling and half acting. “That got me an agent. I took some classes and went from there,” he said.

If you’re looking to break into the entertainment industry, Folan said to be persistent and know that most professions require learning that does not happen until you’re actually on the job.

“This applies to not just film or any industry,” he said. “I went to school for business. The Ohio State finance program is one of the better in the nation. When I walked into the job I had, there wasn’t a single thing I learned in school that I used on a day-to-day basis. I had to learn how to do every facet of that job by doing it there in the office. You can go to film school. They’ll show you different camera techniques, different lenses, and teach you this, that, or whatever, but you’re not really going to know how to do it unless you go out and do it.

“If you apply yourself and are motivated, you’re going to find your way. Whatever your constraints are, figure out a plan that fits inside those constraints, then go out there and just do it,” he said.

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

Courtesy Photo Oberlin High School graduate Josh Folan will show his third film, “Catch 22,” on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Apollo Theater.


Courtesy Photo Oberlin High School graduate Josh Folan will show his third film, “Catch 22,” on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Apollo Theater.

By Jonathan Delozier