Chicago filmmakers release crime drama/mystery ‘The Cleaner’

The Cleaner
King Orba

Chicago filmmakers release the Indie crime drama feature, The Cleaner. Distributed by 1091 Pictures, the story follows a middle-aged house cleaner who gets caught up in a violent crime after being hired to locate a client’s estranged son. 

The Cleaner stars King Orba (DC’s Stargirl), Shelley Long (Modern Family), Shiloh Fernandez (Burn), Luke Wilson (Old School), and Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) in addition to a trio of talented up-and-comers who all happen to come from A-list families: Eden Brolin (daughter of Josh Brolin), James Paxton (son of Bill Paxton), and Hopper Penn (son of Sean Penn and Robin Wright). 

While The Cleaner was filmed in Los Angeles, most of the creative team have Chicago ties. The project came about when Columbia College Chicago alumnus Erin Elders reached out to fellow alumni John W. Bosher and Chris Charles about collaborating on a script he was co-writing that would ultimately lead to his feature directorial debut. Bosher and Charles, who are partners at the Chicago-based Throughline Films, produced The Cleaner and helped put together a team of former classmates. Producer Kate Grady, co-producer/cinematographer Jeff Tomcho, music supervisor Kevin Merlet, art director Tony Swansey, gaffer William E. Coleman, 1st assistant camera Matt Borek, Steadicam operator Brennan Maxwell, and boom operator Stephen Harrod are also alums. 

“Some of us made our first student films together at Columbia, so it was very meaningful to reunite and make a movie 15 years later,” Charles said. “We even cast former Chicagoan Mike Starr, who John and I worked with many years ago on Chicago Overcoat, in a supporting role.” 

The Cleaner

The majority of the funding came from local companies and investors, including Chicago Media Angels, Ascension Media Fund, and Big Story Group. Executive producers Ted Reilly, Kelly Aisthorpe Waller, and John Waller are also Chicago-based.

“Story wise, our investors really identified with the themes of rekindling family, finding purpose later in life, and of course we loved the cast,” said associate producer Markie Glassgow on behalf of Chicago Media Angels. 

“Our goal with The Cleaner was to weave an interesting crime drama/mystery into the lives of an everyday working-class community, and then explore how that mystery connects and affects them all,” said Elders. “I hope the result is bighearted, a little funny, a little tragic, and most importantly, a thank you letter to the caregivers of the world.” 

The Cleaner is available to rent or purchase on all the major platforms, including Amazon, Apple TV, DIRECTV, Google Play, Microsoft, Spectrum, and Vudu. 

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