Founded in 2007, River Fire Films, LLC is a small digital media company based in Cleveland, Ohio, with a passion for video production, photography and creative writing – all effective forms of story telling.
The name ‘River Fire Films’ was chosen as a way to pay homage to the once struggling city we call home. The name is in reference to the 13 historical times the Cuyahoga River (which runs through Cleveland’s east and west sides) caught fire due to decades of mass pollution.
Our first project was to be a documentary film exposing some form of animal cruelty. Director, Jeff Theman, researched many forms of animal abuse in February 2007, until a couple months later when (former) NFL star quarterback, Michael Vick, was suspected of running a dog fighting operation in April. He took that as a sign, and began a film about dog fighting, with an emphasis on showcasing the victims – the dogs.
About a year later, the city of Lakewood (a Cleveland, Ohio suburb), proposed and eventually passed a law called Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), which would target and ban the ownership of “pit bull” dogs within city limits, and the direction of the film subsequently changed to breed discrimination, titling it – “Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent” (GTPI).
After several years of production, the film finally premiered on April 28, 2013 in Cleveland, before touring the U.S. 20-some times – which included two official film festival selections (2013 St. Louis International Film Festival, 2014 Kansas City FilmFest). Each screening was hosted by a dog rescue or welfare organization, as a way to raise funds for the cause and the homeless dogs in their respective care. We later called this the “Rescue Version” of the film.
In early 2016, the team went back to work on a (re)release of GTPI by completely re-editing and updating it in an attempt to create an even bigger impact globally by attracting distribution. The official version will be released in 2018 (TBD).
2016 also brought a new skill set to River Fire Films, as we launched a photography division. From fine art of limited edition prints for sale, to for-hire services, to charity work (in conjunction with non-profit, WOOFobia), we believe an image can speak a thousand words.
In 2017, we expanded once more, by adding a creative writing division.